Strategic Planning

By Tim Connor, Rodeo! Performance Group, Inc.

If you could answer a few little questions to significantly increase the number of interested people showing up on your business’s doorstep, clamoring to find out how you can help them, would you make the effort?

Who SHOULD Your Clients Be?

Many business owners and executives don’t take the time to identify just who – specifically – would find the most value in their product or service. Remember the word “treasure” in the title? Let’s qualify that with the understanding that a select group will find the most value in what your organization provides. Those who find the that value, or “treasure” are also those who are willing to pay the most for it. Why? Because it IS valuable to them!

A shotgun approach to marketing – that is, marketing to anybody and everybody – will bring some results, but it’s a very expensive way to do things. It’s imperative, then, to evaluate your buyers to find those who find the highest value in your service or product.

As an example: five years ago a builder client had been told by his parent company to target families with incomes of $75,000, which would provide a profit on each house he built of about $1500. He did that, and his mail campaign to people in this group produced 1/10 of 1% response rate to his letters. He wanted to do better. With research (and some help from a business coach) he found that a small portion of his clients, those with incomes over $100,000, were actually a large portion of respondents to his mailing, AND provide an average profit on the homes he of double what he made on everyone else!

With that in mind, he did another mailing, this time targeting those families with incomes of $100,000 or greater. Immediately – within a week in fact, his response rate jumped to 2% – roughly 20 times what he was getting before, and of course his profit on each house doubled on top of that. Within two weeks he had doubled his income, just by paying better attention to those customers who considered his work the most valuable.

What Are You Really Selling?

Ever had someone ask you “What does your organization do”? How did you answer them? Chances are you told them what services you provided, what products you sold, or what degrees your university awarded you. A business coach friend of mine in Kansas City was attending a business networking group as a new member, and was given, along with five others, 10 seconds to introduce himself and to tell about his business. Imagine his (unpleasant!) surprise when three of the four also proved to be business coaches, and all spoke before he did! He listened quietly: every one of those coaches stood up, gave name and credentials, and said “I’m a business coach”. As each spoke he realized that to connect with the dozens of business owners and executives in the audience, he was going to have to appeal to something very different from that which the crowd were already associating with these three men. His turn came, he stood up, and giving his name and business name he ended with “I help people double or triple their business within six weeks. If you’d like to talk to me about that please meet me by the side door after the meeting”. When the meeting ended ten minutes later he had a line ten people long waiting to speak with him.

What was different about what he said, how did he connect when those other coaches didn’t? He addressed the pain! While the others were giving a list of their “stuff”, he was talking about the results he’d gotten. Those weren’t empty words, by the way. His approach had actually doubled revenues for organizations in as briefly as a week.

So, number one, what do you do that meets the “pain” people are struggling with? What does your organization provide that people are interested – or even anxious – to get hold of? You should know what that is, and you should practice being able to express it clearly in a very short space of time. For example:

“I help people double or triple their business in 4-6 weeks” (a business coach)

“We give students the key to working for the best companies in the land” (a university)

“Our company gives businesses the tools to cut their turnover by 75% while meeting their revenue goals” (a trophy and awards company who added incentive programs to their “mix”)

Show Your Results

You might have noticed that two of the three statements were very specific in the results they presented. One was a little less specific (“…the best companies in the land”) but still caught interest in an area that mattered to their customers .

But even when you’ve managed to put your finger on the pain people are feeling, you have to be able to show that you’ve achieved results. Those should be specific and of course, they’d better be true!

Consider that for a minute. What results can you show those people who are looking for the relief that you can provide? You’re still in business, so you must have successes. Taking the time to gather those together for placing in front of prospects is important. It demonstrates that your service or product is the one they should be thinking about.

To Wrap It All Together

So there are three activities to do if you’d like to supercharge your marketing efforts:

1) find the right prospects,
2) identify and show how your product addresses their pain, and
3) give them real results to bear these things out.

Take an hour, right now, to sit down and do these three activities – you can spare that, can’t you? Change your marketing approach to address your new, clearer ideas, and then see what happens to the number of people “walking in your door”.

NOW you’re really marketing!