One of the more common questions I get is “How do we find a shortcut to easier sales?” The shortcut starts with a few questions…
Who is the ideal person for your product/service and what is the specific situation your products and services solve for them? You’ll know it’s them if they would look at your “menu” of available products and services and say “That’s exactly what Ive been looking for.“
If you are thinking things like “I’ve been a little frustrated with sales lately.” or “I’m frustrated with my website. I’ve been having trouble figuring out what the site should look like, how the sales process should look, etc.” then this is quite likely the source of the problem.
The reason this is a problem is that the conversation your sales process and / or your website engage in isn’t the conversation going on in the minds of your potential customers. It’s not what keeps them up at night. It’s not what’s on their mind when trying to make payroll, much less when trying to figure out how to pay themselves AND the bills.
To have that conversation, you have to have a much narrower focus on each type of person that you’re selling to.
Who is your target market?
Is the answer a single word or phrase? Is it a paragraph describing what you sell? Or is it a description of the people and/or business AND the situations those people are trying to address by using your products and services?
Is the answer “I don’t really know?” or “I thought I knew but now I’m not so sure.“
Imagine that you are taking one of these people under your wing. Who would be the perfect person for you to do that for? Can you describe them and their situation in detail?
Example: They’re a couple in their early ’60s. The husband is about 10 years older than his wife. He’s retired. They’re both from Brazil but are naturalized U.S. citizens. The wife’s employer is closing down, so she’s looking for a way to supplement her income. Try to describe people in their situation.
The accurate but not useful answer is: “People who need an income“. A better start is “retired people who need an income” and “retired expats who need an income“. These are two different groups. For someone who is looking to serve people with these kinds of problems, there are probably dozens of similar groups with important, yet subtle differences.
If you tell me your clients are “lawyers”, I would suggest that is an incomplete answer. What kind of lawyer are they? Personal injury? Family law? Transactional? Estate? Tax? Each of them have different conversations, potentially different clients and they’ll each have different conversations with their clients.
The most expensive marketing mistake
The most expensive marketing mistake you can make is trying to have the same conversation with each of these groups. The “…with important, yet subtle differences” part is what changes the conversation with each group.
You need to narrow things down so you can have a conversation with one person (even if there are 100,000 of them) rather than 100 different people who have a related issue that this product will solve for each of them.
Pick one, do that one. Pick the next one. Do that one. You can only grab one person’s attention at a time and encourage them to solve this situation. Who will it be? Be specific.
Introduce me to your market
There are two pretty common ways to get to the bottom of this.
One is to role play introducing this person to someone who knows nothing about them, but will be immediately expected to be effective selling product or service that the salesperson is familiar with to the expat couple once your introduction is complete. I think you can imagine that to go from knowing nothing to being effective selling to them is going to require more than insight than “This is Joe and Mary and they need an income“.
What would you say?
The second method is to identify a familiar / famous person who fits the mold, if one exists. Introducing them might be a bit easier since you likely know something about this person and will be able to dig into quickly.
The shortcut to easier sales starts with knowing your audience better than anyone.