One of the very first questions I ask a new client is “who are your customers/prospects?”
Invariably, a large percentage of people respond with “anyone”. And when I prob further and ask what’s a requirement, what must a person have in order to be called a prospect, the joking response is often “breath”.
Essentially, if they’re breathing, they’re a prospect.
But let me tell you this… Some people have bad breath.
Some people cost you too much to acquire.
Some people bring with them headaches.
Some people will take advantage of you.
Some people don’t like you.
Some people have zero interest in what you have to offer.
Some people will drain too many of your resources.
Some people just aren’t a good “fit”.
And it’s your job, as an entrepreneur, to figure who you want as a client.
When I was running my fitness studio, it was easy to say anyone could benefit from my services. And arguably, it’s true. We offered classes for all ages, from “mommy and me” stuff for newborns, to special senior programs. All ages, men and women, all fitness levels, you name it – we offered something for you. It was really easy for me to say my audience is everyone, or anyone with breath.
And that would have been a MAJOR mistake. One that all my competitors in the fitness world make – and continue to make.
You see, on one hand, anyone can join, and we rarely turned people down. Yet we marketed very specifically to a very specific person.
Everything from the copy on my website, to the sales copy in my ads, flyers, coupons, posters and hand outs, to the way we answered the phone to the way we set up our trade-show booths – EVERYTHING – was designed to target moms in their mid to late forties.
I won’t go into too much detail, but our studies had shown that moms in their late forties have more disposable income, they tell everyone at the office about something new they’re trying (remember we’re teaching Kickboxing), they have a spouse, kids, and the most potential for positive change.
Sure, you can argue that some, all, or none applies to everyone else as well, but statistically, this was who we wanted.
But it didn’t end there, another reason, and big one, that I targeted that market was because when they DID transform their lives, they became my biggest fans and they we’re forever grateful.
Now if you own a fitness studio yourself, you might be thinking “but I don’t want a room full of 48 year old moms!”, and that may be true – but here’s the thing, we still had a large percentage of men, young adults, teens and kids.
Just because we targeted that demographic doesn’t mean it’s all that it attracted, but they were by far the best to bring in. And they never missed their bill.
Regardless of what business you’re in, there IS an ideal customer, even if you haven’t realized it. Sometimes it’s not as obvious, sometimes you don’t realize until you look at your list that 1/3rd are actually doctors, or that half are miners, or that 20% play hockey, or, or, or….
Your duty as an entrepreneur is to narrow down the masses and identify exactly, with as much detail and precision as possible, WHO is your target, ideal market.
Once you’ve figured who they are, learn about them, discover their habits, their routines, their needs, wants and desires and then cater your campaigns to them specifically.
Oh, and let’s be honest…. if you’re still thinking EVERYONE is your market, then I have bad news for you… You can’t afford to market to them. There’s just not enough money in the world for you to market to everyone.
Narrow down that field, and your cost of acquisition goes way down with it.
Let me leave you with this final thought…
Marketing to everyone is a mistake made by AMATEURS. If you want to make it in the big leagues, you need to know WHO you want.
Take the time to study your business and your market and be smart about it. And for heavens sake, don’t attract bad breath.
To your success,