If you’re a fisherman, you know the importance of being in the location where the fish you are looking for hang out and having the right bait to attract them. In business it’s no different. Once you have a vivid picture of exactly what type of person is your target market you can work out where they hang out, and exactly what sort of things will interest them.
In the early days of my coaching business I assumed that if you were paying a coach you’d discuss your marketing with her. (Now I know that I need to bring this matter up explicitly.) Anyway, Anna didn’t tell me she was going to spend $5,000 on advertising until it had been signed off, and I went, “What are you doing!” Spending $5,000 on broadcast advertising was like hiring a trawler and hoping to catch trout – and Anna’s cash flow meant that this was cutting out a lot options.
She was competing with so many larger companies who had more money to spend on the channels she was dipping into and she was not going to have much budget left for targeted marketing! So I was really worried about her survival. The earlier you are in your business the more laser-like your targeting needs to be – later on your cash flow is less restricted and you can afford to experiment a bit, but at the start you need to be very cautious.
Two months later we evaluated Anna’s marketing and looked at the results. That $5,000 had produced $0 in revenue and no enquiries while $100 invested in a targeted campaign had delivered a substantial return. It was a lesson neither of us will ever forget. Anna had assumed that the return would be based on the size of the investment, I had assumed that there was nothing to be salvaged.
The Lesson: Selling is Like Fishing I use this story to explain selling quite a bit. When people first get into business they just want to get any kind of business they can. So they get a great big fishing trawler with a massive net and they go out there. If you ask “Who’s your client?” The answer is “Anyone! I can help anyone! Just send them to me, I can help anyone.”
They go out with this great big net, they trawl along in the ocean and they put all this effort and fuel and resources into dragging this great net along and they get back to the shore and they’re really excited because it’s heavy. Then they start sifting through all the stuff in the net and the excitement starts to wane because they find lots of toilet lids, shoes, and other garbage that was at the bottom of the ocean, and a few rotten fish that they can’t use. Finally, out of that entire big load there was probably only about four or five fish that were worth spending time on.
This is what most people do – especially when they’re starting out. They go out and they spend thousands of dollars sending a trawler out into the ocean when they could do so much more with a clearly defined target market and the perfect bait.
Just imagine if they invested all those resources fishing in a clearly defined target market! They could attract wonderful clients who were looking for what they were offering.
How have you found working in a niche compared with working with ‘anyone’? Let us know in the comments.
Meta Description: Know your target market then use the right bait to attract them to your service and help them buy.
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