Is it possible that there is one thing (only one thing) that will help us realize our full potential – in business and in our personal life?
There is, it’s called FOCUS! Focus 100% of your effort toward your niche market, your ideal customer type – and say no to everything and everyone else.
Don’t take on another customer or client whose referrals will not take your business in the direction you want it to go!
The most financially successful among us are those who focus their efforts like a laser toward their special niche audience. In the past that was easier said than done – now with so many distractions – for you and your prospective clients and customers it’s easy for both of you to lose your focus.
That’s when you are likely to sub-optimize your results by taking on “one-off” clients and customers, people who take you away from your target audience. To get this right you may have to do some serious soul searching to identify just who it is exactly you want to be doing business with.
A friend of mine works for a Fortune 50 company. She told me that she already knows 100% of her prospects – worldwide. That doesn’t mean she knows them personally, or that they are doing business with her already – she knows who and where they are – so when she can get the right introduction she’s there. If that’s true for her it should be true for you too.
If you say your market is too big for that to happen, you have not fine-tuned your target enough. Targeting your message to your fine-tuned market is the key. Focusing your benefit proposition tightly on the thought leaders and decision makers within your target puts you “top of mind” when they are looking for the products and services you have on offer.
Recently an interviewer asked me to summarize the keys to success, what three things would I tell small business owners and the professionals who serve them that could possibly save their business? So here they are.
The first one you already know, its focus and clarification. Being clear about who you want to do business with and continually seek clarification as to the demographics and psychographic makeup of your market. Second is to continually communicate with your extended audience – your prospects, your customers and their friends. And finally, use online tools and strategies to continually monitor your whole environment. Here they are in more detail.
No matter how successful we become we all strive to do more and be better. We all want to get better results from our efforts. Successful people know instinctively that being successful is simply the result of making better and better decisions over time. Identifying your ideal customer type is only the beginning, it’s a key but only the beginning.
When we know who they are we can be where they are even before they know they need our services. And because our ideal customer types have a lot in common with one another we can create a profile and a strategy that makes them think we’re everywhere – dominating the landscape for the services and products we provide.
When we know them intimately we know what they want, what add-on products and services they will buy, and how we can realize the full potential of every customer. What social groups are they part of, what Facebook and YouTube channels, who do they follow on Twitter? If we know this we’ll be able to get better results. This is how we take the shortest path between where we are and where we want to be.
After you’ve built a profile of your customers and potential customers you must employ a strategy to be where they are whenever they are talking about the problems you and your organization are dedicated to solving.
Historically that required time, energy, and money – sometimes lots of each, to stay in front of them in an effective way. Today, a powerful software program will allow you to send them Facebook notifications that will also be seen by their friends, family, and colleagues.
Again, because their business contacts are likely to be interested in whatever they’re interested in, the reach of your messages are magnified dramatically. Second only to the never-ending challenge of effective marketing is strategic planning along with the leadership training and management development of your team.
It’s vital that you, no matter how small your organization is, leverage what your people know by creating a process of systematic collaboration between them and their parallel industry peers. These industry study groups will all your people to learn from members of other similar firms from people at the same level and doing the same jobs they are. No organization can survive, much less prosper, if it must make all the mistakes alone.
The best offense is a great defense. People you do not know, folks who would be your ideal customer type if you knew who they were, are looking for what you’re selling. A comment monitoring system should be working for you 24/7/365 to alert you when one of these high probability prospects is online talking about something you’re selling.
A high probability prospect is someone who needs, wants and has the money to buy what you have on offer. And they will be favorably disposed to buy it from you when they find out who you are. The is how we expand the circle of people we’re doing business with well beyond traditional referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.
Powerful tools exist that will track what people are saying about you and your business in real time and allow you to interact with them @ the point of contact. So, if someone says something about you on Twitter, for example, you can respond to their Twitter feed so your response is seen by their friends and colleagues.
It’s not what happens it’s how you respond to it, so if what’s being said is bad you can address it, if it’s good you can turn it into another opportunity. In either case, you are able to take control of the narrative and use it to your advantage.
In summary, to be successful you must focus relentlessly on those people you are ideally suited to serve. You must stay on their radar and be alert to anything being said about you or your business. And you must harness the power of long-distance peer to peer study groups to grow your team’s capabilities – without taking them off the floor or out of the office to do so. And this leadership training, management development, and strategic planning must be done without cost – so you’ll stick to it year after year.
These are the things we’ve done for over 35 years growing our profitability and that of our family business clients through good times and bad.
If you are like us, professionals serving businesses you will be interested in learning more about the strategies we’re using in Marketing Professional Services as we seek to add value to the lives and businesses of our clients.
And if you are a business owner I encourage you to consider how a Business Strategic Development Blueprint will help you stay focused on activities that take you closer and closer to your objectives.
I really hope you find the time you spend here worthwhile (productive), that you will follow me on Facebook and share your opinion about what you find here with your social media followers and contacts. Your future keys to business success will be the result of the decisions you are making and the actions you are taking today.
All the best!
Kenny Blankenship, Managing Director & Content Coordinator
Dawn Manning, Editor in Chief & Video Strategy Coordinator
Vickie “Vic” Catalano Romano, Content Coordinator & Managing Editor
Wayne Messick, Publisher
Family Business Strategies
New York, NY
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