You own a business or you run a sales department. This means you need to make money in order to help your business thrive. You do this by having a product or service to sell. Thus, you’ve tried the traditional sales strategy of cold-calling, networking, partnering, etc. Yet, when you meet people, the common response is the same – ‘So what?’
This is the response you’re getting because you are missing a very critical point in your approach…
There is what you want to sell, and there’s what people want to be sold.
Making money requires buyers. In that marketplace, that are people that…
want what you’re selling…
are not at the right time or place to buy what you’re selling…
simply don’t want what you’re selling…
Your aim is to get to the people that want what you’re selling. In order to that, you need to speak specifically to those people in a way that matters to them. Think about it this way – if your potential buyers were dogs, then the best way to communicate to them is with a dog whistle. Speaking to a specific audience (a.ka. Audience Targeting) allows you to cater to the people that matter most to your business, and eliminate the wasted time of trying to sell to the people that don’t want what you’re offering. How you do that is easier than you think….
Know your customers to get new customers…
Knowing your existing customers means getting deep in their heads and learning about their needs. Then you can use that data to reach future buyers. It’s the best sales strategy you can have when it comes to marketing.
My friend Jefferey Hayzlett once told me a story about when he was the Chief Marketing Officer at a rather well-known photography company. He was tasked to break ground on a new product offering that would expand the company’s portfolio. The very first move he made was to create a new title that had never existed before – CLO. This person’s objective was to be the ‘feet on the street’, who would approach the public and listen to their opinions about the newly launched product. CLO, as it turns out, was an acronym for Chief Listening Officer. Very clever.
Today’s version of this “CLO” is called Persona Development. I call it Buyer Identification. Buyer Identification is a process where you interview your existing clientele to gain insights into their demographics, triggers, requirements, sources, and expectations. If done right, there are mountains of information to analyze and learn from. The data gathered will fall into 3 main categories:
The Things That You Know
There will be details gleaned that you already know about. Things that probably made you successful in the first place. Don’t let that disappoint you. There is good news. It just means you’ll be confirmed on some of your business practices and that should make you feel good about yourself.
The Things That You Don’t Know
This is eye-opening data around client concerns that you had no idea existed. In every Persona Development project I do, there are details that become diamonds of opportunity. I have a client that spent a lot of money and attention on their social media. However, the data that came back revealed that 100% of their clients got their information from search engines, not social media. This discovery told them that they were going to the wrong places to meet potential buyers. So they moved their attention toward search engine marketing.
The Things You Don’t Want To Admit
There will be instances where the data is bleak or requires a change in the business. I have a client whose growth strategy is to lure salespeople from other companies. The idea is that these salespeople will bring their customers with them. In return, my client attracts them with the promise of having a better work-life. With that in mind, they asked me to create an online advertising campaign to target more salespeople. This required me to interview the competition to figure out what would tempt a salesperson to change their job. Unfortunately, the analysis of their competitors showed that their ‘better work-life’ wasn’t always better. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, they were a 5. This meant that they had to consider improving their benefits.
Getting to know your customers is by far the most effective and overlooked sales strategy a business could have. Without it, you are risking yourself longer sales cycles and the wasted time of deals that never close. Consider a Buyer Identification Workshop for your business.
To get started, download my Buyer Familiarity Checklist to know if you are ready to get to know your customers.
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