The JF Guest Author Spot
Are you a salesperson, professional or business owner who is trying to market to anyone and everyone in your market that might even remotely have a use or need for your product or service? If you are, why?
Why would you try to do something that most salespeople and professionals can't possibly do well? Marketing on a general scale is expensive-just ask Coke, Microsoft, Old Navy, Sears, State Farm, UBS, or any other major company. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year trying to do what you're trying to do on a shoestring.
But, you say, you're only working in a very limited area? Fine, do you have the budget of a major, local auto dealership, or major, local furniture store, or any other major, local business that is trying to do what you're trying to do?
But, again, you say that you're not marketing to the general consumer but to a specific industry. OK. Do you have the budget your major competitors have to do direct mail, sponsor association events, advertise in industry specific publications, and all the other things your big competitors do?
No, you say, but you don't need the sales volume they do in order to support all of those things or the massive staff they have. Good, now we're getting somewhere.
You don't need the sales volume they need, you don't have the budget they have, and you don't have the staff they have. So, why are you trying to capture the same general market they're trying to capture? You don't need it and you can't afford it.
Rather than spreading your time, effort and marketing budget so thin, why not focus on one or two very specific segments of the market where you can become a real player? Instead of trying to spread your marketing budget over say, 40,000 people, why not focus on a small, but highly focused segment of maybe 5,000 people? Instead of trying to get to 11,000 companies, why not focus on 2,000 companies that fit within your ideal prospect template? Better yet, why not focus on 800 companies that are perfect fits to your ideal prospect? 5,000, 2,000, or 800 is still a large number.
By defining your ideal prospect in as detailed terms as you possibly can and then focusing only on that group, you increase your likelihood of selling each prospect, you are more capable of making inroads with each since you can focus your message to that group specifically, and you maximize your marketing dollars. You also can become the expert to really understand and resolve their issues and problems.
Finding and exploiting one or two niches is a far more effective marketing format for most salespeople, professionals and small businesses. Unless you have the time and money to compete with the big boys, you're better served to do what they can't-concentrate on and become the expert in a highly focused segment of the market.
Why don't more salespeople, professionals and business owners focus on niche markets? Fear. Fear of possibly losing a sale. Fear that the niche may not be big enough to find enough clients to stay in business. Fear that they won't be able to penetrate the niche. Fear that they're leaving money on the table.
These fears are unfounded for the most part. Becoming a niche player does take time. It takes effort. It takes discipline. However, there is a lot of money to be made being a big fish in a very small pond-and no money to be made being a dead fish in a very large lake.
Today's News: Most salespeople are looking to finish the year strongly and over at Salesopedia, Clayton Shold is in conversation with Jim Messenheimer about this very topic.
Clayton says: "I refer to Jim Meisenheimer as a sales expert; he refers to himself as a lifetime student of the selling profession. Which ever way you look at him he is a "player" in the sales game having trained tens of thousands of sales producers and thousands of sales managers. He knows what is required to finish the year strong. This podcast examines if you have what it takes to nail the fourth quarter. Jim walks you through six critical questions which strategically look at your business. He professes if you invest at least one day working through these questions you will not only have a banner last quarter but set the pace for next year." Simply click on the banner to listen in.
Tomorrow: What do doctors and salespeople have in common?
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