Last week I conducted a poll via LinkedIn to ascertain where most people felt they needed help in their businesses. The choices were:
The area that most people want help with is targeting their ideal clients (55% of the total vote) and so I thought I’d put together a ‘taster’ of how I’m going to be helping people to do just this over the coming months.
I am concentrating on three specific areas within this article;
1. Ensuring you know the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation
(important when considering who you are going to target)
2. Profiling your ideal client
(listing both demographic and psychographic characteristics is vitally important to fully understand the needs and wants of each target market)
3. Creating a message that speaks directly to each target market
(90% of what you say could easily apply to all of your prospects, however it’s the 10% that will make your prospects think ‘This is for me’).
The first thing to do is to get a good idea of what you do well in your business and more importantly, what you do better than anyone else. You can do this through a SWOT analysis. This will reveal the strengths you have as an organisation, as well at the areas you may need to improve upon. Generally, a SWOT will reveal your internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as the external opportunities and threats. This said, if you decide a weakness can be improved upon or even nullified, this then becomes an opportunity.
For example, if one of your weaknesses is that prospects don’t know about you, you might consider hiring a Sales or Marketing professional to start getting the word out to your ideal clients.
Demographics will tell you who your ideal clients are in terms of age, sex, family status, education level, income, occupation etc. Psychographics on the other hand will profile against habits, hobbies, spending habits and values. This is particularly important when you are thinking about what might motivate someone to buy from you or conversely what their objections might be.
Business to business (B2B) profiles will vary slightly, in that the demographics of the business will relate to company size, number of employees, age of business, turnover, location, number of directors, industry type, etc, whilst for the psychographics you would look at behaviours, values, hobbies, impact of decision for the business and for them personally (this will often be different for each person involved in the decision-making process).
Finally, you will want to develop a message that speaks directly to each target market. I have always found that writing copy, whether it be for a sales letter or an advertisement always flows better when you follow the AIDA principal – Attention, Interest, Desire Action.
Getting the attention of your prospect is THE most important element of any sales and marketing piece and should always highlight the biggest benefit you are able to provide your target market.
Once you have their attention, you want to keep them reading. Keep their interest. The best way to do this is to address the motivational factors you identified through the psychographic profiling you did in step 2. For example, the opening paragraph to a sales letter might read “If we could significantly increase engagement of people visiting your company’s website would you be interested?” would make most people want to find out more.
To make the reader want to find out more about your business, include some of the strengths you identified in the first stage, prioritising the things that will benefit the target market. I would always advocate including testimonials in your sales and marketing content wherever possible. This is important because people buy from people like them and so a third-party endorsement works very well when it relates to the needs or wants of the prospect.
The ‘Action’ part of the AIDA formula relates to what it is that your prospect needs to do next – the call to action. Asking the prospect to book an ‘Audit’ or a ‘Discovery Session’ works very well as this is often seen at a ‘no-obligation’ opportunity to speak with someone from your business to learn more about how you could help.
There are several other things you can do to identify and engage with your ideal clients that I haven’t covered here. If you would like to learn more then book a ‘Discovery’ call with me today here, so that I can help you work with people you want to work with.
Paul McCartney is Managing Director of ebusiness coaching 0203 887 1270.