How to Know the Difference Between Your Customer Base and Your Target Market!
Your “Customer Base” is not the same as your “Target Market”. There is a world of difference and without having a clear understanding of just what that is and how to identify your “target market” you can’t expect to grow your business or perhaps even stay in business for very long. Your target market in not WHERE you sell your products and services, but rather WHO most urgently needs your products and services. It’s critical that you identify this information for the success of your business as quickly as possible.
How to Sell More of Your Products and Services
Much of what I am about to share with you I learned in my early twenties and some from a lovely gentleman and successful marketer Fran Kern. Creating an amazing offer that you customer will love is easy when you break it down into a simple framework and that is what you and I are going to do now. So, when would when would you want to use this type of an offer? Here are a few suggestions for you that I use myself in my own business and yes, you can use this offer structure both online and live. It works regardless if your business is a traditional brick a mortar, you are a public speaker or author, or you conduct your business solely online. The framework for a great offer is always the same and can be used to help you in multiple situations. Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking.
- Improve your conversions from your sales or promotional videos and ads.
- Improve your conversions from your live streams or webinars.
- Improve the effectiveness, quality, and feel of your sales letter so that your customer enjoys listening to your sales pitch instead of it feeling like it’s tacky and insincere.
- Instill greater confidence if you have ever felt uncomfortable closing a sale.
- If you sit down to write sales copy and have no clue how to begin or have mindset issues around asking for a sale
This quite simple yet effective offer framework will empower you to rethink the way you sell your products and services, improve your conversions, and transform making a sale into a more enjoyable process for you and your customers.
As we all know, people like to buy things. A healthy economy is predicated by vast amounts of people buying things. We celebrate the purchase of the latest fashionable whatever, as if it were a legitimate accomplishment of some sort. She with the most exclusive designer label handbags wins. The same is true for “boys and their toys”, except theirs tend to be more expensive. We all like to buy and that is fundamentally in your favor.
The difficulty is that we as entrepreneurs have also been told that “selling” is somehow bad which immediately takes me to one specific question and that is, “If we don’t sell how is anyone else going to buy”? We don’t actively sell because we don’t want to make our customers feel pressured and end up resenting us. You know the old saying, “People love to buy, but they don’t like being sold to”. The truth is, it’s not the selling that is bad, it’s the way you go about doing it that can be disastrous for your band and your bottom line, and we don’t want that. So, I am going to break down this remarkably simple offer framework for you into two main sections, and then we will go deeper into each section with some actionable tools you can use immediately.
How You Think About Selling
Like with everything else, the first place we must start is your mindset. Nothing else you try will be of any value to you if you are not mentally in a good place when it comes to closing a sale and there is definitely a right way and a wrong way of doing this. Selling your products and services should always be about offering your customers your solution to their current problem and exceeding their expectations by providing tremendous value and service. It has nothing to do with cajoling, maneuvering, or trying to manipulate your customer into buying something that they don’t really want or need.
FEAR: Often the biggest personal obstacles we face is our own fear of how our customer will react if we offer our products and services. What if they react negatively? What if they become annoyed or even upset with us because tried hard to close the sale and maybe it was a little too hard? If you have been selling anything for a significant length of time, I am sure you have had the experience of customers who were a bit unkind, I know I have. The internet has added a new element to this situation and if you sell online you need to know that there are people out there who are simply impolite and unkind. And then, there is the concern that the person you are selling to may say no. Guess what? It happens, a lot. In fact, most people will say no to you and that fear of “No” has crippled more than one entrepreneur. So, let’s address each of these concerns you may be facing, and I will share with you what has worked best for me and the entrepreneurs I work with. If you are concerned how your audience will react to you when you try to make a sale, I have an amazingly simple and yet very effective approach.
Rule Number 1:
Do not be a jerk when it comes to selling your products and services.
Likely, if you are not being a self-serving jerk, your customers are most likely not going to become annoyed. If in fact, your approach is friendly, and you are genuinely helping your customers by providing real value before you make the sale then the risk of your audience becoming upset or annoyed with you is at a minimum and you can genuinely and intentionally ignore that little fear monger running around in your head. This little gremlin is stopping you from reaching your fullest potential and success, so it is time to give it the boot!
Now, are you ready to hear something shocking? If you are not doing your best to sell your products or services to the very best of your ability because you are afraid of how your audience may react or if someone might say something unkind about you on the internet, I have a news flash for you. It is like you just sat down and wrote them a check for all your potential profit. Letting the fear that someone may not like you or may say something negative about you on social media keep you from selling to the very best of your ability is just like witting down to your desk and writing out a check to “Fear Gremlin” for the sum of (potential lost profit and success). Are you truly willing to do that? No? Great! Here are some actionable steps you can take.
Step 1: Only Preach to Your Personal Choir.
People who do not enjoy what you do, who do not think the way you think, who don’t like the selling of products or services, who are uncomfortable with new, innovative, or different than what they have been used to in years’ past, are not your choir. Or those people who simply do not currently have a need for your products or services are not your choir and are not going to be excited about you or your offer, no matter what. You can be the friendliest person, provide the most value and exceptional customer service. It still won’t change their mind about you if they don’t believe what you believe. If they don’t think the way you think and value what you value. They are not a part of your personal choir, won’t become your customer, are a waist of your time, effort, resources, and will just consider you annoying.
Instead, your focus should always be on delivering your value and sales presentations to those people who will already be predisposed to want to buy what you are offering. These people are your choir. They think like you think. They value what you value and believe what you believe. So how do you do that?
The most effective way is to speak directly to those who would be in your choir long before they ever see your sales presentation and the most effective way of doing that, is through your messaging. This could be in the copy on your website or in your advertising. It defiantly should be in the value you offer before your sales presentation. You do this by effectively communicating why you do what you do and how what you do or what you offer will positively impact your audience’s lives. People who resonate with your message are your choir, but most importantly, they are your choir by their own choice. People rarely get mad at you for their own decisions.
Let me give you a more personal example. As you know, I like to create and sell tools that empower women entrepreneurs and small business owners to become more successful, financially independent, and enjoy more freedom and options in their personal lives. That is why I do what I do. People who are uncomfortable with a woman being financially independent and autonomous over her own life and personal choices are not going to be great fans of my work. They have some control issues and notions that are going to make them very unhappy with me and what I offer my customers. There are also going to be people out there who are looking for a quick fix or an easy solution to their financial woes. They are not going to be happy with me either because they are not willing to do the work of building a lasting and successful business. Sorry, but no lottery tickets for sale here. These people are defiantly not my choir.
On the other hand, my ideal customer is highly motivated and committed to the process of building a successful and sustainable business that will provide her and her family with the peace of mind of financial security that will in turn, offer her personal freedom and the option of choice in her personal life. She values this so much that she is already in my choir and predisposed to be my customer. If you are only preaching to your own personal choir you will only be selling to those who are already think the way you think, value what you value, and are predisposed to buy what you are offering, provided it is of real value and you are operate with the highest level of excellence.
Step 2: Repel From The Beginning
Those people who are not a part of your choir are best avoided. You can successfully do so in your messaging copy and in your advertising targeting. You are effectively repelling those people who would not want to buy from you. Repelling those who do not like what you do and why you do it. Who do not believe and value what you believe and value. Now, here is the tricky bit. Repelling certain groups of people and not being a jerk isn’t really a great fit, because to repel people often means that you are going to offend someone. Here is the interesting bit. The more you repel those people that you do not want to attract, the more automatically and magnetically you will draw towards you those who you do want to attract. You will create your own personal choir of people who think like you think, believe in why you do what you do, value what you value, and because of it are already predisposed to buy your products and services.
You don’t have to be confrontational about it if you don’t want to. If your messaging is done well enough a good portion of proper repelling will happen automatically. And, if you are like me and prefer to spend your time being kind and friendly, that is a good thing. However, there may be times when a more confrontational approach in your advertising or messaging may be required and that is perfectly fine as well. If your message is polarizing, the people who are in your personal choir and are predisposed to like and buy from you are going to like you even more because you are being clear on who is in your choir and who is not.
So, if I were to be polarizing in my messaging, but do so in a positive way I would state very clearly what I value and why I do what I do. Then I would state who exactly my products and services would benefit and why. Finally, I would underscore my message by identifying our mutual “enemy” and why. I will take a quote from above as an example.
“I like to create and sell tools that empower women entrepreneurs and small business owners to become more successful, financially independent, and enjoy more freedom and options in their personal lives. That is why I do what I do. People who are uncomfortable with a woman being financially independent and autonomous over her own life and personal choices are not going to be great fans of my work. They have some control issues and notions that are going to make them very unhappy with me and what I offer my customers. There are also going to be people out there who are looking for a quick fix or an easy solution to their financial woes. They are not going to be happy with me either because they are not willing to do the work of building a lasting and successful business. Sorry, but no lottery tickets for sale here.”
That paragraph is an example of repelling or polarizing. As you were reading it you most likely had one of two reactions. One, “Yes! That is just how I feel!” or you were annoyed and/or offended. The positive effect of this is that your ideal customer or “choir” is galvanized to you and those who would never be open to buying from you anyway realize it immediately which save you both a lot of time and frustration. It allows you non-buying audience to recognize you are not what they are looking for and continue to move in a different direction that will be of better value to their own needs and wants. While those who do share your values and beliefs are going to feel an even greater bond with you which begins to build trust which makes closing your sale easier.
Step 3: Be Undeniably Honest
Let’s go back a moment and talk about any concerns you might have regarding how your audience might feel about making your sales presentation or pitch. The absolute best way to deal with this fear is to confront it head-on and be very upfront and honest with your potential customers that you are in fact, going to make an offer to them for your products or services. This approach is something that your audience can respect. It has a way of lowing their resistance to you because they are no longer on edge waiting for you to sneak in your pitch. They already know it is coming and you have been upfront and honest about it, so they naturally are a bit more relaxed.
Regardless, if this is a video sales letter on your website, a webinar, a sales presentation in a public or corporate setting, or even in a traditional brick and mortar business, if your customer if fully aware from the onset that you will be making an offer to them everyone is a bit more relaxed because no one is bracing for the sneak attack of the sales pitch. Let me give you an example of what I mean and actually use in my own business.
My father taught me the “Golden Rule” from the time I was quite little, and it has always stuck with me, mainly because it just made sense. It is logical. It is also good business sense. If we treat our customers, the same way we would want to be treated if we were the customer, it naturally makes for a much better customer experience. That includes being upfront and honest about your intention to make an offer to them. Here is an example of what you might say. “In this (video, webinar, presentation, etc.) we are going to talk about (customers need or problem) and how you can learn to (solution to customers need or problem) using our (product or service) and at the end I will tell you how you can get it to (solution to customer problem or need).
This is the equivalent of a shot across the bow, to use a military term. They know your offer is coming. You have been upfront about it and if you still have their attention it is because they are a willing participant. They have given you permission to fully engage them in your presentation by offering tremendous value first before you make your sales offer. If you feel that your product or service is of real value and will meet a specific and urgent need of your customer, the best way to sell more of them is to demonstrate it by actually helping your customer upfront before you make your offer. It makes the selling process so much easier.
Of course, there will naturally be some people who will not stay for the presentation or take you up on your offer. That is all natural and normal. They most likely would not have purchased from you anyway and that is okay. The people who are your target customers will appreciate you even more so because you were upfront and honest with them about your intentions, which cultivate trust. That is something that is rarely seen in the marketplace. Most buyers are immediately resistant, even skeptical to someone making an offer to them. That is why taking this approach by offer real value in advance and being upfront about your intention to make them an offer after you provide them value tends to break down those walls and builds trust. So, I guess my father was right. Treating others, the way you would want to be treated is a like creating a circle of goodwill and that is always good for your business.