Many business owners scrape by serving clients who are struggling themselves. In spite of the economy, there are many businesses and people who have been unaffected and are willing to pay for premium-level services and products.
When you’re trapped servicing the middle or low-price market (which, let’s face it) much of the country is these days, you encounter a ton of hairy-pulling, teeth-gnashing concerns like:
1. People don’t buy from you because they can find what you offer at a lower price somewhere else
2. People don’t buy at all because putting up with their problem is easier than forking over money to solve it
3. Your bank account is scarily low leaving you worried, anxious and maybe even a tad desperate.
You get the picture.
So, well-heeled clients sound like the answer to your prayers, right?
The challenge to landing those clients however is (at least) three-fold:
1. You don’t know exactly who is looking for what you have to offer
2. You don’t know how to find or attract them
3. You don’t have anything to offer them that they’re truly interested in
So what’s a busy business owner to do?
There are several ways to overcome these problems.
In dire times businesses try to offer everything to everybody. That’s exactly the wrong strategy. And here’s why. When you market to everyone, your ‘target’ won’t feel special. She won’t believe you have a solution that addresses her needs so she keeps looking until she finds it and it likely won’t be with you.
I recently went into a shoe repair shop (a dying breed, admittedly) but they were selling children’s toys and household tchotchkes that didn’t even look like they belonged in the shop. Perhaps they were selling well, but frankly, I’d be surprised.
The solution is to focus on a small set of specific clients and do everything you can to understand them, their worries, pains, dreams, hopes and desires.
Once you know who they are, ask yourself, how are they spending their time? What do they read, listen to or go to?
Are they attending networking meetings? If so, which ones? Most networking events are populated with people hungry for business not necessarily looking to invest in solutions.
Think about it. When you need to buy something, do you go to an event to buy it? Probably not. You might go and ask people you trust for recommendations, but if you found exactly what you were looking for, I’ll bet you’d be a little bit surprised.
So you have to get visible where your market is looking. That could be online, on their smart phone, in industry-specific or niche publications (although that can be expensive).
If they’re suffering with a big problem, they may have complained to their friends and colleagues. So developing a referral strategy with the right people could be really productive.
Then, once you’ve found them (or they’ve found you), you must make sure your marketing message hits them directly between the eyes. You have to be so clear about how what you’re offering is exactly what they need that they go “Duh! It would be a mistake NOT to invest in that.”
Again, this underscores the importance of knowing who really needs what you have so when they hear our message, they say “S/he’s talking to me!”
I remember participating in an event and one of the attendees remarked “I felt like the speaker was inside my head saying out loud what I had only thought in the privacy of my own brain!” That’s what you’re going for!
So, when you know who they are, what they’re gnashing their teeth over and have a solution aimed directly at pain (or dream) with a message that feels like it’s directly personally to them, the right people will refer you, find you and happily pay you for your expertise!