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The Importance Of Having A Clear Understanding Of Your Ideal Prospect

I’m always going on about how marketing boils down to the 3 Ms.

Market – who you want to target

Message – what you want to say to them

Medium – how you’re going to communicate with them

These 3 Ms will ensure that you give the right messages to the right people in the right way. If you do this you will almost certainly get the results you want.

In this post I’m going to talk about your target audience and the importance of knowing precisely who they are and what their issues are.

The reason for doing this is because when you completely understand your prospects, then you can craft messages that are going to resonate with them completely.

This is of course quite hard work but you can make it easier by using my template. All you have to do is fill in the blanks.

My ideal prospect is called ……..

He or she is———- years old.

His biggest frustrations are —–

His number one concern is ————

If he could wave a magic wand, the following things would happen immediately:

1 ————

2 ————

3 ————

The most important issue that would stop him from hiring someone to solve the problem for him is —————–

To find a solution to this concern of his, he will type ————— into Google

If he is going to do business with me, he will have to believe that I can deliver ————- to him

The key reasons he might not do business with me are ———– and ———–

To convince him that I’m the right person to solve his problem I will offer him the following

1————

2.————

3.————

These are not easy questions but once you’ve found the answers, you will find you’re much better equipped to convert your prospects.

 

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What Keeps Them Awake At Night?

Marketing is all about relevance.
Your messages need to be absolutely relevant to your target audience so that their response is
“this guy’s talking to me. He understands my issues”.
As a marketer this is what you need – to really understand the deep fears and motivations of your prospects, the fears that keep them awake at night and which you have the solution to.

Now to do this you need to have a very clear picture of who your target audience is. This is where creating an avatar of your prospects is important. By this I mean you need to create a very detailed picture of your ideal prospect.
Is this person male or female? How old are they? How much money do they earn? Do they have kids? What sort of house do they live in? What job do they do etc etc. Only once you have this detailed picture can you get inside their heads to know what motivates them and what their deep fears are.
Now, the point here is that the real fear may be different to the more obvious one that immediately springs to mind.

Let’s look at an example.
A business person’s first level fear is that if they don’t get more customers the business will suffer and they may have to lay off employees.
That’s a real fear but the more horrific fear is that he will be letting down (by laying off) people he considers almost like family – a very deep, very powerful fear that cuts beneath the surface issue.
If we can get to the psychological root of the issue, we can position our solution as addressing that fear.

Tapping into that fear is powerful.

So how do we get to the deeper fears that your prospects have?

Start with a fear or a problem your prospect has.

Then ask yourself ”If they don’t solve this problem, what will happen?” or “If this fear comes true, what will happen?”
We now need to dig down one more level.
To do that you need to put yourself in the shoes of the prospect – which is why it’s so important to create the avatar and to have the deep understanding of who your prospects are.
What you come up with now is the deep fear. The real thing they’re scared about.
And it’s almost always an emotion.

So how do we communicate this?

The fact is that we need to handle it very carefully. What you don’t want to do is wade in with something like “I know you’re afraid of letting down the ones you love.”

No, in our communication we want to communicate three points.
1) I understand. One way to do this by telling a story about someone who is very similar to them who has this fear.
2) It’s OK. You’re not alone. Lots of people have this fear.
3) Here’s a solution that’s worked for them, and I think you’ll find it helpful.
Done in this way, the recipients can say to themselves “that’s precisely what I’m thinking/feeling.”

This enables us to enter that conversation that’s already going on in their heads and positions us as the perfect solution to their problems.

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What Do Your Customers Really Want?

Do you know what your customers want?

I mean what they really want.

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When we buy anything, the motivation is always “what’s in it for me”. What will this product do for me?

There are a number of almost primeval buying motivations which drive most of our purchases:

    • Will it make me more money?
    • Will it save me time?
    • Will it make me more beautiful?
    • Will it make me more attractive to the opposite sex?
    • Will it make me feel better?
    • Will it make me healthier?
    • Will it make my life better?

People don’t care about you or your business, they only care about what you can do for them. To be successful you have to appeal to your customers’ self interest.

We don’t buy what we need

When it comes to making buying decisions, in most instances we don’t buy what we need, we buy what we want.

There are so many product categories that prove this – no one needs designer brands, sports cars, ipads etc. There are always cheaper, more functional alternatives but we want these items so we justify to ourselves why we should have them.

What this means is that so many purchases are made not for logical reasons but for emotional ones and you need to recognise this in your marketing. You need to appeal to people’s emotions as opposed to their logic. You always need to explain to your target audience what they will get from your product – how it will make them look, how it will make them feel, what other people will think of them when they see them with it.

Once we’ve set our sights on something we want, we then go about collecting the justification for the more extravagant package.

Last summer I needed to buy a new car. I’m not really interested in cars so it wasn’t anything fancy but the extras made it more desirable and more sexy. Did I need the extras – no not really but I did want them.

So how did I justify it to myself. The blue tooth functionality gave me the ammunition I needed. With blue tooth I could talk legally on the phone while driving. To be honest I do actually need that (having been done for talking on the phone earlier last year) but it made the decision easy for me.

So when you’re creating your sales materials remember people buy what they want and then justify it as a need.

Don’t fill your collateral, especially your website with boring information, especially not boring information about you and your company.

Instead focus on making them want what you sell because if they want it they will find the justification.

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It’s Not Interesting If They’re Not Interested

When making sales calls, too many salespeople launch straight into their sales presentation whether on the phone or in person, before they have any idea what is important, relevant and of interest to their prospects.

This is the result of the salesperson being too focused on their own personal needs and agendas and not being 100% committed to understanding their prospect’s agenda.

Start with Questions

The best way to sell effectively and in less time is to start the “sales conversation” with questions.

“When it comes to selecting a supplier, what is most important to you?”  The way they answer will totally dictate the content of your conversation. One of the standard complaints  about salespeople is “they weren’t interested in my situation, they just wanted to sell to me.”

There are two reasons to ask questions:

  1. To get information
  2. To create rapport.

One of the strongest human needs is to be heard.  I’ve met very few people who don’t appreciate the opportunity to talk about their world, if approached correctly – sincerely. Like they say, you can’t fake sincerity.

The Right Kind of Questions

The questions I’m talking about aren’t small talk, far from it. I’m talking about probing for information that will help you understand the challenges and frustrations that the prospect faces so you can speak to those issues in the context of what you’re selling. In the process of asking questions and paying close attention to the spoken and unspoken replies, you are building rapport. It’s a critical element.

So to quote a founding father of the personal development business, Zig Ziglar, “You can get everything in life you want, if you help others get what they want”.  Start your sales calls by asking more and better questions about what’s interesting to your prospects. Their replies will show you how to manage your sales pitch.