Stop Selling Me Please!!!

Target MarketAre you like so tired of being sold?  I am!!!  It seems every time I turn around, someone is trying to sell me something!  The energy and creativity that goes into “convincing” people to buy, buy, buy, buy… is exhaustive!  I wonder why businesses spend so much time, effort and money trying to sell someone to buy.

Think about the last time you decided you needed or wanted something.  Perhaps you were in the market to purchase a computer, or a mobile device or a new pair of shoes.  Once you made a decision that you “needed” or “wanted” to make that purchase, a mindset drove the process. 
When I am ready to make a purchase, the cost of such purchase will determine how much “research” and “fact finding” I might invest prior to making the purchase.  My higher cost purchases are usually accompanied by a slight level of anxiety, which undoubtedly comes from fear and or doubt on making the best decision. Small purchases are rarely contemplated long enough to analyze.
The one thing in common with both the high cost purchase and the incidental, low cost purchases, is that once the decision was made to make the purchase, no one really needed to sell me, convince me nor cajole me!  Evidence of facts was necessary in the high cost purchase, but evidence and facts are not “sales” pitches!
Growing the customer base of your business, or increasing sales, begins with understanding your target market.  Who is your target market?  Who needs or wants your product?  Who benefits from making the purchase?
Are you spending marketing dollars selling?  How well does your business communicate the benefits and features of the products you offer?  How much time does your business spend evaluating the target market for the products you offer?  Do you know the who, what where and how of your target market?  Are the male or female? How old are they?  Where does your target market live?  Where are they looking for their next purchase?  Are they looking in the weekly circular, the junk mail, Facebook, Google? 
While we help businesses develop and grow a true online presence, the first thing we coach business owners to review is the topic of target market.  Online marketing is advertising, whether it is a website, a Facebook mini website or a mobile site.  The design and message of those sites yield higher profits when the marketing message is actually targeted to a specific group of people.  It absolutely amazes me when I ask a business “Who is your target market?” and the answer I receive is “everyone”. 
The truth is you cannot aim, if you do not have a target.  How can you develop a marketing message, if you don’t truly know your target audience?  The absence of identifying a target market translates to your dollars and resources being wasted.  The lack of a target market translates to marketing without a plan in place.  Most would agree that you would not build a house without a blueprint.  I see so many ads that are selling (yelling), and so often I can’t even figure out what the business is actually offering.
A solid business plan requires the evaluation of identifying the target market.  Spend some time identifying your offer and relating it to your target audience.  Identify “Who”, “What”, “Where”, “How”:
“Who” benefits from what you are offering.
“What” does your target market need?
“Where” does your target market spend live or spend time?
“How” can your product benefit your target market? 
If you are not sure of some of the answers, engage your current audience.  Have some fun.  Ask and poll your existing audience.  Find out what they need or want, and design your message and offer to fill those needs.  The marketing message is then designed around the benefit. 
It is possible that target audiences may vary depending on product offering and benefits.  The more you clearly define the answers to these questions, the more effective the target message.
Next, develop a blueprinted campaign of delivering the message.  A one shot wonder will never serve your business and will just waste your time and money.  Based on your research, choose the best suited mediums to broadcast your message.  It may surprise many businesses to know that the internet is only part of the process.  It truly depends on where your target audience is looking.
Stop selling and start marketing.  Marketing begins with knowing your target audience.  Before you place another ad in the local paper, or create a Facebook ad or pay per click ad, evaluate your product, identify the benefits and speak to your target audience.  Aiming at the appropriate target market helps your business build “like”, “know” and “trust”, and that will lead to building brand, relationships and ultimately referrals.  Wishing you a prosperous and successful 2012   –Many Blessings

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