SUPERMAN IS A NICHE MARKETER

superman
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

These are the main attributes of The Man of Steel per his theme song.

For what purpose are these skills best applied? What problem does Superman solve?

Fighting crime of course, and that’s what Superman does. And he specializes in this one thing!

Not that he can’t do other things.

He can do anything and everything, but he is also super-smart and realizes that fighting crime is the highest and best use of his super powers.

This is what he does better than anyone else.

He chooses not to do bookkeeping, accounting, catering or any other trade. He is a specialist with super powers and he knows the market niche that he serves best.

Do you? What are your super powers and what market niche do you serve best?

If niche marketing serves Superman, so let it serve me.

BIG BUSINESS, BIG BUCKS, BAD FOR UNDERDOGS

 

setting-appts-linkedin

Most of us have learned about marketing, advertising and sales by watching TV where we witnessed big business, spending big bucks to reach big audiences.

Some of us went further and studied how to spend big bucks to reach big audiences so we could be hired by big business.

And now, we are running small and or micro businesses and do not have the big bucks to spend.

Welcome fellow underdog.  Without the big bucks to spend, what can and will we do?

Stop focusing on quantity and start focusing on quality; quality connections, quality Linkedin connections and then meeting these connections for coffee.

As an underdog business owner, it is the people we meet who will hire us, endorse us and refer us.  The people we meet, P2P, are the people who will grow our business.

What can we do?  We can meet at least one new person every day, P2P — person to person.  And build a list (also known as a network) of quality connections.

A STRANGER WANTS ME TO MAKE A CHANGE

STRANGER
I agreed to meet Noname for coffee. It was the first time we had ever met.

We chatted amicably for a couple of minutes and then he started to tell me about this super-duper widget that he was selling.

It was truly remarkable. It cured almost everything that affects everybody.

And the manufacturer donates proceeds to charity and has been in business since FDR and award winning and some celebrity and so on.

Then he started to talk about me and the problems that he was sure I had and how this stuff would . .. . I forget all the wonderful results because . . . .

This was the very first time we had ever met! Who is this person? I was so doubtful that I was not interested in all the brilliant verbiage.

My mother, like yours I’m sure, told you not to talk to strangers; and certainly not buy anything from them!

First meetings are priceless events. They should be for building a relationship and NOT for pitching a sale.

Even if the product is exactly what I want or need, chances are great that I KNOW someone else, who can sell me the same thing.

And Noname? He’s a stranger and I’m not that keen on change anyway.

 

TWO BUSINESS-CRITICAL QUESTIONS

2 columns
A successful business is a solution looking for a problem to solve.

Your customers most likely all bought your product or hired you because you fixed an issue they were having.

(Yes, some businesses cause something new to be built or a goal to be achieved, but most sales are made because the buyer needs something to be made better, now.)

Thus the two business critical questions are

[1] What is the problem you solve? And

[2] Who exactly has this problem?

The answers to these 2 questions are the fundamental parameters of your niche markets. Your very best top quality prospect is a person who has the problem you can solve.

Who are these people and how can you find them are the cornerstones to the concept of prospecting.

Before you launch your business or a new product, spend some time on these two questions. Because sales are much more easily made when speaking to people who have the problem you can solve.

WHY MOST ELEVATOR PITCHES SUCK

boredom1

Elevator pitches suck because we were trained to be obedient and answer questions when and as they are asked.

The question that triggers our elevator pitch is, “What do you do?”

And most of us, most always, answer the question as we were taught. We tell people in agonizingly boring detail what we do.

This is why our elevator pitches suck.

The interesting part about what we do is either the problem that we solve or the glorious result we produce. But that wasn’t the question!

Well, from now on, think like a politician and answer the question that you feel like answering. Once you start being interesting, the person who asked will forget the question anyway.

To improve your elevator pitch, ignore the question. Break free of your obedience-school training to answer the question asked and tell us something really interesting.

One alternative is to tell a story about a recent or most interesting client. What issue did they have and what was the result.

SALES ERROR DELAYED MARY POPPINS 18 YEARS

mary poppins
P.L. Travers wrote Mary Poppins. And Walt Disney made the movie, eventually.

Prior to making the movie, Disney pursued P.L. for 18 years, asking permission to convert her books into a movie. She eventually relented and the movie, Saving Mr. Banks is the story of the clash of wills between these two.

The reason why this took 18 years was almost unavoidable back then and it is a mistake that should not occur today.

The mistake was that Disney did not know anything about P.L. Travers, including that this was a pen name. Her real name was Helen Goff. She was the daughter of Travers Goff, the inspiration behind her pen name.

Finally in 1961, P.L. comes to California and begins to interact with the Disney creative team. She becomes exasperated, abruptly leaves and returns home to London. In reviewing the receipts for the various things Disney paid for, Walt discovers her real name and asks, “Have I been talking to the wrong person?”

He then flies to London and for the first time converses not with P.L Travers, but with Helen Goff. It is a completely different kind of conversation. He finally conversed on her level, in her terms and not on his.

Back then it is understandable that Disney knew very little about Helen Goff and P.L. Travers. And Disney could be excused for thinking that his reputation and track record would be all that any writer could possible want.

But in today’s internet dominated world, the mistake of not knowing your prospect should not happen.

Today the internet provides the information that was not available to Disney then. Today, if and when we know the customer with whom we really and truly would like to do business — you know the kind that we might continually pursue for 18 years (or months, or days) — we would be very well served to take the time to know the person we are about to meet and take some time in getting to know them.

YOU DO TOO MUCH

jack-of-all
You do too much and it is preventing customers from hiring you and perhaps even meeting you.

The fallacy we often heard is that more lines in the water catch more fish and so if we say we do many things, it’s as if we have many lines in the water.

The analogy is incomplete. What’s missing is the bait at the end of those lines. What works is the right bait in front of the right customer at the right time.

The fish bait is akin to the service or product that a business offers.

Consider this scenario, you have a brain tumor and you are getting recommendations and researching doctors.

Among the many choices, here are two

Doctor AAA (anything, anybody, anytime)

10 years practicing medicine, my specialties are brain surgery, podiatry, acupuncture, radiology and nutrition.

Doctor B (Brain Surgery)

10 years practicing brain surgery. This is my specialty. It’s the only medicine I practice. I have performed over 500 brain surgeries and every patient is doing well.

There might be other reasons to consider when making this decision. But when it comes to an important matter, do you want a specialist or a generalist?

Most new and small businesses need to be special, super-specific and very good at what they do.

Jacks of all trades are everywhere. Top talent exists only at the top of the pyramid. Resist the temptation to do too much, instead, do one thing; one thing incredibly well. Call it your super-power.

 

 

What do you want LinkedIn to do for you? [part 1 of 3]

Linkedin word cloud

The highest and best use of Linkedin is as a proactive B2B prospecting tool.

I can defend this statement with evidence that if used smartly, Linkedin, in and of itself can provide everything necessary to meet for coffee with 2 out of every 3 people you select.

I’m pretty sure Linkedin is great at other tasks, but in the world of new business prospecting, meeting AT LEAST 66% of the people you target is extraordinary. Whatever else you might be using Linkedin for, you might want to compare it to its value as a producer of face to face meetings with new potential customers.

Successful prospecting with Linkedin is built on an understanding of these 4 concepts:

[1] An interesting and non-threatening profile

[2] A prospect-friendly approach to your requests to connect and meet for coffee.

[3] Knowing how to use the Linkedin search engine

[4] Facilitating a great 1st meeting

An interesting and non-threatening profile is one that is very non-salesy. People on Linkedin are interested in meeting people, interesting people, not sales people.

Stranger is the word to describe someone we have not yet met. And your mother, like mine told us not to talk to strangers. And the first time we are meeting with a new prospect, we are strangers. Before any realistic sales-purchase conversation can or should take place is after we have passed our mother’s warnings.

The 1st meeting is hugely important in building rapport and trust. This meeting needs to be facilitated smoothly. He who asked for the meeting is in charge of the meeting and has the responsibility of making our guest feel welcome. We want them to be pleased that they came and we want them to leave wishing us well.

The goal of the 1st meeting with any new prospect is “goodwill”. We want everyone we meet to think well of us and be open to meeting us again and again. Everyone we meet is now a part of our network and its our network from which everything happens.

 

PROSPECTORS QUIZ #1

Quiz

10 questions about prospecting for new business in today’s internet world. Test yourself.

[1] LinkedIn is a __________________.

[a] waste of time

[b] networking event

 

[2] Networking and Prospecting have nothing to do with _________.

[a] people

[b] selling

 

[3] Prospectors are _____________ & _______________.

[a] obnoxious & pushy

[b] courteous & curious

 

[4] LinkedIn converts _________ into _________

[a] Likes, friends

[b] Strangers, Acquaintances

 

[5] People have concerns about strangers thanks to what?

[a] the media

[b] their mom

 

[6] Which is more important “satisfied customers” or “a community that trusts us”?

[a] either one, but not the other and definitely not both

[b] both: it’s a tie

 

[7] When would be a good time for me to ask you to change your mind?

[a] the very first time we meet

[b] any time, other than the first time we meet

 

[8] What are the 3 steps in the LinkedIn 3 Step prospecting process?

[a] boast – brag – ask

[b] Invite – Thank – Schedule

 

[9] The chances of anyone needing your product or service right now are one in ______.

[a] a million

[b] 20

 

[10] When we meet someone for the first time, how long should this 1st meeting last?

[a] all day

[b] not more than 1 hour

 

This quiz relates to the online tutorial SETTING APPOINTMENTS WITH LINKEDIN, which is available at www.underdog704.com. Whether you have or have not experienced the tutorial, how do you think you fared?

The correct answer for every question is [b]. The tutorial lays out a strategy to being a professional and graceful prospector. And knowing these 10 answers brings you a little closer to being one than millions of others pretending to be so.

A professional prospector knows how to use Linkedin and sets appointments with 2 out of every 3 prospects they so choose.  Click here for the tutorial.

 

CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT IS A THREE STAGE PROCESS

3 stages

[1] PROSPECTING [2] SELLING and [3] SERVICING.

[1] Identify who our customers might be and meet them and move them (or move with them) as they come to trust us to help them solve something.

[2] When the timing is right, and we are liked and trusted, we can have honest and open discourse; arriving at a mutually acceptable decision that includes our providing a solution, for which they happily pay us.

[3] And finally, now that they are a customer, we help them to use our solution to its fullest capacity and make sure they are thrilled with their decision to have chosen us.

Each stage is a brilliant experience that should be enjoyed and savored, not rushed. And if each stage is managed well, our customer will be a raving fan, happy to endorse, refer and recommend.

There are 3 stages in the customer development process.