Whom do you serve?
Who is your best customer?
Who is the one for whom you can do something extraordinary?
This idea was inspired by Seth Godin who wrote …
Seth writes about making an improvement to a product. I’m suggesting we improve our customer selection. To whom exactly can we be of extraordinary help?
Think small. Think narrow. Be specific and for each prospect carefully craft a customer acquisition strategy. Plan several visits and be prepared for each. Speak about challenges and how they arose and how wonderful things might be if fixed.
Seth writes that there is safety in compromise and similarly there is safety in a large market. When we contact new prospects and they do not immediately buy, we take comfort in the next prospect. We know that there are many more we can contact. We do not make a customer-focused effort with each one because we are already moving towards the next one.
Extraordinary is not ordinary. If you want your prospects to think that you are extraordinary, you might begin by thinking that they are.
Everyone is the wrong answer.
When asked or when thinking about the question, Who are your customers? Everyone is wrong. Everyone means everybody, every breathing soul, everywhere. English translates the Spanish todo el mundo to everybody, but literally it means “all the world”. All the world is too big and too diverse.  Everyone in your town is wrong. How many people between the ages of 1 and 100 are actually in your town? And if they all wanted your help tomorrow, how many could you serve? Not all. Every business has a capacity. There is only so much we can do and we cannot serve everyone in town.
But now we’re on the path towards a right answer. We just narrowed the answer by billions. And we can continue to add parameters to further simplify and better identify who are customers might be. Such as, gender, age, occupation, marital status, parental status, self-employed and many more.
But what if you started from the other perspective? Start with one: one of your most favorite customers. Who is this person? Can you find another like them? You can.
Have you ever seen these phrases?
“People similar to . . .”
“People also viewed”
They’re on Linkedin. They can lead you to another one, and one is better than everyone.
In a perfect world, with no hurdles or challenges, if you could snap your fingers and presto, your week would have — how many — meetings with prospects ready and waiting for you?
The majority of the people in my workshops do not know this answer, because, they spend so much time trying to set appointments that their real job is “appointment seeker”, not sales person. And their results are so poor.
A great week is one in which they are able to set enough appointments. This is the first metric in the pursuit of business — the appointment per contact, or per call made.
What if there was a method that would give you 1 out of every 2 or 2 out of every 3 or 8 out of every 10?What if your appointments were a given?
Linkedin, used gracefully, with a non-threatening profile can produce appointments with up to 80% of the people we choose.
When we first meet, your passion does not persuade. Your belief might, but your passion usually just gets in the way. It can and does make people who don’t know you uncomfortable.
Other than writing in your resume or LinkedIn profile that you are passionate, how do you actually reveal your passion?
Using every superlative in the thesaurus has no positive impact upon people who do not know you. And once you get to know someone, don’t you actually stop with the superlatives?
On the other hand, if your passion drives you to act: to get out and do something rather than just yack about your super-awesome-what-ever-ness, well then, your passion is a good and valuable thing.
The distinction is between you and them. Yes, let your passion drive you to action, but park it when talking to prospects. It makes us think you’re strange, different, weird, and not someone we might like to do business with.
Choose your connections, posts and updates with purpose. Know with whom you are connecting and to whom you are communicating..
Have a reason other than trying to sell something. (Even if your reason is to sell something, do NOT sell until you have connected with them and have had an initial meeting or conversation.)
Quality applies to connecting etiquette as well. Be personal with your invitation. Have a reason based on their profile to connect.
As for updates, share something of quality. Resist the temptation that more is better.
What’s better is … better.
One quality connection with whom you meet or speak is of more value than 10 randomly added connections with whom you never interact again.
Grow your network one quality connection at a time.
Goodwill is people in your neighborhood or market thinking well of you.
Whether they are customers, clients or not. Every person you meet is an asset to your business. And meeting these people is critical.
Our business-building, customer-acquiring strategy begins with goodwill. And it happens one person at a time.
As a micro business owner (underdog), you are your brand. Your smiling face, firm handshake and collaborative demeanor allows you to build a network of acquaintances, fans and allies.
Your network is priceless and might be your 2nd most valuable asset. (You as the key person in your business is #1)
Assuming your business has a marketable value, meeting people is and will be the never ending thing to be done. One new meeting every day will serve you very well. And when the meeting ends, may they be thinking well of you and hoping you will do well.
The book, The Challenger Sale, written by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson was presented by William Jungermann at BIG today.
Two takeaways —  the book was written to garner consulting business for the company for whom the authors work, (a tactic to get the first meeting with a prospect) and  based on William’s abridged presentation the central point is, “The “Challenger” type of sales person is one who is well skilled in reading the behavioral style of their prospects and interacting accordingly.” (William suggested the word “chameleon”.)
To elaborate slightly, it is important for the sales person to learn what the prospect wants, and to discover this desire and speak to that desire in the manner that the prospect wants to receive it. It’s not just what is to be sold, but how it is sold. (or more correctly, how it is bought.)
William was excellent in his presentation. And his personal sales training and experience enhanced the presentation to define well the book’s concept. If you are in need of a speaker to talk about selling, you will be pleased with this presentation he shared today. It’s insightful and thought provoking.
It inspired me to think of the following topics for further thought and possible future writing: Organizational capability; behind the brand  Sales is helping others to make decisions  The “complex” decision  Why do your customers buy?  The decision making scale
Thank you William. And thank you Terry Cox for organizing BIG and for this enlightening session and concept.
A friend of mine, Richard Marcus, is a sales trainer who got my attention recently. He said that “back in the day” sales people spent 80% of their time presenting and closing. And today, successful sales people spend 80% of their time building rapport and building trust.
“Back in the day” is prior to 2008. Anything written about business before that date may very well be obsolete. I would agree. And Richard’s observation I think is perfectly true.
If you’re like me and Richard, customers are the result of our meeting with people and building some rapport and trust.