Who Do You Serve?

Bob Dylan had a song on his 1979 Album “Slow Train Coming”, called “Gotta Serve Somebody”. Truer words were never written. As business owners, we are all serving somebody, even if we are the top dog in the company.

Indeed, we all have to serve somebody regardless of our stature or place in society. Unfortunately, many business owners have no idea who they serve, where to find them, or how to communicate with them. They don’t really know how to identify their ideal client. They only know they want more leads and more clients with no idea of exactly who they are targeting. As a result, they target everyone who is upright and breathing. This is the wrong way to market your business and will lead to frustration, confusion in the marketplace, and decreased revenue.

These same business owners spend too much of their time going to networking meetings where they are surrounded by people who do the same thing they do. Their ideal client may be there, but their competition is there also. So here is the scenario. You are at a networking function meeting people, exchanging business cards, having conversations about what you do and learning what the other person does. And there is someone right behind you who will be talking to the same person and telling the person what they do which is the same as what you do. Whew! Did you get all that? Does this sound like a good use of your time? I am hoping your answer is a resounding NO!

As a side note, everything I am referring to in this article applies whether you are a brick and mortar store or a professional service provider.

First, let’s define an ideal client. An ideal client is someone who fits your business perfectly. They have a specific problem and you have the right solution to that problem. These are clients or customers that get you. They understand exactly what you do, how you can help them, and what you are offering. They understand the benefit of working with you and the transition that will take place as a result of giving you money in exchange for your product or service. They respect you, and they respect what you do.

I see so many business owners trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They spend their time trying to talk someone into working with them even though they know it’s probably not a good fit. They are constantly chasing others to get them to give them money in exchange for their product or services. This never works. And if you do happen to get a client using these tactics, I can almost 100% assure you, they are not a good fit and they will make your life miserable.

Here are a few alternatives to the scenarios I mentioned above:

1. Learn how to attract your ideal client rather than chase them.

2. Gather your ideal clients in a room where you can share your knowledge, provide value, and sell to them.

3. DO NOT do the same marketing as everyone else.

Let’s take a quick look at the first one. How do you attract your ideal client versus chasing them? The thing is to NOT put yourself in a position where you are in a room full of people who do what you do. The next thing is to use direct response marketing principles in your business. Techopedia defines direct response marketing as, “a type of marketing that elicits a specific, measured response resulting from a consumer’s direct response to a marketer. Direct response marketing facilitates the delivery of a call to action and outcome via direct online interaction for immediate feedback and response.” One example of this is when you go to a website and enter your email address to download a free report, ebook, etc.
Then there is a follow-up sequence after you download their information.

The second way to find your ideal clients is delivering webinars and speaking. There is nothing better than filling a room with your ideal clients and sharing your knowledge. This really puts you in attraction mode. You automatically become the trusted authority on the topic. If you are new to speaking, join a local Toastmasters group to improve your speaking skills. Put together your presentation and find a room to hold your event. Once you have your speaking skills in order and know how to script a great speech, you will be ready to deliver a webinar. You can use software such as Zoom to deliver the webinar.

The third thing is to NOT do the same marketing as everyone else. What do most businesses do? They print a few business cards, maybe run an ad in the local paper, build a website, post on Facebook, etc. (And most of the time they are doing all of these things wrong.) And as I mentioned earlier, they show up in the wrong places. You have to show up different to your marketplace. Maybe consider doing a direct mail campaign, create a valuable free report they can download and get them into an automated sequence so you can continue to follow-up with them and keep that top of mind presence. Instead of a business card, have a nice lead generation website that allows you to offer them something of value in exchange for their email address when you are at a networking function. While everyone else is handing out business cards, which will probably see the bottom of a trash can before days end, you are immediately delivering value.

Find your ideal client, deliver the right message in the right place, and show up differently. All these things will help your ideal client understand exactly what you do and if you are a good fit to provide the solution they are seeking.