Risk & Business Magazine Hardenbergh Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 6

ATTRACTING IDEAL CUSTOMERS 3 KEYS TO ATTRACTING YOUR MOST IDEAL CUSTOMERS + CLIENTS BY: JOE POLISH FOUNDER, GENIUS NETWORK AND PIRANHA MARKETING, CO-FOUNDER OF 10 XTALK AND I LOVE MARKETING W hen most people think of marketing, they copy what everyone else is doing because they think that’s what works. Far too many people narrowly focus on their own industry, imitate their competitors, and hope for the best without realizing that most of their competitors don’t know any more about marketing than they do. The problem is that most businesses waste their time and energy trying to reach everyone rather than targeting the best possible prospects for their business. Peter Drucker, one of the most highly influential authors and management consultants of the last century, said, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results—all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” If you accept Peter Drucker’s definition of business, you would think there would be a huge emphasis on marketing and innovation. Unfortunately, too many people confuse sales with marketing. • Selling is what you do when you’re on the phone or in front of a prospect. • Marketing is what you do get someone on the phone or face-to-face with you, properly positioned, so that by the time you talk to them, they’re 6 pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre- qualified, and pre-disposed to do business with you. Note: neither sales nor marketing has any relationship to the actual quality of your product or service. You want to invest your time and effort attracting and selling to the best prospects. You could be the greatest salesperson in the world, but you’re not going to make much money selling lifeboats to people in a desert. Yet, even if you’re the worst salesperson in the world, you could easily sell lifeboats to people on a sinking ocean liner—because these prospects would be pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre- qualified, and pre-disposed to buy your product. Your marketing efforts should be devoted to finding these types of ideal prospects. However, you don’t want to spend your own time looking for these people. You want to structure your marketing so these people come to you. How? 1. UNIQUE SELLING POINT (USP) Your USP is a precise statement of why your company is special. This should answer a prospect’s question, “Why should I do business with you instead of any of your competitors or not do anything at all?” Think of every successful company that offers a clearly defined USP, such as Federal Express’s “When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight.” Apple’s USP for its first iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket.” The USP gives a clear, distinct description of what that company has to offer. And when customers need what a company’s USP offers, they think of doing business with no one else. Without a clear, distinct USP, most businesses simply say, “Because I have a great price,” or “Because I’ve been in business for 20 years.” The reason you can’t make any of these claims is because that’s exactly what everyone else is saying. 2. FOCUSING ON CLEAR BENEFITS This is the secret to a powerful USP. First, it’s important to understand the difference between features and benefits. A feature is what the product is or what it does. A benefit is what that product actually does for the person who’s using it. Imagine that the world’s supply of toilet paper suddenly evaporated and you’re the only person left with a closet full of toilet paper. Even if you’re not a smart marketer or a great salesperson, you could easily sell all the toilet paper you own, for hundreds of dollars a roll if you wanted. All you’d have to do is scribble on a cardboard sign “I have toilet paper for sale!” Or put a post on Facebook or upload a video on YouTube, and you would sell out of your supply quickly and easily. That’s the advantage of having supply and demand on your side. If you happen to be in a business where there’s so much demand for what you offer, you don’t have to rely on any marketing