“What’s your target market?” The wrong answer to this question is “I offer my services to everyone.” Financial advisors who tell me they help [all] people reach [all] their personal, career or financial goals, do not understand a critical truth about 21st century business: Clients want to work with experts and specialists. If you serve everyone, then you serve no one. Instead, become a specialist.
If I want to hire someone to handle an estate matter, wouldn’t I prefer an “estate planning specialist” to a life insurance salesperson? Both advisors may have the same training and background — they may even have the same experience in estate planning — but one has narrowed his focus and made himself far more appealing.
“But if I limit myself to the senior market,” Tina, a financial advisor, complained when I introduced this concept at a recent seminar, “I’ll turn off some younger people who might have wanted my services!”
Limit your target, not your services. I asked Tina to trust what I was saying and give it a try. A week later she called, excited by her results. “Sandy, I tried what you suggested at a party last week and it worked, but I think it worked backward,” she exclaimed. “I told a guy in his mid-30s that I work with single older women who are worried about having enough money for retirement, and he asked if I would make an exception and help him out, too. And then he hired me!”
“Tina, that isn’t backward,” I told her. “It’s exactly how it’s supposed to work.” Being a specialist not only attracts your ideal client, it actually attracts people from other walks of life. I offer my assistance to professionals who want more clients. But when someone who does not fit my marketing profile asks for my help, I refuse that person only if I don’t want to work with him or her (for whatever reason) or if I think someone else could do a better job.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, carve out a niche and avoid the temptation to stray from it. Then, when someone asks “What do you do?” you won’t be afraid to describe your ideal client.
Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:
Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to www.sandyschussel.com.