Friday, June 08, 2007

Go to where people are

One of my favorite movies is M. Night Shaymalan’s Unbreakable, staring Bruce Willis.

He plays David Dunn, a mild-mannered security guard who discovers he’s a superhero.

The coolest part of the movie is when he finally comes to terms with his true identity.

“I wasn’t hurt in that car accident,” he admits. “I’ve never been injured.”

“What do I do?”

“Go to where people are,” Samuel Jackson says. “You won’t have to look very long.”

Wow. I get chills every time I watch this scene.

Mainly because Shaymalan is an amazing director.

But also because there’s a powerful marketing lesson to be learned.

Go to where people are.

HERE’S YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Think of yourself as a superhero.

Your expertise is your superpower.

Your branding is your costume.

And there are innocent bystanders (aka, customers) who need saving.

They need you to rescue them.

HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: Figure out where your people are.

Your target market.
Your perfect customers.
Your pool of prospects that need you.

Here’s a list of five questions (and five approaches) to help you find the answer:

1. Where do they hang? Maybe there’s a popular bar, club or coffee shop that draws crowds of your people. Perfect! That’s where you need to be spending time.

YOUR APPROACH: Next time you meet with an existing customer, ask him: “Where do you and your colleagues hang out at lunch or after work?”

YOUR GOAL: create such a presence in this hangout that your customers either think you work there, or that you’re one of them!

2. Where do they meet? As a professional speaker, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s an association for EVERYTHING! Especially your target market.

YOUR APPROACH: go online and do a search for “association,” “your city” and “your target market.” For example, if you sell copiers to lawyers in Milwaukee, type “Milwaukee” “attorney” “association.”

YOUR GOAL: Find out where they meet up, and join up!

3. Who (else) do they see? OK, let’s say you’re a massage therapist who specializes in athletes over 50. Ask yourself, “What other doctors or health professionals do they see?” After all, those are the exact people who will recommend your services!

YOUR APPROACH: consider writing articles, white papers or even books on your area of expertise and giving them away for free. Great way to deliver value.

YOUR GOAL: to develop mutually valuable relationships with these “other people” your customers also see.

4. Who else serves them? You’re not the only person who serves the people you serve. Now, this isn’t about competition; this is about complimenting. For example, when you go to the store to buy a bag of Tostitos for the Superbowl, what else might you buy? Salsa? Beer? Nacho cheese? Right. All of these items are complimentary products.

YOUR APPROACH: ask your customers “WHAT else you buying?” and “WHOM else are you buying from?”

YOUR GOAL: make sure these complimentary salespeople know who you are; and vice versa.

5. Where do they grow? Let’s say your target customers are independent hairstylists in Chicago. Ask yourself, “Where do they study, train and grow?” Research every beauty school, hair styling college and fashion organization in the city! They key is to start early. Do what McDonald’s does: get ‘em while they’re young.

YOUR APPROACH: ask if you can be a guest lecturer. Position yourself as an expert from The Real World who seeks to educate these up-and-comers. Tell them what to expect when they graduate.

YOUR GOAL: to build relationships with the faculty, and more importantly, the students. And eventually when your customers are old enough to be on their own, they’ll perceive you as an expert, a friend and a resource.

CHALLENGE: this week, take time to ask yourself these five questions.

And remember that you truly ARE a superhero.

You have the power to deliver value and save the day!

But ONLY if you go to where people are.

Do you know where to find your pool of customers?

Practice these five approaches and let me know what happens!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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