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Develop Your Benefit Statement, Enlist a Cadre of Fans to Promote You

Aug 17, 2007
The number one mistake we all make is not fine-tuning our niche tightly enough. It's possible that if there are 100 of your ideal target prospects in your normal marketing area - you will be able to make achieve your goals for a lifetime of endless new business.

By now I hope you have invested time and energy considering precisely what your ideal clients look like.

Before you spend another minute marketing yourself - determine exactly who you want to do business with. Will Rogers is quoted as saying that, "it doesn't matter that you are making good time, when you are heading in the wrong direction" - so check your map (picture of your ideal client type) before you go speeding off toward oblivion.

I can not over emphasis the importance of that process. Nor can I over emphasize the importance of not trying to see beyond who they are, to how much money you can make from them.

The money will take care of itself if you have faith in the process and belief in yourself and the value you bring to the equation.

After we have tightly identified our target audience we still face a huge marketing challenge. How can we quickly articulate the value we offer these targeted folks when we find ourselves in front of one?

If we can not describe our benefit in specific, tangible, and results oriented fashion - we won't be around long enough to prove our uniqueness and value.

What we need is an "elevator" speech - a benefit statement we can blurt out in 15 seconds that will cause them to pause. When they pause we have their attention, which is all we want at this point, so we can take whatever is the next logical step in the process for us.

Your elevator speech can be your most powerful weapon, if you've done your homework - created the clear identity of your target audience so your statement of benefits will resonate with the people who are important to you!

Now your elevator speech will effectively get the attention of the people who are important to you, people you are uniquely positioned to serve. Perhaps more importantly it will just a clearly and quickly disqualifies everyone else.

In fact that is the key of an effective elevator speech. You want to disqualify everyone that does not fit your picture of your ideal client. No more wasted time with one-off clients, Every client leads you to the next and the next and the next, so it is critical that they all are taking you in the right direction.

There are more than enough high probability prospects out there to keep you busy in your niche. Don't waste time and everyone the others.

The more efficient you get at disqualifying the wrong people, the better you will get at uncovering the right ones. Actually they will begin to identify themselves. And those people you meet that you disqualify, well some of them will become your greatest recruiters, going out of their way to tell the people they come across that you specialize in people like them and would it be ok if they gave you their name.

I have never seen anyone who has narrowed their niche too much. If you live in a small town and there are only a handful of people who represent your niche - that will do it. Each one of them knows other people just like them who live 20, 50, or 100 miles away. And we all know the credibility that automatically attaches to us when we are a specialist from afar.

And those people have more friends just like them.

According to the Columbia Books Directory of State and Regional Associations and Professional Societies there are 7,500 local chapters of organizations whose members share common interests.

After you have determined the true nature of the people you want to work with, check it out. You will find an association of them closer to you than you think. And the member just down the street nay hold the key to getting your message in front of them.

Fine tuning your target audience has other marketing benefits as well. For instance you can fine tune the places where you want your marketing message to show up.

For example a trade show appearance where each and every attendee is in your market. Everyone is a prospect and everyone knows you or they know somebody who knows you or they just might be standing beside somebody who knows you.

I know coaches and other professional solution providers who focus 100% of their marketing efforts in this single way. They attend the annual association meeting of their target market. They "work the room" by being at the awards banquet, the breakout sessions, and they practically live in the exhibit hall during the event.

At the end of the week they have all the new prospects they need for the next 12 months - people they had never met before, people who were not ready for their services when they met them at an earlier event, and people they have been given a personal prestige laden introduction to by one of their existing clients.

By the way, how many new clients do you want in the next 12 months? How many prospects does it take to get them, if they are in your target niche and they understand your value proposition?

When creating your elevator talk, your 15 second description of your value proposition, remember it is all about them - what's in it for them?

When you describe your offer speak their language, not yours!

If you are like most emerging professionals I meet, you suffer from the inability to provide your prospects with a description of what you do that offers them tangible, understandable, and specific benefits.

People will not pay money until they understand that what they are receiving is worth more than it costs, unless they are stupid. And you will not be able to make a living selling your services to stupid people.

It is 100% your responsibility to describe your value, answer their "what's in it for me?" questions, whether stated or implied.

To help you do that I offer a formula that has worked for many people like you and me for years. I did not come up with it and neither did anyone who claims to have done so. I first heard it on a very old record by Earl Nightingale - one he created in the '50s, and he gave credit to someone before him.

Use this formula to create as many specific elevator speeches as you need, in order to address the wants and desires of your niche and its subsidiaries. It goes like this.

"You know what it's like when _____________?" "Well, that's what I do."

For example if your target is beauty shop owners, helping them through their many challenges - and you have just me such a person, perhaps at an exhibit of salon equipment at their annual meeting.

You might say, "You know what it's like when you find you are paying more for shampoo than it costs your customers at the mall?" Well, that's what I do. I help salon owners locate sources of products at below wholesale, turning a net cost into a profit center."

The salon owner is interested in that!

No matter what you do and who you do it for, "You know what it's like when _____________?" "Well, that's what I do." Will get their attention.

You can see how this formula can be used for whatever challenge your target audience has. If you have defined your target audience and spent the time to understand their challenges.

Your homework, create elevator speeches - 45 words or less, for every situation you are likely to come up against, and integrate them into your persona.

When you know them so well that your spouse can wake you up in the middle of the night from a sound sleep, and ask you - "What do you do?" and you answer them before you open your eyes, you're ready for prime time!
About the Author
Wayne Messick is sharing the secrets of his success, well over two decades helping business owners position themselves for the future. Here are his legacy of transferable ideas and strategies.
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