Do you know what you really need to know to market your business effectively? If you’re like most women in business, you started your business because you are in love with an idea or a product, and are firmly convinced that everybody else in the world will be just as enamored of the product or service as you are.
After all, most of us believe that we are savvy buyers, and if we like something, then we believe that every other rational person in the world would like it, too.
Not so fast, Oprah. That’s not how it works.
Women desiring more than ‘sales’ status, let’s call them: REALTOR® Entrepreneurs – do have some natural advantages in the real estate business. First of all, real estate is a WOMAN FRIENDLY business. More REALTORS® are women and most of the homes buying decisions are made by women.
Very often, you are excellent at the soft skills such as communication, connection, empathy, and persuasion. Those skills are why many women are so successful in sales positions. But those skills often aren’t enough make a business work in the long term (or even to get it off the ground).
As a marketing coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of women entrepreneurs, and I see the same mistakes being made over and over again by smart capable women who were very successful while working in the corporate world.
So what’s keeping these women from being spectacularly successful as entrepreneurs? As much as I hate to admit it, one very important thing standing between most women business owners and success is the failure to understand who really wants what we’re selling.
While this may come as a shock to some of you ladies, there is no product, service, or idea that has ever been developed for sale that appeals to everybody.
Not everybody wants to be thinner, richer, smarter, blonder, sexier, taller, better hydrated, fresher-smelling, chemically enhanced, or more physically fit than they already are. Not everybody wants a six-step all-natural skin-care regimen, a five-piece poly-cotton wardrobe that can be packed in your handbag for those spontaneous weekend trips to Hawaii or funky costume jewelry ensembles to match every mood and outfit. And not everybody wants to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime-ground-floor opportunities, make money from their down-lines, or cash in on the latest investment trends.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Who really wants what you’ve got, and who is ready, willing and able to pay for it? And finally, who will be thrilled with it?
Once we can identify who is most likely to buy from us, and who is seeking our solution to a specific problem, then all we have to do is let that person know that we exist. This is much easier, much cheaper, and much faster than trying to sell ourselves to someone who just plain isn’t already ready or willing to buy what we’re selling.
Now, that’s actually pretty good news! Because marketing to everybody is time-consuming and expensive, and I have yet to meet a REALTOR® entrepreneur who is willing to spend much more than 15% of their annual revenues on marketing.
Of all the many reasons to focus on a specific target market as your ideal client, the one I like best is that really happy clients become your unpaid marketing department. Seriously, though, by focusing on a certain type of problem/solution for a specific type of client, you enhance your problem-solving skills and get really familiar with that category of issues (and therefore more valuable in the eyes of that client).
Once you are crystal clear about who your clients really are, the key elements of your marketing plan such as your niche, “‘Sound Bites’” or self-introduction, and the tactics you need to use to reach your clients, become so much easier to identify, which in turn helps you determine what you need to do to market yourself effectively. And of course, marketing to a smaller pool of prospects is easier, quicker, and less expensive than marketing to a huge pool.
So unless you have an unlimited marketing budget and nothing but time, money, and energy to spend, my advice as your marketing coach is that you focus on the easiest, quickest, and least expensive sale – your ideal client. That is how you leverage all your natural assets, and make a spectacular success of your business.
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