Marketing Information

Ready, Aim, Fire...Oops...Wheres The Target?

Everywhere you go on the Internet you find the words, "target market." What do they mean? What does it have to do with you? Well it has everything to do with your success in sales.

Let me give you an example. A few weeks ago an online entrepreneur asked me to review a direct sales presentation for him. Let's call him "Joe". His product and service is excellent. Top quality and performance, excellent customer service and support. The product will produce desired results for any business advertising online.

In this particular case, Joe's potential customer is in the furniture manufacturing business. The company owns a small chain of outlet stores and advertises on the Internet. Basically, an excellent candidate for Joe's offer.

Well, Joe sent me his package. In the offline world, it would have required UPS to deliver it with a hand truck! Now, that is an overstatement, but it consisted of a three-page cover letter, with four separate attachments and a CD presentation that he was going to mail as a follow-up.

Here's my response to Joe:

"What a tremendous amount of work you have put into this presentation.

Having been on the receiving end of proposals such as this, I must tell you that it would be the recipient of the "delete" key. Why? Too much to wade through. Too much for me to absorb. Too much for me to do. Nothing to compel me to read on.

Having said that, let's pretend for a moment that I am Mr. Jones.

  • Where are the needs development questions?

  • What tells me that you have done your homework and know about my industry?

  • What are my problems and how will you solve them?

  • How much does the average household spend on furnishings annually? (In the US it's about $1,000)

  • How are you going to help me capture a share of those dollars?

  • How has the economy affected my business?

  • What qualities separate my business from my competition?

  • How extensive and how important are brand names to my customers?

  • What are my specialty areas?

  • What market do I target and why?

  • Why do my customers keep coming back to my stores?

  • What are some of the hot buttons or copy points that you might use to target Mr. Jones?

  • What is his business terminology?

    Joe, here are two sites that can help you develop a more "targeted" approach to Mr. Jones:

    I hope this helps, Joe. Decision makers are bombarded daily and we must be ever diligent that we are focusing in on "WIIFM" (What's In It For Me)".

    Now, what was the message to Joe? Do Your Homework. Mr. Jones doesn't give a rip about your product unless it can fulfill his needs, but first you have to know what those needs are.

    Joe's presentation, which probably took him hours if not days to prepare, was a classic case of overkill. The two sites referred to would have given Joe all the ammunition he needed to prepare an effective presentation and in just a few short minutes.

    By the way, the research tools that I use to study markets, trends, and individual sites are listed below. Both are free to download and are priceless.

    Ready, Aim ... Get Ready To Fire!

    About The Author

    Patty Baldwin is a former Better Business Bureau executive and the owner of several online businesses. A successful net marketer, she invites you to visit any one of her sites at:

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