Getting clear on what you do, and marketing that message with precision, is the key to modern business survival.
By Scott Carley
Who are you really?
That sounds like a deep philosophical question, and it is. But if you’re a business owner or salesperson, it’s a question you need to answer, because your survival is at stake.
Branding is important in any economy, but when times are tough you have to be particularly clear about what you do, and for whom. You don’t have the luxury of keeping pace with the crowd. You need to give prospects a crystal-clear mental image of how you can help them. You need to find your niche.
Finding Your Niche
Your niche consists of two elements:
“But if I narrow my prospects, won’t I lose business?” No! You’ll gain business because you’re focusing all your marketing effort toward only those people who need your specific products or services, instead of throwing a diluted message out to a broad generic market.
Getting specific about your niche also allows you to hone your message to razor sharpness, including a 60-second “elevator speech” that will make listeners say, “Wow, you read my mind! You offer exactly what I need!”
Networking your niche
There's a reason chamber events, mixers, and referral networking groups seem to be everywhere in the business world. Word-of-mouth referral networking is how people prefer to do business. Think about it -- when you need a product or service right away, would you rather launch a lengthy search or simply call a pal and say, "Who do you know who can help me?"
How do you differentiate yourself from all the other suits and ties in a packed banquet hall? How do you arrest someone's attention long enough to get them to really listen?
That's where your niche comes in. You're not like the others. You don't have a generic "We're a full-service solutions provider for all types of business" ramble; you have a precise, targeted elevator speech because you know your niche. I don't go around saying "I'm a business coach," although that's certainly true. I say "I show sales teams and business owners how to make more money by marketing themselves to a precise target audience." And because I know exactly who my best prospects are, I can focus on a few targeted conversations instead of passing cards around to anyone and everyone.
It takes time, effort, and education to learn how to work your niche (professional guidance can be a great help), but once you get there you’ll wonder how you ever managed otherwise. As I like to tell my students, "It's not Get Rich Quick -- it's a Get Rich Niche."
What's your Get Rich Niche?
SCOTT CARLEY is an internationally known business coach specializing in word-of-mouth referral networking and corporate time management courses. For one-on-one or group coaching sessions, visit www.GrowthDynamic.org online.
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