Welcome back to Part 3 of my blog series on Understanding Your Market.  If you haven’t read Part 1: Defining Your Target Market  or Part 2: Find and Identify Your Target Market yet, I recommend that you read it for a little perspective on my point of view.  However, even if you haven’t read part 1 or 2, I’ve written the series so that each article is independent of the other two.  If you have read my first and/or second piece, you’ll find that most of the material at the beginning of this article is a rehash of those articles and you might want to skip down a little lower to the guts of Part 3.  I needed to include the upper part of in this article as a quick refresher so it might make a little more sense to you, the reader.

Do you have a product or service you’re selling but seem unable to get past the “likes” and “retweets” on social media to actual Sales Conversions?  Or in your diligent email or telemarketing campaign you have “interested” prospects who’ve been on your “list” for months but sales are not converting?

Maybe you’ve been blogging and looking to increase your following with the hopes of monetizing your blog through list building and sales funnels.  Perhaps you’re a writer looking to promote and sell your book with the hopes of becoming a bestselling author topping the charts with not only glowing reviews but actual book sales $$.

It matters not what business you’re in, it’s all the same.  Sales are sales and sales are not necessarily driven by big lists and buckets of followers.   You need a committed customer-base and a consistent audience.  If you’re hoping to make sales conversions from your relationships, it’s critical to find, know, and reach out to your market consistently and engage them where they’re at.

With respect to Sales, size does not matter.

Email campaigns, direct marketing campaigns, media blitzes, print advertising or social media campaigns are a waste of resources if you don’t have a good handle on who it is that’s most influenced by what you’re offering.

relationship-graphIf you don’t understand your market and you’re not connecting effectively with them, you’ll never win the conversions you’re hoping for.  Relationships sell.  We know this, this is what’s been drilled into us in every sales and marketing course, seminar, book and workshop.  However, only 1 kind of relationship will manifest sales.  You’ve got to look at moving beyond social and jump into the realm of becoming so compelling that your fan-base or prospect-base is moved to take action and make a purchase.

Your market needs to feel connected to your offering.  It has to matter to them or you’ll be stuck in “making nice” over the phone, Internet, email, and social media channels.  The buying signal comes when your target audience believes that by not purchasing your product or your service, they will be missing out on something that they want or need.  The motivation to click the “buy” button on Amazon to get your book versus simply congratulating you or flipping through the online reviews is imbedded in your prospects conscious and subconscious desires.  Your prospect needs to feel that their lives will be positively impacted through purchasing your book, your product or your service.  If you’re not getting your prospect’s click-through on the Internet or their credit card swipe, you’ve not reaching your Target Market.

You know you’ve done a great job of not only targeting your market, but touching them where they need to be moved when you’ve anticipated their needs and met them in such a way that your offering is irresistible and in return you’re experiencing sales conversions.  You can only anticipate their needs and meet them if you intimately know your market.

blog for someoneThe best print or television ad will fall flat if it misses the mark of engaging the target audience.  Spending millions of dollars on a Super Bowl ad campaign will not make conversions if the message is off-base to the intended prospect.  In a Super Bowl 2014 advertising blast, Goldie Box, a toy marketed to young girls, played a tune in the background during their advertisement with lyrics singing, “lets all build like boys!”  Oops!  (Obviously Goldie Box made a critical error in understanding their Target Market).  Goldie Box insulted and infuriated their own audience.  The advertising campaign was not the success that Goldie Box had hoped for and instead of conversions they received negative write-ups and reviews in the media.  Connecting with your target market and motivating them to purchase is never achieved by offending your audience.  Research.  What is important to your Target Market?  What do they want?  What will inspire them to take action to purchase?

Have a service or a product to offer? How do you move from an offering, a promotion, a book, or a blog… to a sales conversion? The answer: Focused Engagement. Focused Engagement means you’ve done your research and your homework and you not only know who your audience is, you know what they need, want and desire. How do you clearly identify this “mind” of your prospect? Engage with them, connect with them, care about them, listen to them and get to know them. When companies pay attention to current customers as well as prospects, they learn what they need for Focused Engagement.

There are three primary steps to engagement leading to conversions.

1. Define your target market.
2. Find (locate) and identify your target market.
3. Connect with your target market for maximum impact.

In this blog entry I will discuss Part 3: Finding & Identifying Your Target Market.

If you would like to read Part 1: Defining Your Target Market just click here. or Part 2: Find and Identify Your Target Market click here

targeting-your-customersStep 3 to Engaging your Target Market for Sales Conversions: Connect with your target market for maximum impact

After completing the steps in Part 1 and 2 of this series, you should now have a decent idea of what your target market looks like and where to find them.  Connecting with that target market, however, is an entirely different enterprise.  Whether you are a multinational corporation or solopreneur, connecting with your target market is the most challenging of the three engagement steps but also the most rewarding personally and financially.  It’s critical, no matter what size your business, to make every marketing dollar count.  We’ve identified your target market and where to find them, now its time to connect with your customers and build a real relationship.

To connect with your target market, there are 5 keys for MAXIMUM impact.

1. Traditional Marketing

Maybe it doesn’t need to be said or maybe it should be, but traditional marketing approaches still have a positive impact on bringing customers to purchase your products and services.  Many times, in an effort to launch the latest and greatest campaign, we forget the simple things that often have the best results.  Radio, television and print ads still have a place in the marketing tool chest.  Give-aways and promotional products can still work if they’re targeted to your market correctly.  Some of these efforts can be relatively cheap, but if deployed correctly make a huge impact.

The newest addition to traditional marketing is the need for a fully functioning website.  Yes a quality website is a must if you’re a serious player in the marketplace.  In fact according to Forbes Magazine, online sales are now growing at 10 times the rate of brick and mortar stores and that pace is forecast to rise.  Think of your website as an extension of you, your office or store.  People will often visit it first before they even pick up the phone or visit your location.

2. Pick up the Phone or Keyboard

morning businessHere is something novel…  Call or email your client.  Yes you heard me.  Reach out and contact your customers.  Too often we wait for our customers come to us instead of going to them.  Have a conversation on your terms, update your customers on your new offerings.  Purchase leads from a credible company such as SalesGenie (I’m not endorsing this company, just providing an example) and reach out to new clients.  The idea here is to begin building real, genuine, relationships with your customers and the best way to do so is to GO TO them instead of waiting for them to come to you.

Another idea.  Write a letter or postcard, by hand.  Ever receive a personally written card or letter?  Think of how nice it feels.  It’s almost unheard of now which makes it an attention-grabber when you do receive something handwritten.  This is the beauty of the handwritten note, its unique and about as personal as it gets.

3. Get Personal

Create a live event for current and/or potential customers.  Seminars and symposiums offer you an opportunity to meet with clients face to face in a non-threatening environment.  Providing tangible benefits and information for those who attend are a must.  If you don’t go the route of creating a physical event, consider a presentation via Skype or the many other virtual conferencing systems on the market.  The biggest key is providing real benefits for attendees.

4. Empower Your Employees

One of the greatest ways of connecting with your clients is to empower all of your employees to do so.  Many times we think that only the front line and sales force should be contacting customers but consider empowering all of your employees to help out and connect with your customers.  It’s rare and unique for customers to see an empowered organization and it sticks in their mind.  At the same time you empower your employees you demonstrate to your staff that you trust them enough to connect with others.  Empower customer service to not only fix problems but offer solutions or ideas to clients.  In the end the true concept is to become engaged as an entire organization in making your customer’s experience with you an extraordinary one.

5. Go Social

The newest trend is often the murkiest.  The ocean of sopreparing-social-media-plancial media options is daunting and dizzying but, I encourage you to create a social media plan and begin to dip your toe in the water.  One of the biggest keys of social media is creating a plan on how you plan to interact with your customers and how often you plan to do so.  The public will begin to ignore your message if you don’t share things on social media on a consistent basis.  So create a plan and stick to it, even if it’s small.  The second key to social media is create an environment that is interactive with the public.  Setting up automated services to take care of your social media marketing will quickly get you ignored.  Don’t get me wrong, automated services have their place for creating efficiency, however, remember to take the time to be personal from time to time.  Create a two-way flow of communication with the public instead of just broadcasting your message out.  Listen to what people say and interact.

Are we connected? Let’s make that happen! Scroll down to the bottom of this page to make sure we stay in-touch. Better yet, click here to sign up for my free monthly newsletter! I’ll keep you posted on what’s happening, and where I’m speaking next!

To your success!

-Tamara McCleary