Are you talking to the right people? That’s the #1 question I ask when I begin working with new clients.
Let me share something with you that may shock you.
You’re not meant to serve everybody…
I know that statement may sound a little harsh to some of you reading this, but it’s a fact.
The cornerstone of any successful business is based on these two things: Knowing who your ideal customer is, and being in connection with them.
The single biggest mistake I find that most creative entrepreneurs make is assuming that everyone is their customer. But I can tell you from personal experience, nothing could be further from the truth.
‘Not everyone will be a match for you’
While I can appreciate you wanting to get your work out to many people, not everyone who approaches you or inquires about your products or services will be a synergetic match for you and what you have to offer.
So from this new level of awareness the real question becomes. “Who is my synergetic match and how can I connect with them?”
I’m asked this question so often that I decided to make it the foundational piece of my Artists Path To Cash program. Once you become clear on “who” they are then you can go about the business of uncovering where they like to “hang out” more effectively.
For example, what conferences, networking meetings, workshops and seminars do they attend? What stores or other brick-and-mortar businesses do they frequent?
In addition, you’ll want to know what online outlets they visit – like names of blogs, websites, and social media sites. What television programs do they watch, radio shows do they listen to, and finally, what print publications do they read?
But discovering who your target audience is and uncovering where they hang out is only one part of the equation. While having this information is vital, it is not enough to increase your sales. To do that you must understand how to engage with them once you become connected. I call it:
Mastering The Art Of Engagement
Engagement is the key element you’ll want to employ on your path towards making a lot more money, as well as deriving a great deal more personal satisfaction from your work. For the remainder of this article I will share with you five key steps for moving closer to connecting with actual buyers in your target market.
1. Trust Your Instincts. I personally believe that you’ll know if someone is a synergetic match for you within the first two to three minutes of a live conversation. Many of my clients have asked me how can they can tell for sure. There are several methods I can recommend, but the number #1 method is very basic and one that we’re all born with: Your Intuition! My mother calls it “horse sense”.
Basically what I tell my clients is: “Either you’ll feel it or you won’t”. Either way, I wouldn’t worry about it. What’s more important is to get into the practice of being in conversation with people you ideally you want to work with. The more you do this, the stronger your instincts will become.
Bottom line: Trust the process
2. Listen More Than You Speak. When you first connect with a prospective customer or client, obviously you’ll want to ask specific questions in order to better address their needs, but make sure to give them plenty of time to respond to your inquiries. The main thing you’re looking for at this stage is: “Can I actually help this person? Can I serve them?”
If you feel strongly that you can, and you’ve gathered enough information to make a fair determination, extend an invitation to work together. If not, remain curious, ask more questions and get clear before moving any further.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions. Often before quoting your rate or fee, many creative entrepreneurs will do so based on what they “feel” the other person can afford. My response to that is simple:
What someone can or cannot afford is not neither mine to decide or determine. Instead, I find it to be better to use my focus and energy on getting clear on whether or not I can actually help the person I’m speaking with.
From this vantage point, my only duty is to provide them with a solution and discuss whatever options I deem necessary to help them make a decision and no more.
Bottom line: People will always find money for what they truly want and, more importantly, what they’re committed to.
4. You Can’t Force Commitment. Again, to further illustrate the point made in the previous tip, either your prospective client will make the decision to achieve the results they seek or they won’t. If they haven’t -or- they’re having challenges making a decision, you can help them quickly by asking one simple question. Ready?
“Are you committed to having the things you say you want (or the experiencing the results you seek)?” And I’ll share a bonus tip with you to take it a step further: After you ask the question, remain silent until they respond.
Your goal is not to pressure them into working with you, but to support them in making a decision about their next step. Remember, until one is committed no decision can be made, period.
5. Avoid Price Haggling. It’s the kiss of death in your business, not to mention your self worth. As a business owner you know what you want and need to earn each and every month to run your business and your life effectively. Aside from that, if you get into price haggling you’ll not only ruin your credibility but over time it will eat away at your self esteem. It’s not worth it.
Another option I highly recommend (and one I teach) is to consider creating what I refer to as an” entry level” product or service that can help your audience get the results they seek as a suitable alternative, or provide them with a referral.
Move away from the temptation to reduce the price of the solution you originally offered at all costs. Instead, explore developing new entry level options.
The bottom line: It’s better to walk away with respect and grace if you find you’re not a fit with a prospective client.
Would you like more cash generation tips like these? Are you ready to leverage your talents in ways that will not only produce a lot more income, but help you create a larger vision for your business? If so, I’d love to help.