Conventional wisdom in sales is that everyone is a potential customer. You hustle as much as you can, get in front of as many people as possible, and always be closing (ABC). Following this thinking, your clients decide if they want to work with you and then you feel an obligation to accept them.
Basically, anyone who can draw breath and pay your fee, is your client.
That is a horrible way to run a business.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate to turn away a client, and I really hate turning down money, but as a business owner who knows how to sell, I have limitless opportunity. Here’s why:
I know who my ideal client is.
I know what they read.
I know what groups they belong to.
I know what issues keep them awake at night.
Since I know the answers to these questions I go out and speak to rooms full of people who are ready, willing and able to work with me. I write articles that are published on websites my ideal prospects visit. And I address the issues of greatest concern to my ideal prospects.
Then, when these ideal prospects seek me out, I choose my client.
Here is a transcript for this video:
You chose your clients. That’s right, you get to pick the people with whom you work. Most sales folks, most business leaders, and every professional I know thinks of themselves, I got to go out and I got to find as many people as I possibly can and ask them to work with me because most people are going to say no. This isn’t true. You get to pick exactly who you want to work with, and I’m going to demonstrate how you do that.
The first thing you do is you look at your ideal client, you interview them, and you ask them what groups or associations they belong to. Then you ask them what they read. Do they read trade magazines, or do they read websites, or do they get newsletters? Then the third thing you ask them is what is their biggest concern? When you ask them what their biggest concern is, think about it in layers. What are they concerned about related to the economy? What are they concerned about related to their industry? What are they concerned about related to their company, and what are they concerned about personally? Look for things in there that all people who are like your best client have in common, and then you’ll get some clues as to who they are, where they go, what they read, and what they’re concerned about.
Your goal is to get into a room with people who are just like your ideal client. Imagine being a room where 90% of the people were like your ideal client. Then you demonstrate your value to them. You do this by speaking, or by writing an article that addresses an issue that they’re all worried about, or you do this by solving a problem for one of them and helping that person communicate your value to everyone else. At that point, people come to you instead of you going to them, and then you get to pick your client.
That’s how a sales system truly works. A sales system helps you identify your ideal client and drive those people to you. Then once they come to you, you select who you want to work with. You pick your client.