“You can have great ideas and come up with great inventions that could improve everyone’s life, and yet starve to death if you don’t know how to sell them.” – Jacque Fresco
I think most people would agree that the execution of an idea trumps the idea itself. There is no limit to the amount of good ideas that are worth millions or billions of dollars. It’s just no one has figured out how to monetize them yet. If you don’t, believe me, I will give you a few examples of ideas I am sure are worth millions if done right: [need a better need a better list] a tasty synthetic chocolate bar (because chocolate will begin to rapidly increase in price), a supermarket that delivers you your groceries, an online dating service that matches you up with your perfect partner, a website that monitors your online reputation and optimizes your online presence, a car engine that effectively and cheaply runs off of water, a 3D printer that can print human organs, a drug that can reverse aging, etc. Many of these multi-million dollar ideas have already been tried and have failed because the entrepreneur didn’t succeed at selling his or her idea.
So how do you sell your product/service/idea? You have to find someone who could use what you are offering and convince them to give you their hard-earned cash for your said benefit. That leaves you with two objectives.
- Find your target market and
- Sell them your goods
Let’s start with how to find your target market. You wouldn’t believe how many people go into business without any idea of who they are trying to sell to. Many just assume that everyone wants what they are offering so everyone is part of their target market. For those who are this naïve let me give you a word of advice: If you are selling to everybody you are selling to nobody. Again, if you are selling to everybody you are selling to nobody.
Not only is it extremely arrogant to assume that everybody on God’s green earth wants what you have but you are going to find it nearly impossible to compete in such a large arena. Everybody wants to sell to everybody, that’s a lot of competition. So unless you are the very best and know how to squash your competition like cockroaches you are going to have to niche down; and I mean really down.
Examples of entrepreneurs making this arrogant and stupid mistake, including myself, can be found here.
So how do you find your target market? If you already have clients this part is easy; find all the similar characteristics of your clients. If you do water damage repair in San Francisco your target market would be (as one of my client’s Michael does) San Francisco home-owners. If you do computer technical support (like I did) your target market would be computer owners facing a computer problem.
Although this is an easy example of how to find your target market you are going to want to dig deeper and find who your best clients are. Your target market usually isn’t your ideal market although your ideal market should be a part of your target market. In Michael’s case, his ideal market isn’t homeowners necessarily but people who rent out a large number of properties or apartments. When these guys have water damage they need it fixed ASAP or they face possible charges from their tenants thus they don’t have time to shop around or bargain. Further, once the job is completed and they have you in their Rolodex guess who they are going to call next time one of their properties has water damage or any other kind of damage? That’s right, they are going to call Michael! And unlike homeowners, who would probably use your service just once and never have to use your service again, property owners are in constant need of repairing their used units.
Let’s look at computer tech support. It would seem our ideal market would be people with computer problems but that isn’t the case. Just because someone has a computer problem doesn’t mean they want to, or can afford to, fork over $100+ dollars to a technician to fix their computer. These people often have friends who can fix their computer for them or would rather work with a shitty computer than spend $100 to have their computer fixed. But who would be more than happy to pay $100 to have their computer fixed? Retired old people. These people were born way before computers came out and naturally have very little technical knowledge of how computers work. It’s also highly likely that nobody they know has much knowledge about computers and technical support. Not only are these people the most in need of this service but they also receive social security and most likely have a decently sized savings account. They have the money and they are completely helpless without a professional’s help. They didn’t just want our service, they NEEDED our service and they had the dollars to pay for it. Retired old folks became our ideal market within our target market.
In both of these cases, the target market differed from the ideal market. We want to target our target market to sell our services but we want to focus and accumulate our ideal market rather than our target market. Now that we have all that out of the way we can begin working out how to sell to our target market and get some cold hard cash into your business.
If you want to setup a free consultation please provide me some basic info we can set up a time to meet and discuss your website in-depth. If you have any questions or comments please email me at Joshua@RuskinConsulting.com. Growing a business is fun and exciting and I’d love to help you.
I wish you the best of luck,