My 18-year-old daughter, Jenna, took the photo below. We were walking out of the dentist office after she had a cleaning. This was our first visit to the dentist since our relocation to St. Louis and this was posted by the door.
At first, to be honest, I was a little turned off, but after a little thought I remembered asking the scheduler when I made the appointment, “Pain is a very real concern for our family. We don’t want to experience any or it will be difficult to get my family to come back!” I was half joking, but not really. The scheduler said, “Nope – we get it – we take care to make sure that doesn’t happen.” So – here was their disclaimer – posted right on the wall for everyone to see. My family is their tribe.
I have mad respect for Seth Godin. He has authored more than 17 books specific to the topic of marketing authentically. For me, he is the pinnacle of achieving the enigma of being a “guru.” [I rarely bequeath that title on ANYONE, but the dude has skillz] He is also the ONLY person Twitter I allow in my mind to have the right to a half-million followers while his only following one account. Typically, I feel there should be a ratio, but with someone who shares poignant thoughts every single time, again – he is the rarity of what I allow in my mind in breaking the rules.
Seth Godin understands what makes people tick and I’ve learned a lot from him. I also owe a debt of gratitude to my friend, Ann Handley, for making so many dreams come true when we had the opportunity to meet him in Boston a few years back. #THANK YOU
It’s a rare occasion to hear Seth talk about “target marketing”. He is passionately attached to the idea that we each must work with those we serve well. Ahh – love it. In financial services, this couldn’t be truer than true.
WHAT IS TARGET MARKETING?
In a nutshell – you are basically interested in a particular group of individuals and you aim your services to those individuals. Seth Godin refers to this often as your “tribe” – and for example, my tribe is Financial Services.
After four years of in-depth work in marketing with financial service professionals, I will tell you I have taken it a step further. I have REALLY defined my tribe to only include those who are willing to market their business in a different way, adopt principles I know work well, and then adapt those principles to their specific audience. I am no longer spending time trying to convert the nonconvertible. They are not part of my tribe.
WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW MY TRIBE?
When I talk to financial service professionals, I ask the same question every single time, “Tell me about your ideal client.” Many cannot define this and it’s imperative to your business’s long-term success that you do. How do you know who you want to work with if you have no idea what they look like?
Be specific too. You are trying to differentiate yourself from others and you need to segment your market. Are they:
- male/female/gender neutral
- affluent – define what affluent means to you
- in a specific cultural group
You don’t have to apologize for your tribe’s traits either. This helps you define who you want to work and will serve well. Remember, tribes are always about service.
WORK WITH THOSE WHO WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
So this is where the differentiation starts kicking in. You want to work with those who actually want to hear from you. You must define your ideal client in order to target them. That’s how it works.
When I hear people say, “That person is so lucky – getting clients is so easy for them” do you know why? They know who they are after. Does your team know the traits of your tribe? I can promise you many in sales do not. They get desperate, start throwing up on people, then fail miserably and are bitter. Then they say they were never meant to work in the #FinServ market – that’s simply not true!
DO YOU NEED HELP DEFINING YOUR TRIBE?
If so – don’t be ashamed; do something about it instead. Reach out to me and let’s talk. I want to see you be successful because your community needs that special gift only you have.
Stop being afflicted by Shiny Object Syndrome and let’s get specific so you can be focused and start targeting those who matter to you and you will serve well.
Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!
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