10 Essential Criteria For Choosing Your Target Market
By Tessa Stowe
A specific group of people you will focus on selling your services to is your target market. This is not to be confused with the problem you will be solving for this group.
Why choose a target market? You need to decide exactly who your audience is before you sell your services. Deciding on your target market lays a critical foundation for your business. When you get clear about who your target market is, you will:
•Know where to focus your selling and marketing efforts.
•Know where to focus your research efforts. You want to intimately understand your market: the problems they have and the language they speak. The greater your level of understanding the more magnetic you will become.
Your target market will determine your income and success. Choose the wrong one and you will waste a lot of time and money with very little results.
Whatever target market —TM— you choose, check to see that it meets the following 10 essential criteria:
1. Your TM has a big problem. They think about it all the time, it keeps them awake at night.
2. Your TM wants the problem solved. The impact and cost of the problem is big enough that they will act to solve it (some people have problems they are quite happy to live with!).
3. You can easily find your TM. Do they belong to associations? Are there conferences for this target market? Are there publications? Where do they hangout? If it’s not easy to find your target market, it will cost you a lot of money to find them.
4. Your TM has money to spend. No point having a terrific service if your target market hasn't the money to pay for it. I know this sounds basic but it’s often overlooked.
5. Your TM has a history of paying to have this problem solved. You want to focus on a target market where there is a proven track record of problems and people paying to solve them. A good sign is if your competitors are selling similar services to the target market.
6. There's enough of your TM out there to sustain a business. How many people or businesses are in your target market? Realistically how many will become your clients and what will that be worth to you? Is that enough?
7. You enjoy working with your TM. Think about what types of people are in your target market and visualize being with them day in and day out. How does that feel? Will you feel energized or drained at the end of the day? Remember, you are also in business to enjoy yourself so make sure you will enjoy working with this target market.
8. You have a passion for helping and serving this TM. Passion is an essential ingredient for selling your services.
9. You have valuable expertise and experience you can offer. Your target market will want to buy from people who are experts in their field. Think about what specific expertise and experience you can offer your target market.
10. Your TM fits with your ultimate lifestyle package. What hours do you want to work? Where do you want to work? How do you want to work? Does this fit in with your target market? Ensure that working with your target market will enable you to live the kind of life you want to live.
Once you have found your target market, the next step is to refine it even further. Decide on the profile of your ideal client. What sort of person are they? Decide on their demographics and psychographics. Demographics are the basic facts like age, gender, income, location, etc. Psychographics are their characteristics, values etc. This will enable you to focus even more.
The clearer you are about who you want to do business with, the more you will attract exactly the clientele you're looking for. You will then need your Sales Conversation skills to convert them to clients.
© 2007, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
TessaStowe teaches service professionals and recovering salespeople 10 simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.