Imagine a beer commercial where old folks sat around in a nursing home drinking beer in their wheelchairs. Or a beer a commercial where soccer moms sat around drinking beer at child’s birthday. Obviously we’ll never see these commercials because the ads wouldn’t address the target market.

Beer makers know who their audience is, and they advertise directly to them. In the ads we see, the beer company clearly identifies and calls out their prospect. If you’re a young man interested in having a good time and meeting girls while enjoying sports events, this ads for you.

By identifying and addressing their target market, the beer company is happy to exclude a large portion of the population. They accept that not only will older folks and non-drinkers not be interested in the commercials, but the beer company also accepts that the ad will offend the non-interested party. This is a trade-off the beer company is happy to make. They are willing to exclude to attract.

This makes obvious sense in our extreme example. However, one of the most common problems in a new or stagnant business is the lack of a specific target market. All too often the business owner or sales and marketing team try to appeal to everyone. As the old saying goes, “selling to everyone means selling to no one”.

Too many companies are worried that they will offend potential clients by being specific with their sales message, but as a result they are not specific enough for their target market and miss out on making the necessary connection for the sale.

Your business needs a WHO before you can sell a WHAT. Unfortunately, most business owners and salespeople try to force their product on the marketplace without properly identifying their best customers.

Once you figure out the right market, everything else falls into place. Clearly specifying your market will allow you to identify the best ways to reach your audience. When you know who your audience is, you’ll then know where your audience can be found. You’ll be able to advertise in the right spots, whether it’s the newspaper, online, or even on the radio or TV. Your marketing will be dictated by who your audience is.

It will also help you create the all-important irresistible offer for your market. By knowing your audience’s pain and suffering, you’ll be able to provide the exact solution to solve this problem. You want your customer to exclaim, “This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for.” Every sales message, product, and lead generation offer you create should be exactly for your target market.

However, it’s not just enough to know demographics about your audience. Sure, it’s important to know your best customer’s age, income, gender, family status, location, and job. But you also need to know what’s going on in their head. You need to understand their emotional wants and needs.

On the weekend, one of our coaching clients was struggling to pick the right target audience, and of main concern to him was figuring out how to reach his audience. Fortunately, thanks to ETR Publisher Matt Smith’s extensive business experience, the group was able to identify the best way to reach the prospect.

As Matt explained, knowing how to reach your customer goes beyond just demographics and he pointed out the importance of knowing customer psychographics.

According to Wikipedia, “psychographic variables are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. Psychographics can also be seen as an equivalent of the concept of “culture” as used most commonly in national segmentation.”

When you combine customer demographics and psychographics, you’ll have a powerful profile of your best customer. There’s one exercise that allows you to combine them into an important part of the business puzzle. If you’re struggling to sell to the right client, one of the most important exercises you can do in your business is to create your customer avatar.

Go back and review this article I wrote where I show you how to create your customer avatar.

List out all the statistics you know about your customer, but don’t forget to tap into the emotional aspects as well.

According to marketing expert Yaro Starak, we need to know the “underlying emotional conditions driving the actions they take. When you have a deep emotional awareness of why they are there, you can better adjust all aspects of your marketing – in fact your entire business – to appeal to your avatar’s deep rooted emotional motivations.”

Take a step back in your business and take the focus off of WHAT you can sell and revisit the avatar exercise to make sure you know the right WHO for your business.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter Drucker

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com