One of the biggest mistakes typical salespeople make (myself included) is that we have tunnel vision. We try so hard to apply our solution to the specific problem it solves that we fail to see that our solution is merely a slice of what our clients have to worry about.
Insurance is both a small part and an annoying part of many of my direct contacts’ duties.
Today’s action item addresses this trap that sales and marketing professionals fall into.
Develop an Emotional Connection to My Ideal Client
Today’s challenge came from Amy Porterfield‘s interview of Pam Hendrickson in her Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast (Episode 36 – 3 Keys to Understanding Your Audience).
Pam Hendrickson suggested that, in order to best understand our target or ideal client, we need to do address three areas:
- The Tactical: We need to do our research. We need to dig up information on our audiences.
- The Relational: We need to get to know people, preferably in person, but virtually also. We need to get in front of people and have real conversations.
- The Emotional: We need to do our best to figure out what our clients are experiencing, what goes on in their hearts and minds.
It’s the third area, the emotional area, where I grabbed my action item for the day.
Today’s Action Item: Take 20 minutes and write the thoughts, hopes, dreams, stressors of my key client
After ordering wings at the local wing and beer sports joint, I took out my iPhone and started free writing as if I were the CEO of a mid-size local nonprofit organization.
My main goal was to not write about a CEO’s opinion and experience with insurance. My sense is that this exercise is less about connecting my product to the insured’s needs and more about simply understanding my customer’s needs.
What I realized is that the insurance guy is nearly never on the radar. If I’m the CEO of a small to mid-sized local nonprofit, then I have a ridiculous number of hats I wear. I’m dealing with donor development. I’m dealing with volunteers and employees and board members and clients. I might have a spouse. I might have kids.
It was a powerful exercise that all the sudden made me realize that I’m a mere sliver of a nonprofit’s executive’s world.
Who knows what I’ll do with the information. But no doubt it will help me to be a more patient sales guy. And hopefully it’ll help me better couch my solutions in light of the many responsibilities and hopes and dreams of my ideal client.
Now I have a pretty great document in my Evernote: a powerful few paragraphs that I should revisit on occasion and perhaps even edit after having real heart-to-hearts with my client contacts.
Content I Consumed Today
I’m starting to notice that my content consumption leans toward podcasts. Work and other things take up a lot of energy. Early mornings are about a little Bible study and journaling and some social media updates for a few different projects. During the day when I have a few minutes, I suffer from Candy Crush addiction #Level86. I should delete it from my phone.
What I listened to today (and read) besides the Porterfield podcast above:
- A Purpose and a Promise: In the Meantime – Part 2, North Point Community Church, Andy Stanley: This one was actually what I wanted to apply. I did during the day. The gist of the message is that we have a choice. If you
- “Zombie Cop” Marketing Plan – The Antipreneur Podcast with Ben Settle: Ben Settle is kind of a brilliant idiot. He is a believer in everyday emailing to whatever list you happen to have. And he wrote a zombie novel. I should probably read it given that my wife is into The Walking Dead (I kind of like it too, but I don’t have the Normal Reedus infatuation that she has). Settle’s podcast is rougher around the edges, but for raw marketing and even sales content that challenges the status quo, you need to listen.