Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Face of the Prospect

Clate Mask, president of Infusionsoft, suggests giving your targeted prospects a face to improve the precision of your marketing.

"Your marketing messages will be too general, too passive, and...completely ineffective!" says Mask. "And, without the ability to successfully market, your sales will be only a fraction of what they could be."

Mask advises the following:

1. Get to know your prospect.
What is their age, gender, education, etc. The more you know about them, the more targeted your message will be.

2. Give your prospect a face.
Think of someone that closely resembles your prospect. This person should be someone you know personally.

"Once you've given your prospect a face," says Mask, "Selling your products, and writing your marketing messages will be much easier. After all, you are writing a specific message to a specific person. And...your prospects will feel as if you have, indeed, written a message specifically for them."

It's good advice. When I sit down to target home services prospects, I targeting an upper middle class woman, 40 to 45 years old, with a husband, job, and kids, but not time. If I can find the right image, I put a picture of her in the marketing piece. As a rule, I want my prospects to see someone like themselves in the marketing.

One of the best practioners of prospect description is Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Rick built Saddleback from the ground up and started with a description of his targeted congregant, Saddleback Sam...

Saddleback Sam is the typical unchurched man who lives in our area. His age is late thirties or early forties. He has a college degree and may have an advanced degree. (The Saddleback Valley has one of the highest household education levels in America.) He is married to Saddleback Samantha, and they have two kids, Steve and Sally.

Surveys show that Sam likes his job, he likes where he lives, and he thinks he's enjoying life now more than he was five years ago. He's self-satisfied, even smug, about his station in life. He's either a professional, a manager, or a successful entrepeneur. Sam is among the most affluent Americans, but he carries a lot of debt, especially due to the price of his home.

Why not describe your prospect? Give him or her a name. Focus your marketing messages specifically at this person. Engage your prospect in a friendly conversation. Your marketing will be more focused and more effective.

(c) 2009 Matt Michel

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