Image by Jan van Oosthuizen from Pixabay

Image by Jan van Oosthuizen from Pixabay

Many of us are familiar with the book “Are You My Mother?” In the story the baby bird jumps from it’s nest and starts asking a variety of animals if they were his mother.

The baby bird keeps trying and trying.

And so goes it for many businesses. They keep asking “are you my customer?” As every prospect walks through the door they wonder, “is this my customer?” Which is fine in some situations, but not in most cases. Ideally you want to know who is your customer before you even engage with them.

And you want your customer to know who you are too. Ideally you should find each other, know that you are a match from the beginning, and be ready to start your business journey together.

But if you, and your staff, don’t know who your customer is you probably are talking to a lot of the wrong people. Wasting a lot of time. And wondering why sales are struggling.

But there is hope. There is a path to an easier future. We’ll start that journey today.

In this article you’ll find just what you need to get started on having a tighter brand and knowing just who is your customer.

Great Sales People Qualify Their Prospects

I am fortunate to have a great partner named Shannon J. Gregg with whom I co-authored a book on Time Magicment™ called “It’s About Time.” When Shannon isn’t working with me to help others with their time management challenges she is helping sales teams with their CRMs and productivity systems.

Since Shannon and I work with a lot of sales teams we end up talking sales – a lot – to our clients and among ourselves as we are preparing. And one thing is clear from Shannon’s decades of experience selling, leading and working with sales teams: you have to qualify your prospects.

Many of our time management lessons are about getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. And many of the systems she implements are about spending time with the right prospects, not the wrong ones.

Great sales people qualify their prospects and know who their customer is. They know the profile of that perfect buyer and tune in on that throughout the sales process.

Do You Want A Lamborghini or a Kitchen?

I recently got a LinkedIn connection request from Geeta Nadkarni. She’s a fellow speaker and we share a lot of common connections so I actually took a minute to check her out. It lead me to her YouTube Channel.

In one of her views she says “if you are the type of person that would rather have a bigger kitchen rather than a Lamborghini, you are my kind of people.” That statement, while simple, is powerful. It may offend those that want to get that Lamborghi but it speaks right to those people on the other side of the buyer spectrum. Geeta takes a stand – and taking a stand often leads to sales.

What truisms do you know about your ideal clients? Would they take more time with the family over an African safari? Will they value stability over risky growth? What makes your clients who they are?

Dig for those commonalities and then communicate them. It’s an opportunity to take a stand and attract those that are a fit and get rid of those that aren’t.

Many of you that have seen my prior work know I often wear unusual suits. There’s a lot more to me wearing unusual suits to support my Do Business Differently™ brand. Yes, you’ll see me in the unusual suits a lot of places. But part of that brand is that if you want a lawyer or consultant that does the same thing as everyone else and gives you the same cookie-cutter advice I am not your man. If you want someone bold that will shake things up – then I want to possibly do business with you!

You’ve Got To Get The Avatar Down

All of this speaks to having a customer avatar. “Avatar” (we aren’t talking about the movie) is fancy marketing speak for having a nice profile of who you want to do business with. A good avatar will be very detailed and will include things like age, geography, hobbies, interests, magazines read, etc.

The more you can pin-point who your customer is the more you can talk to them. Many of the best in marketing tell you to have a highly detailed avatar of who is buying (or who you want to sell to) and to target all of your marketing to that avatar.

As a company this means spending time discussing, debating and building the avatar. Once it is built it should be used constantly in updating your sales and marketing messages.

Talking To Your People

As we get the avatar down we can start to talk to “our people.” That means stepping out there and wording things, written and spoken, to your customer avatar. Start explaining to them who you are. Speak to their world.

For instance, in my world, many of my clients have successful business they want to grow and leave to help their families after they are no longer here. I can talk to the fact that growth and planning for the next generation is key. And you’ll notice so many of my messages speak to those people.

As you tighten your brand and message you’ll want to do the same. You need to know who your people are and how to talk to them. And then address your sales and marketing material right to them.

Tell them that you know they value a better kitchen over a Lamborghini. Suddenly your message will stand out and they’ll know you are a fit.

The Bravery of Doing Business Differently™

Of course all of this requires that you, and your company, be brave. You have to take positions and risk scaring some people off. That’s part of being unique and different in business. People trust those that take a position and stick to it.

When I rolled out my Do Business Differently™ brand – which was an extension of what I already told my clients and audiences – many people were shocked by the visual element of it. I lost some clients and potential clients because I started dressing unusually. But, at the same time, many people started recognizing I was different. No longer was I lumped in with all other lawyers and accountants as being the same. This lead to leads and opportunities I never would have had.

It takes a certain bravery to take positions. To tell people you serve those that want kitchens but not Lamborghinis.

And you are going to have to wire this bravery into yourself and your company. You just have to know it’s going to happen when you truly show who you are and what you stand for.

Making It Happen At Your Company

So how do you make this happen at your business?

It starts with knowing who you are. Focus on your business, your value added and that customer avatar. Tune in on those and start communicating what you are in everything you do. Let your current and future customers know who you are.

Make your brand and identity part of what do – always. Have internal meetings on whether you are showcasing your brand the right way. From there you can make the right communication of who you are to that perfect customer.

Tightening your band to talk to your people is simple. But it’s not easy. It requires focus and attention.

Are you my people? Do you want to Do Business Differently(™) and live an extraordinary life on your terms?  If so I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Are you interested in the future of business?  This article is a portion of our guide for the future of business. Sign-up here to get more guidance on the future of business.

By: The Our Shawn McBride, is the business nerd that gets businesses ready for the future of business through keynotes, training and personalized solutions to get your business ready for The Future of Business. He’s the host of The Future Done Right(TM) Show and a long-time business attorney. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.

Check out some of my other articles on

Why Ownership Isn’t What It Used To Be

Hit The Ground Running, Deliver Value: This Is The Future of Business

Who Is Controlling Who?  Are the Algorithms In Charge?

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