3 Ways To Find Who You Can Serve

All too often, I meet business owners or service professionals who say their product or service is for everybody. While that may well be true, the reality is that they cannot market to everyone. Unfortunately for most of them, their marketing efforts do not resonate with most people and they end up being frustrated or start doubting themselves.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I wrote about the common marketing mistakes a lot of service professionals make in a previous post. The question that arises now is how do you actually find the people your can serve. In marketing terms, this is commonly referred to as your ideal client, your target market, your tribe or your audience. While the label of what they are called is not important, having a criteria for finding them is.

It is important to always remember that you’re in business to solve problems. Ask yourself these two questions:

  • Who am I most qualified to serve?
  • What problems am I qualified to solve?

Here are three things to consider when finding out who you can serve:

  1. They must know they need help. Unless your potential client realises they need help, no matter what you say you do or how it could help them, will not resonate with them. Knowing what problems you solve and then finding people who know they have those problems are the initial critical steps.
  2. They must be willing to invest their money. There is no point marketing to someone who does not have the means or the ability to pay for your services. If someone recognises they have a problem and they need to fix their problem, one question you can ask them is, “How long has that been a problem for you?” That will force them to acknowledge that it has been a problem for them for whatever length of time.
  3. They must be ready to take action now. Getting someone emotionally connected to why they need to change something is a very effective marketing technique. This is because we are emotional beings and being connected to the right emotion can be a powerful motivator. The question you can ask is, “Would you say you are now ready to address that problem once and for all?” Then follow up with, “What makes you say that?” Unless they have a desire for what you offer, the chances are slim that they will take up your offer.

In marketing, a good rule to follow is Go narrow then deep! This means narrowing down your focus on who you can serve and once you’re clear about that, you can continue to offer them more and more products or services.

Have you ever had the experience of buying a new car and after you made the decision to buy a particular make and model car, you notice more and more of those cars on the road? That is no different to getting clear on who you serve. As soon as you decide who you want to serve, you will find them everywhere because a certain part of your brain is now programmed to look for them. That is the best part of narrowing your focus on who to serve.

Question: What are some other ways to find who you can serve?

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  • Jane Ransom

    Terrific advice, Neel — succinct and clear, and absolutely true. Thank you!

    • Neel Raman

      Thank you Jane! Writing that post also helped me rethink of who I’d like to serve next year.

  • Sean Smith

    Good stuff, Neal. Too often people try to build a business about what we feel comfortable or qualified to teach, not taking into account whether people actually WANT that product or service, and are ready to take action. Without these 3 pieces you covered, we have a hobby.

    • Neel Raman

      Thanks Sean! I love your comment about how people think they have a business when in reality they have a hobby! Appreciate your comment!