You need a smaller net


…are you fishing with too big a net?

Fear can make us take our eye off the ball and lose focus on what really matters.  In marketing, that often translates to these sorts of mistakes:

  • I’m afraid this is the only ad/website/sales letter they’ll ever see so I need to cram everything I can into it.
  • I’m afraid they’ll choose someone else so I’ll lower our price, even though my price is fair.
  • I’m afraid we won’t have enough customers, so I’ll chase everyone that breathes.

I must admit, I get on my soapbox about this one.  One of the best things about smart branding is that it repels the wrong customers.  People who are not a good fit.

Every business has a “right fit” customer and those are the only people you should be actively pursuing.  Why would you want to win a new customer only to deliver at a so so level.

You can rock the socks off the “right fit” customers.  They’ll brag about you to their friends.  And you’ll love working with them.  Stop being content with anything you can catch in that big net of yours.  Go get a smaller net and chase after just the right fits.

Need more convincing?  I got this note on Facebook the other day from Sherry Borzo, a business woman I know here in Des Moines.

“Must tell you, because I’m pretty sure you were the one who said it so often in my presence a few years ago, but I truly GET the idea of working only with your ideal customer. It makes for a much happier environment for both business person and customer. It is like you’re building your own little community. So important. Always think of you saying that when I’m working with a customer that fits well with what I do.”

Amen to that!  Toss that big old net in the garbage and begin catching your right fit customers.

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8 comments on “You need a smaller net

  1. Sometimes a person must sit back and understand that it’s impossible to control just keep it simple and don’t change your way of marketing.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    1. Coleman,

      I’m pretty sure I disagree. While you’re right — we can’t control everything, to simply not change out of fear is exactly what we shouldn’t do.

      Consistency matters a great deal. But so does being aware enough to know what is and isn’t working.


  2. You cracked me up with “I’m afraid we won’t have enough customers, so I’ll chase everyone that breathes.” How true indeed that some business owners choose to court everyone in the market simply because they have a pulse.

    I’m a staunch advocate of identifying the right group of customers who can relate to the brand story that has been carefully crafted. These are the people who take lesser time to understand what you’re selling and are more likely to align themselves with your brand identity.

    1. Jeff,

      Sadly, especially in these past few years with a tight economy, I do think many business owners are taking a lot of bad business.

      Of course, in the end, that bad business costs them much more than it makes them. But it’s difficult to walk away from cash on the table.

      You’re exactly right — your brand will point you in the direction of your right fit customers. Focus on them and just them and your business will grow more profitable and more fun.

      Hard to argue with that combination!


  3. I think that I would refer to this as graduating from the school of hard knocks. We can learn a lot from our miscues and become very successful from it. So as we try to find the right fit in the market place, take lots of notes and learn from the mistakes to narrow down to the best marketing plan.

  4. Marlene says:

    I guess we should deliver value FIRST for free, and then present something to buy. Why should people trust us without a proof ?

  5. Georgia says:

    In social media, focusing on acquiring a lot of potential customer’s yet not giving importance in maintaining a relationship has minimum success. I personally prefer to have loyal and active customers rather than acquiring a lot but have no related interest on my product.

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