By Jim Cathcart
A market is a group of people who have enough in common with each other that you can establish a reputation among them.
Think of marketing as if your target audience were inside a circle. Then perform four steps:
1. Isolate the market. Put a name of your target audience inside a circle.
2. Surround the market. Start showing up everywhere they look in blogs, podcasts, events, conventions, expositions.
3. Penetrate the market. Get one customer, even a tiny one, in this group. Get inside the circle by having a client who can help you know the market better.
4. Permeate the market. Build referrals from one to the next until everyone in that market knows about you and what you can do for them.
There are three types of markets.
Your Natural Market – People you already have access to
A natural market is one you don’t have to go looking for. It’s the people you know and know about. These can be geographic: the people near your shop, near your home, from your school or club; or they can be affiliations: people in your professional association, your church, or any group where you are already connected.
This also includes your friends, neighbors and family members.
Here is a compelling question: How many of the people who you know well; family, close friends, etc., could accurately describe what it is that you do for a living? Chances are good that most of them don’t really know. They might know your title or place of work but it’s doubtful they could accurately describe how much you can help your customers and in what ways.
That is an opportunity just waiting to be fulfilled.
Your Ideal Market – People you dream of getting business from
Think of your perfect customers. Who would that be? I mean truly the perfect, dream customers that you would awaken each day eager to work with. Forget what’s realistic, just write a description of your dream customers. It could be movie stars, race drivers, wealthy people, Olympic athletes, sports icons, grandparents, CPAs, police officers, or motorcycle enthusiasts. You get to choose.
Once you isolate them by writing them down, you can begin to find a path to serving them. But nothing happens until you start the process. Dream it, write it, achieve it.
Your Chosen Market – People you intend to become known and accepted among.
You might have a natural market among schoolteachers but find that they don’t have big enough needs or frequency of buying that would meet your goals. So, instead of focusing on teachers, you can direct your efforts toward the best opportunities.
You might have an auto repair shop and a love of car shows and racing. If so, maybe you could cultivate a base of clients among show car owners and collectors. Perhaps you could meet the pros at some of the racing events you attend and provide a service to them. The more you connect with them the more contacts you make. And it only takes one good contact to open an entire market to you.
The author: Jim Cathcart is a professional Mentor and Hall of Fame inductee in Sales & Marketing plus Professional Speaking. Contact him at jimcathcart.com.
By Writeside Blonde
In the inaugural issue of GO, George Online, I’m throwing it back to introduce you to the OG. That is, the “original George.”
If you’re new to George, don’t worry. I’ll be taking you on a journey through time. The picture of us all hopping into a giant tour bus with “George” written on the front in big red letters comes to mind. The engine starts up and off we are to discover why we should even be on this tour bus in the first place. The answer to that question is an answer to many questions we all may already be exploring.
On newsstands across the nation, a political magazine known as George emerged in the fall of 1995. Between the glossy covers of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Cosmopolitan, George likely blended in. But now, nearly 27 years later, it is obvious there is more to George than meets the eye. Much more.
John Kennedy Jr. created the magazine to incorporate politics with pop culture, satisfying society’s ever-growing want for factual information with the need to be entertained. In an interview with Larry King, Kennedy stated he wanted to “change the definition of a political magazine.” As the Internet grew and information became easier to attain, political figures found success in becoming visitors on late night talk shows, sitcoms, radio shows, and other modes of informal mass communication.
Amusing yet informative, it was the first magazine of its kind and proudly touted its signature and accurate catch phrase “not just politics as usual.” Cover artist Matt Berman was appointed the job of integrating top models and movie stars with notable political figures, a feat accomplished beautifully. Each cover tells a story, both the cover itself as well as the words written on the covers. For instance, on the Robert De Niro cover (December 1995/January 1996), the sword De Niro is clutching, piercing the ace of spades? That was George Washington’s actual sword.
In his book, “JFK Jr., George & Me,” Berman wrote about the time Kennedy left the sword in his possession. Berman worriedly asked Kennedy, “What if I leave it in the cab?” Kennedy coolly replied, “You won’t.” These types of documented memories have turned the magazine into a bit of a story for me with characters I’ve grown to appreciate and love.
When George introduced its inaugural issue, I was just 11. I didn’t know much of anything about politics, nor did I care. Though I was just a kid at the time, I think many Americans shared my sentiments about politics no matter what their ages. John Kennedy knew that. As the son of a former President, he knew how important it was for Americans to understand politics. As a beloved public icon, he knew how much entertainment was needed to achieve that goal.
Anyone who has read the articles knows he accomplished just that.
So how in the world did I go from an 11-year-old girl who’d never heard of George to a 38-year-old woman who is writing articles about them? I thought you’d never ask!
Like many of you reading this, the year 2020 afforded me the time to slow down and dig. From that research I discovered a lot of things, one being George Magazine. A year later as luck would have it, I found myself cleaning out a basement for a man with dementia. His adult kids lived across the country and didn’t want the hassle of traveling back to clean out his townhome. So, there I was, sorting and tossing all his junk left there for years. Newspaper clippings. Old mothy blankets. VHS tapes. You get the idea.
In one of the boxes, I noticed a familiar image. It was the inaugural George Magazine with Cindy Crawford on the front. Of course, I set it aside, saving it from being thrown away. That was the first publication of my George Magazine collection; how fitting is it that it was the first issue? I now have them all as well as some duplicates. Instead of the “crazy cat lady” (I have no cats), I’ve lovingly referred to myself as “the crazy George lady.” What I have found as I highlight the covers and articles on my social media channels is nothing short of mind-boggling.
Oftentimes the articles help connect dots as to why things are the way they are now. I have learned an immense amount from the contributors, columnists, political analysts, and John Kennedy himself within the pages of George Magazine. Call it “Politics: 101, George style.” No tuition necessary.
If you believe in coincidences, there are a hefty amount of them in John Kennedy’s George Magazine, the OG. If you don’t generally believe in coincidences, welcome. You’ll fit right in. I am honored to share my thoughts in the NEW George Magazine, George Online, especially in its inaugural issue.
One can learn a lot about the future looking back at the past. What’s that saying? If you don’t learn from history, you’re bound to … well, you know the rest. Here’s to new beginnings and fresh starts. And here’s to George.
By Scott Zimmerman, Business Editor
We all know someone who is as nice as can be–yet when you see them approaching, you know the conversation will be like nails screeching on a chalkboard for you. Unless you learn the skill of adapting to the observable behavior of others, you are that person for other people; they’re just too nice to tell you. In this article, I will teach you how to practice Dr. Tony Alessandra’s The Platinum Rule®, which states, “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them,” or, “Treat people the way they like to be treated.”
Prior to discovering this concept, I had studied DiSC, the enneagram, and Myers-Briggs. While I found these methods of personality profiling to be interesting, it was The Platinum Rule mantra of being “outwardly focused” that I found to be not only simple to master, but also the most effective way to improve relationships. In fact, within days of learning and applying the art of adapting to the observable behavior of others, my personal as well as professional relationships began to improve significantly.
The Platinum Rule is a more modern, sensitive version of The Golden Rule, which teaches us to “Do unto others as we would want done to ourselves.” However, not everyone wants or likes to be treated the way that we do! Some people enjoy slow, warm, friendly conversations, while others prefer conversations that stay on topic, stick to facts, and aren’t emotionally driven at all.
To determine how another person likes to be treated, you only need to pay attention to two dimensions of their observable behaviors. One is the speed with which they talk, walk, and even eat. The second is the degree of warmth (or lack thereof) that they exhibit when they’re around you. I like to picture a dashboard on someone’s forehead during our conversation.
Adapting to another person’s observable behaviors provides two benefits: it reduces interpersonal tension while increasing levels of trust. Can you imagine the advantage a professional salesperson would have if they could accurately predict both when and how their customer would be comfortable making their buying decision? As the only salesperson for my own business, I enjoyed a 450% increase in my sales within the first ninety days of applying The Platinum Rule with my own clients.
The first dimension of an observable behavior is “Directness,” or the speed at which the person appears to do things. Someone who is more Direct than Indirect typically talks fast, walks fast, eats fast, and makes quick decisions. Conversely, some people are more Indirect than Direct. These people appear more quiet, calm and introverted. They speak, eat, and walk at a slower pace, and they want and need both time and space to make any decision.
When you’re in a conversation with someone who is exhibiting more Direct than Indirect behaviors, they’re trying to tell you that–now–they’re driven by a need to either accomplish something, fix something, move something forward, or arrive at a decision. They’re showing you that they are not afraid to take risks. They tend to come across as confident, assertive, and extroverted.
On the other hand, when you’re in a conversation with someone who appears to be more Indirect than Direct, they’re telling you that they are driven by a need to be certain. Therefore, they are very slow to change things or take any risks. They tend to come across as a little more easygoing and cooperative. Being introverted, they tend to ask more than they tell. Direct people tend to tell more than they ask.
For example, upon entering an Indirect person’s office, they might ask you, “Would you like to have a seat?” A Direct person, on the other hand, might say something like, “Nice to see you. Have a seat and let’s get started.”
When I’m in a sales conversation with someone who’s exhibiting Indirect behaviors, they are telling me that they want both time and space to decide–so that’s exactly what I offer them. You can witness them visibly relax when I’m the one who says, “We’re not going to be making any decisions today. I just want to present you with all the facts and research that you need to make your own decision in your own timeframe. Would you mind if I followed up with you in a week or two and see what you think about what we’ll be discussing today?” By adapting my speed to match their speed, I not only reduce interpersonal tension by delaying the buying decision for the Indirect customer, but also make it easy for the Direct customer to buy from me immediately.
The second dimension of observable behavior is the amount of warmth–or lack thereof–that someone is exhibiting. Warm people can be considered “Open,” while cooler people who aren’t exhibiting much warmth are “Guarded.”
Open people are easy to read and easy to get to know. They’re friendly, animated, and natural “touchers” and “huggers.” Their primary focus is mostly on relationships and people, and they are free with your use of their time. They love conversations that tend to meander. They smile easily and they’re just naturally warm and friendly. These people tend to make emotional buying decisions. They like stories and testimonials.
Conversely, Guarded people are harder to read and harder to get to know. Whatever they are thinking or feeling generally remains on the inside. They are tight with your use of their time, and when they’re done speaking, they stop speaking. Their primary focus is not on feelings and relationships, but rather on facts, tasks, data, work, and results. It’s not that they don’t share the same feelings as Open people–they do! It’s more that they don’t express those feelings in the same way. For instance, they’re much less likely to cry in a movie theater than an Open person. They also like conversations to start and end on one topic. When that topic is covered, they want you to stop speaking–it’s time to go back to work. They tend to base their buying decisions solely on provable facts about a product or service offer. Their buying decisions are very unemotional; you will not win them over with stories and testimonials.
If you put these two dimensions of speed and temperature together, you can accurately predict what mode a person is operating in, as well as when and how they want to make a buying decision. If the person appears to be warm and friendly and operating at a quick speed, they are in a “Socializing” mode. They tell great stories and want to be the life of the party—the center of attention. They make very quick buying decisions as soon as something feels right. However, buyer’s remorse is a possibility for someone in this mode, so a good salesperson will have to be ready to reassure them with reasons why their decision is a good one.
If someone is exhibiting warm and friendly behaviors, but they’re quieter and more cooperative, they’re in a “Relating” mode. They like stories and testimonials, but they want time and space to reconcile their feelings about the decision they’re going to make. They also need reassurance regarding how their decision will impact other people on their team, so they want to think things through very carefully. They will frequently ask other people for their opinions. They are loyal, warm, and friendly, and they want you to be the same. They don’t want to be “sold;” they just want to feel as though you are helping them make a proper decision.
If someone is coming across as quiet and cooperative, but they seem more Guarded than warm and friendly, they’re in their “Thinking” mode. They want time and space to make their decision, and you’d better be prepared to give them all the facts and data they need, because as soon as you leave, they will begin shopping for other solutions. They tend to be the most intelligent–and the most difficult–to sell to.
Finally, if someone is coming across as Guarded, or not very warm and friendly, but also fast-paced, confident, and assertive, they’re in a “Directing” mode. They want to decide as soon as possible, but you’d better give them just the facts. They will fly at 40,000 feet…until they swoop down and start asking you very pointed questions; they’re only doing this to see if they can trust that you know your stuff. Once you’ve established trust, someone in a Directing mode will make a very quick buying decision; they will also hold you accountable to every hint of any promise you may have made during your conversation.
The concepts I just shared with you come directly out of the first book that I wrote with Dr. Alessandra called, The Platinum Rule for Sales Mastery. Year after year, this book is voted top 50 in Top Sales World magazine, and it remains there today. In the sales coaching I do for people, the very first thing I do is analyze their natural style. Then, I teach them not only how to successfully apply the benefits of that style during a sales conversation, but also how to avoid things they’re likely to do that may erode trust between them and their potential client.
In closing, mastering the art of adaptability will not only make you a better salesperson, but will improve every relationship in your personal life as well. By nature, I’ve never considered myself a great “people person.” However, by mastering just this one skill, I’ve noticed that now people seem to really enjoy their conversations with me. And the best part is that it’s not manipulative—it’s simply being considerate of how the other person likes to be treated.
About the Author: Scott Zimmerman had the vision to combine his cutting-edge marketing technology with Dr. Tony Alessandra’s proven sales psychology. The result was a proprietary communication platform that could automatically send customized marketing messages that matched each recipient’s interests and even their personality type. Today, that platform has evolved into a done-for-you service that helps salespeople and professional service providers build—and maintain—meaningful relationships with (literally) hundreds of their clients, prospects, colleagues, and referral partners.
Scott invested his career in the study of graphic design, branding, positioning, psychology (as related to influence) business-to-business selling and one-to-one marketing.
Also in 2005, they co-authored “The Platinum Rule for DISC Sales Mastery”, which was recently voted Top 50 sales books by Top Selling Magazine. Scott and Dr. Alessandra went on to write additional books on entrepreneurship and trade show marketing.
Today, Scott is helping build a team of marketing and sales experts in a new company called Cyrano Service. They help sales teams and professional service providers build strong personal brands and provide them with one-on-one coaching, mentoring and tools to help them with their personal and professional development. Scott also enjoys crafting custom webinars and keynote speaking. To reach Scott: [email protected] or via cell: 330-618-4251
By Writeside Blonde
Though some still delegate what songs make it on their road trip playlist, others fill their headspace with a fresh kind of news and entertainment while on commutes, podcasts. I remember when I heard about this idea about 20 years ago, back when mp3 players were making their debut. We are so used to the polished sort of information, the kind that is sternly shared from behind business attire. Back then, the concept of normal people commanding the airwaves to share their knowledge with the world did not seem like the kind of idea that would be successful long term.
Boy, was I wrong.
Running a search today on any streaming platform will bring you thousands of online podcast options, ranging from topics like motivational business tips, murder mystery stories, ghost tales, to learning how to speak another language. Want to learn German? French? Spanish? Japanese? Italian? _______ (fill in the blank), you get the point. The options seem endless!
Everyone (and their cats and dogs) has a podcast these days. The notion that anyone can be a motivational speaker, even if said person has no experience in leading anything other than people to his or her podcast, is a familiar one. Despite this, creators have achieved success from simply sharing what they know.
We are a busy bunch. People like to multitask. Why not learn how to speak French while driving to work or folding laundry. In-laws coming over this weekend? Learn how to cook a gourmet meal over your lunch break. When you take our busy lifestyles into account, the convenience of listening while completing other tasks, is priceless. Most offer the option to listen or watch if you find the time.
Distrust for the mainstream media has led new viewers away from the tried and oftentimes not-so-true, to the raw, authentic type of news as well. When stories we were told on evening news did not match up with what Citizen Journalists were discovering, credibility was instantly on the chopping block. Gone are the days of blindly trusting corporate media, and that is not a terrible thing. You know the saying. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
The entire model of information dispersing has shifted. Americans are the news now. Through podcasts and other online mediums, we can share what is happening in real time easily from our smart phones.
Though its clear most pertinent topics have a wide array of coverage, with the ever-changing landscape of technology and the way business is done now more will inevitably emerge. Come to think of it, I did not see a podcast that covered how to draft an article about podcasts. Maybe … I should start one.