The best marketing in the world should not just INCLUDE people, but should also EXCLUDE people! I can’t help but think of that lawsuit against the milk industry years ago when they ran that ad campaign around the slogan “it does a body good.” If only they’d included the parenthetical phrase “unless you’re lactose intolerant.”
Why would you want to exclude people in your marketing? So you don’t waste your time with leads and prospects who are never going to buy, of course! Think about it: would you rather get 100 leads a week and close 25% of them, or get 50 leads a week and close 90% of them?
Leads don’t magically become paying customers, so while quantity is important, quality trumps quantity, especially if it takes effort and energy to make profit from a prospect.
From a strict ROI point of view, engaging a person who will never buy is a waste of time, energy, and money. Think about the last time you clicked on an internet ad. (What? You don’t? Well, you should. You can learn a LOT by seeing how other people market!) I can’t even keep track of how often I have clicked on an ad that promised something I wanted only to find out I was DEFINITELY in the wrong place.
And then I was irritated. Imagine being at a party, knocking back drink after drink, suddenly realizing your bladder is full, wandering around searching for relief, and FINALLY seeing a door clearly labeled “BATHROOM.” Huzzah! You turn the knob, push open the door, step inside, and realize you’re in a room full of…water fountains?!
Frustrating. Possibly infuriating. That’s what it’s like to be a consumer looking for a solution to a problem and spending time talking to someone who will NEVER be a good fit.
You MUST realize that some people are DESPERATE for your help. Some of them know it and some of them don’t. But the worst thing you can do is waste resources getting the wrong people to entertain the idea of working with you while those who really need you and value you and would be THRILLED to pay you for what you do wander helplessly in the wilderness.
So EXCLUDE people with your marketing.
For Market Exclusion 101, pay attention to automobile commercials next time you’re watching television. See if you can tell who they’re trying to attract versus who they’re trying to repel.
In the same vein, if you spend a little time reading some of my blog posts, or watching my videos, or just reading the back of my book, you might notice that I’m trying to attract people who are results-oriented, self-identify as smart and capable, have a sense of humor with an edge, and have already achieved some success.
You may also notice who I try to TURN OFF with my marketing. I do NOT want people who:
- Are into new age thinking and the law of attraction
- Need to be handled delicately
- Are uptight, dogmatic, or know-it-alls
- Have messy lives and relationships and need therapy instead
- Are completely lacking direction or motivation
- Don’t have any money to invest in their growth
In Market Exclusion 201, I’d show you how I do that. Often it’s subtle, like taking a jab at “The Secret,” dropping a curse word, or discussing the definition(s) of success. Other times it’s direct, like saying, “You’re smart but you don’t know where to go from here.” Or explaining the difference between coaching and therapy. Or listing specific results one would get from working with me.
The point is, you really need to think not only about who you DO want to work with but also who you DON’T want to work with.
If you’re young in your business, it may be hard to turn down less-than-ideal clients because cash flow is your number one priority. I get it. We can talk about that.
For the rest of you with seasoned businesses, get more targeted. Get clearer and braver and more direct with your marketing language. Hell, do more marketing!!!
Need help? I think I’ll respect your intelligence by NOT explicitly stating where you can find it. Certainly you can figure that out yourself. (<–See what I did there?)