Ok. Let me qualify that before I sound insane: I don’t disagree with ALL speakers I listen to but if they’re talking about marketing, a huge helping of scepticism and a giant case of ‘I don’t agree with you’ can’t help but gather in my guts.
Here’s one example:
A recent conference featured a breakout with a marketing ‘guru’. I was in vehement agreement with the fact that he was saying to find your ideal client. Great, so far so good. However, what most businesses are asking is the question of HOW to exactly do that. Well, it turned out I didn’t agree with this guru either.
Ideal Client Heaven
What this speaker and almost every other marketing consultant I’ve met tells their clients is to survey their existing client base for the answer to that question. Well, this is where I completely disagree. OK. Include your best customer industry segment in the research but why limit yourself to what you’ve always gotten? How will you ever grow if you don’t go outside of the industries you’ve already served? I mean, it’s great if your ideal new client for the growth that you want is a segment you’re already entrenched in. But chances are, if that were the case, you wouldn’t really need outside help to grow, your organic growth in that industry would catch on fire, gaining you word-of-mouth beyond your bandwidth.
Who Loves You
In fact, most businesses (and marketing gurus including the speaker) are under the misconception that who loves you (your best customers) are who you should love. In my own consulting practice, that just hasn’t been my experience. If who loved you could get you where you wanted to go, that’s great but it’s often a case of having to shift your marketing and messaging to attract a customer that you’ve never been able to attract before. In fact, that’s why most clients hire me. To grow business in a market or industry they’ve never been successful with before.
So with all due respect, I will continue to disagree with yet another speaker about this. And you can do the same with me when I’m up on stage talking about my take on how to grow your business. That’s just how I roll.
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