Marketing Tip #5 How to Know What Your Prospects Are Thinking by Dr. Karl Ruegg

Posted by Dr. Karl Ruegg on 2018-03-24

This presentation will continue our process of developing your target customer profile one of several critical important business fundamentals that directly impact the ultimate success of your business we previously discussed the importance of knowing and understanding your target customers physical profile their profile identifies their physical components such as age income and marital status in this presentation we want to discuss another far more important component in the target customer equation and that’s their emotional profile the emotional components that define your target customer can help you to thoroughly understand what it is that they want a quick example will highlight the importance of this for you one of our previous clients is a portrait photographer he had enjoyed a thriving business for many years but he always thought that his clients valued his photography because of his fast turnaround times his low prices and his technical expertise one day he did something that 99% of all small business owners failed to do he actually surveyed his target customers he actually asked them why they did business with him when he completed his interview process with several of them he discovered that the benefits such as low price and turnaround times were hardly ever mentioned by his customers the number one thing they said they valued was his creativity this example illustrates why it’s critical that you understand what motivates your customers to buy what it is they want in need and then market to them based on those wants and needs let’s be honest at various stages of life everyone needs a portrait photographer parents feel they need to capture their children’s pictures as they celebrate birthdays and special events since these parents need a photographer most of them shop around for a photographer that offers the lowest price that’s very typical of prospects that need a product or service they’re usually price shoppers plain and simple so ask yourself this is that the market you want to serve are those the prospects that will satisfy your burning passion providing your life’s work to clients that don’t care about your skill or expertise and will never appreciate the true value you provide to them fortunately for our photographer he had created value for a specific group of customers that wanted what he offered in this case creativity his business attracts a special group of customers that want one-of-a-kind photographs that only photographers with imagination and a willingness to throw caution to the wind are capable of producing to his select group of customers price doesn’t enter into the decision they value what they want and they’re willing to pay extra to get it these customers can be identified by their emotional profile so in this presentation we’re going to focus on the development of the emotional component of your target customer profile as a reminder to help you better apply this information we’ve included a workbook with this presentation we thought it would help to reinforce the information will be covering and give you a way to review this information at any time in the future previously we outlined the basic components of the target customer profile let me briefly recap why a target customer profile is so important for your business and how you will use it to build the business you’ve always wanted in our previous presentation we discussed the first of four components that will help you identify and find your target customers this involved identifying the physical profile of all human beings on the planet who might have a need for what you sell either now or sometime in the future this is great information for you to have since you can use this information to locate your target customers when you begin to implement your marketing program however the simple truth is this the physical makeup of your target customer is responsible for only ten percent of the success equation for small business owners the reason for this low percentage has to do with the way human beings make decisions they buy based on their emotions that means that ninety percent of small business owners success will be determined by how accurately they define their target customers emotional profile when you know and understand human emotion you can then predict with much greater accuracy exactly what it is that your target customers want by developing an emotional profile of your target customers you will reveal specifically what it is they want and then you can innovate your business to give it to them the emotional profile identifies their hot buttons which are emotionally compelling problems frustrations fears and concerns that your prospects have when they go to buy what you sell the physical profile you completed earlier only define the prospects who have a logical need to use your product or service whereas the emotional profile defines the prospects who have an emotional reason to buy in other words they actually want what you sell your prospects are searching for solutions to what’s bothering them emotionally if you provide the solution they want and you offer the most value when compared to your competition they will buy from you every time always remember that everyone wants the best deal that doesn’t mean the lowest price it means the most value for the price they do pay your prospects are willing to pay twice the price your competitors charge providing you offer four times the value it simply comes down to once versus needs when you need something you are making a logical decision when you want something you make an emotional decision wouldn’t most people love to own a Lamborghini they sell for something like three hundred thousand dollars no one on the planet needs a Lamborghini but a lot of people want one the formula for small business success is actually an easy one find your target customers who want what you sell and then position your compelling marketing message in front of them announcing your solution while removing the risk for them to experience it for themselves it really is just that simple but here’s the problem if I ask you to describe to me the physical differences between the customers who need what you sell versus those who want what you sell you would find it all but impossible to do so that’s because physically both groups typically look exactly the same you previously identified the physical traits for your target customers the physical profile only describes the physical components of the available universe of human beings who need what you sell if you sell to consumers demographics identify their gender age marital status employment status income level and so on if you sell to other businesses demographics identify their annual revenue the part of the country they’re located in their their corporate structure a number of people they employ the number of years they’ve been in business the product or service they sell and the number of branch offices they maintain these are all physical components and the problem is that physically consumers and businesses all look alike when you compare target customers with the general public the real difference lies in knowing and understanding their emotional makeup small business owners want to position their business in front of only those customers who want what they sell those unique individuals who are emotionally drawn to their product or service place your marketing message in front of them give them a risk-free way to experience what you offer make sure your product or service provides them with a solution to their problem make sure your solution offers the most value and you’ll have a client for life the key again is to focus on what they want and that revolves around their emotional profile that’s why we previously said that when it comes to small business success the physical profile is responsible for ten percent of the success equation and the emotional profile accounts for ninety percent right now you may be thinking that this sounds like an impossible mission to undertake but in reality this is a very simple process but what’s even better is that once you master this process you’ll be able to effectively generate all the leads you want and attract as many clients as your business can handle but like any process there is a step by step approach you need to follow in order to do this properly you’ve already completed step one when you developed the physical profile of your target customer we provided you with a profile summary form so you could record that information now let’s begin developing the emotional profile you need the emotional profile is one of the most critically important steps in the process since it begins the actual process of separating your business from your competition in marketing today all small business owners are trying to be all things to all people believing they need to cast a wide net in order to land the most prospects nothing could be further from the truth when you try to be everything to everyone you become nothing to no one you fail to differentiate yourself from the pack and you simply blend into the landscape we previously discussed the fact that there are three elements required for any business to be successful every business must stand out from the crowd it must be unique it must offer exceptional value and it must be able to communicate its uniqueness and value if you offer the same thing as all of your competition then you’re not unique and you’re certainly not offering your prospects extraordinary value with none of these components in place you have nothing to communicate to your prospects that will be emotionally compelling to them you simply look like your competition and you’re doomed to forever compete on price when you target a specific customer profile you break away from attempting to be all things to all people when you do that you make your business unique it stands out from the crowd but as we continue to build on this process will also help you to acquire the ability to create exceptional value as well then it’s a simple process to create compelling marketing and advertising that clearly communicates all of this to your target customers so far you’ve only defined the physical profile that makes up your target customers so let’s now turn your attention to the emotional profile let’s help you blow the lid off this process and covering what your target customers really want from a business like yours let’s look at our previous example we used to define the physical profile of your target customer let’s begin with our childcare example demographically we said the ideal childcare client would be either male or female 21 to 45 years old single or married 1 2 3 kids between the ages of 3 months to five years old employed outside the home and has an annual income somewhere between twenty thousand dollars and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per year so essentially all human beings on the planet with kids under six that work and don’t have friends or relatives that can watch them during the day need the services of a child care facility that’s their physical makeup but what is it that they want what is their emotional profile what problems frustrations fears or concerns are they feeling as they contemplate placing their child in the custody of strangers what would you be experiencing emotionally if you were in their shoes by the way don’t take this exercise lightly this may be by far one of the single most important exercises you will ever perform for your business that will be directly responsible for either its success or its failure if you only spend a few minutes completing this exercise your business may end up paying a heavy price every small business owner must develop the ability to step into the actual shoes of their target customer this may be one of the most important skills you will develop that can have a major impact on your business’s bottom line in fact your entire marketing program rests on the outcome of this one exercise so I encourage you to play full out and give this your all you must learn how to think like your prospects think you must learn how to tap into their mindset and feel what they are experiencing on an emotional level you must know and understand what their hot button issues are what are the problems fears anxieties frustrations and concerns they face as they try to decide whether or not they will buy what you sell as well as if they’ll buy from you or your competition in childcare look at the physical profile process we ask you to follow we ask you to consider three different types of clients we requested that you begin with your youngest possible client then a client that fell in the mid-range age bracket and finally a client in the upper age bracket the reason for this segmentation is simple these different segments will typically want different things from your business and childcare they definitely want different things let me explain let’s say you’re a parent twenty-one years old and you and your spouse just had your first child who is now three months old you both work all day and you have no one you can rely on to watch your child you’re both young and have just enter the workforce you both find yourselves in entry-level jobs making entry-level wages in fact your combined annual income is only forty thousand dollars so what do these young kids want from a child care facility what’s going through their minds as they contemplate leaving their precious newborn with complete strangers for eight hours each day what are they feeling emotionally what fears frustrations or concerns are racing through their minds what would you be feeling and thinking if you were in their position are you beginning to see why this is one of the single most important skills you can acquire as a small business owner if you can train yourself to think and feel the way your target customers think and feel and then innovate your business so that you give them what they want to overcome their fears and concerns they will instantly buy from you and keep coming back for more you have an entire universe of prospects that need your product or service but within that vast universe you have different segments that want different things you must identify every single one of those wants and then select the one that you have a passion for serving that one area is often referred to as a niche market if you will perform this exercise to the best of your ability you will quickly be able to identify all the available niche markets for your target customers and then select the one that’s right for you and your business but first we need to add if I all those various ones that exist within your available universe of prospective buyers consider your plight if you were a young parent with a newborn baby and the only option you had was to leave your child with a child care facility what would you want from that facility now remember as a young parent you probably don’t make much money based on that fact alone most young parents want child care that’s extremely affordable basically a glorified babysitting service the cost of the child care will typically be their main consideration that will tend to be their major hot button but what if you were older let’s say you’re a 30 year old parent with a child in the age range of three months to three years you have just received a major promotion in your company and your new position comes with a hefty raise you just went from a forty-five thousand dollar a year income to seventy thousand dollars for the first time in your life you now have some discretionary income the first thought for most parents now turns to making a better life for their child so think for a moment what would you want from the child care facility where you leave your precious child nine hours every workday well since the child is three years old or younger most parents of young kids want specialized child care they want the staff at the facility to show their child extra love care and attention they want each staff member to treat their child as if they were their very own they will also be willing to pay more to acquire that type of child care after all if you were in the same position wouldn’t you want these things for your young child the younger kids could never afford this type of upscale childcare facility so affordability will typically be their main consideration but for the 30 year old parent who now finds themselves in a much more affluent situation finding a child care that specializes in providing close supervision along with a loving caring and nurturing environment becomes their number one hot button but what if you were in your 40s and made an executive-level income what if you were a 40 year old business owner or executive making a comfortable mid six-figure salary and your child was three to five years old would you want something different from childcare than our previous two examples again put yourself in their shoes their child is older and school is rapidly approaching most parents begin to think in terms of education they would love to see their child receive some form of preliminary education that may give their child a head start on preschool if you were in this situation would you prefer a childcare facility that offered beginner reading skills beginner math skills or possibly basic computer skills as options for parents to enroll for if you agree and educating young minds stirs a passion in your soul this would be your big opportunity to innovate your daycare and begin to offer parents this unbelievable one-of-a-kind option your childcare facility could even offer a written guarantee that all children in this program will be reading at a first grade level before they enter kindergarten think parents in this specific situation just might be interested in a childcare facility like this for their older kids but here’s the whole point behind this exercise when it comes to child care there’s a universe of prospects that need it but within that vast universe lies a multitude of prospects with situations they specifically want and those ones are heavily tied to their feelings and emotions they are basically divided into these three specific and highly defined segments that’s why the next step in our process to identify our target customer involves carefully defining these segments often referred to as niche markets we must identify the specific segments that define the emotional desires of our prospects what is it they really want from our product or service for childcare there are three distinct and completely different niche markets that define this industry affordability a nurturing loving environment and educational opportunities identifying these upfront offer the smart business owner a major opportunity to create a business that stands out from their competition and can quickly dominate their entire market this will be the subject for our next presentation this same situation applies to a business coach or consultant their job is to help small business owners build their dream business we previously identified their target customers physical profile like this they focus on small business owners these small businesses may be in start-up mode or they may be established businesses with a year or two under their belt but they aren’t pleased with their growth rate they may want to develop faster or they may be stuck at a specific income level and now frustrated by their lack of ability to move their business off this Plateau or they may find themselves in major financial trouble and fear going out of business these small businesses typically have 20 or fewer employees if their startup they must have a viable concept meaning they must have an established business plan in place for the coach or consultant to use as a road map for the typical small business they’re gross revenue seldom exceeds 3 million dollars so when the coach or business consultant describes the physical profile of their available universe of prospects it’s essentially every small business under 3 million dollars in annual revenue today that equals about 30 million businesses in just the US alone but emotionally what do those 30 million businesses want from a coach or business consultant what are the problems frustrations fears and concerns that are affecting them emotionally what is it they want a consultant to do to solve their hot button issues let’s take them in order the startups and the businesses that are 12 months old need to generate leads and increase cash flow fast for most of the businesses fitting this profile they’re in the fight of their life just to keep the doors open these businesses are simply looking for a way to make payroll week to week and crees revenue and cash flow are the top hot-button issues the five year old midsize business with 1 million dollars in revenue and five to 15 employees wants the coach or consultant to help them grow their business to the next level they want a process put into place that allows them to operate their business with total and complete confidence and certainty they want to know if they aren’t there that others can step in and know exactly what to do and when to do it the larger and older businesses usually have working systems and processes already in place they have documented company policies and procedures and a staff it’s typically well-trained in executing those procedures they have marketing that typically generates an adequate number of leads and revenue month-to-month this business owner wants the coach or consultant to help them replace themselves so they can spend more time with friends and family instead of living at work 24-7 in order to ensure their business doesn’t implode if they aren’t there are you starting to see a pattern forming here for businesses selling to both consumers and businesses in each and every case there’s a massive available universe of prospects the need what these specific businesses sell but within that vast universe lies specific emotional profiles that divide them into specific niche markets unfortunately the vast majority of small business owners never take the time to go through this profiling process and carefully identify their prospects hot buttons and how they can benefit their business by innovating around those hot buttons so they become the only business that offers these specific prospects exactly what they want they never consider the best ways to address those hot buttons let alone how they can communicate to their target customers and prospects that they have innovated their business and now over the solution they seek it’s every small business owners job to identify and define the most important hot buttons that top their prospects list they must identify the top things prospects want from your business that leads them to look to you for a solution to their problems astray shins fears or concerns the smart small business owner will list all of their target customers emotional components and then select just the one that resonates the most with their passion this means selecting your specific niche market and will be the focus of our next presentation but let me stress again why this is so important to the future growth of your business all of your prospects today want to feel special they want to feel as though they’re working with the expert and that you can help them solve their problems concerns fears and frustrations for good they’re tired of look alike sound alike businesses that all offer the exact same product or service that for the most part doesn’t even come close to giving them what they truly want in other words they’re desperately looking for a business that stands out from the crowd one that’s truly unique they want a business that understands them gives them what they want and in the process offers them exceptional and extraordinary value and if you provide them with such a business they’ll reward you by gladly paying you a higher price for what you sell as long as the value you now offer justifies the price they pay and finally they want you to communicate with them in a loud clear and easily understandable voice they want your message to clearly communicate to them that you are different and you do offer exceptional value they’re tired of searching for these types of businesses and they will appreciate your clear concise message that doesn’t play games but instead highlights the benefits you provide specifically for them and for the business that provides these three major elements you will see prospects show up in droves the business that stands out from all others by becoming unique offering exceptional and extraordinary value and clearly communicating those benefits to their prospects will literally dominate their entire niche market if I call 10 personal trainers looking for one to help me add lean muscle mass and all of them tell me they can help me do whatever I want lose weight add muscle feel better or have more energy then they’re trying to be everything to everyone and as a result have become nothing to no one but if you call me and I tell you that I specialize in just one thing helping people over 40 add 10 pounds of lean muscle mass within 30 days to a specialized proven and tested workout program that only I provide i have just separated myself from all other trainers I’ve made my business unique and simultaneously created massive value to these individual prospects that are specifically looking but this type of trainer all that’s left is for me to effectively communicate that message to my target prospects and believe me they will come running are you beginning to understand why the emotional profile is ninety percent of the small business success equation the emotional profile identifies what your ideal clients really want when they go to buy your product or service and when you give them what they want in a unique way that’s loaded with value you’ve just made your business the no-brainer choice this is how we help small business owners all over the world this is also the process we use to help these small business owners reach the million dollar revenue level and beyond building a multi-million dollar business is not rocket science anyone with a passion for what they do and who is serious about committed to building their business can do it the process we’re teaching you is a step-by-step almost paint-by-numbers approach to building a successful and highly profitable business it all starts with developing your target customer profile your job is to first identify the physical profile for your target customer and then identify their emotional profile so you’ve thoroughly understand their hot button issues some prospects may only have one hot button others may have 10 if you’re passionate about serving the prospect with the one hot button that automatically becomes your niche market if there are multiple hot buttons than your job is to select the one that you have a true passion for serving and making that one hot button your niche market will work on this during our next presentation but for now stay focused on identifying your prospects hot buttons I want you to go back and review your physical profile and then create a list where you ask yourself when it comes to my product or service what could the prospects in my physical profile possibly want that would compel them to buy what I sell what are the possible problems frustrations fears or concerns that actually exist for my product or service using the examples in your workbook as a guide transfer both your physical and emotional profiles into the worksheet in your workbook list the physical traits in the box at the top and the emotional traits in the Box on the right check out the examples for guidance if you struggle with this exercise and have a hard time coming up with hot buttons for your target customer then try talking to them approach your current customers or prospects if you have no current customers that you personally feel fits your description of the perfect target customer then ask them to tell you their biggest problem frustration fear or concern they have when they buy what you sell even if you believe you do know what their hot buttons are consider verifying them with your target customers you may discover you were a hundred and eighty degrees off or that you had the hot buttons listed in the wrong order of priority most small business owners list low price as the typical prospects number one hot button only to discover after speaking with these clients that price was one of their least concerns next we’re going to help you select your niche market this is where you begin to separate your business from your competition this is where you establish your unique position in the marketplace let’s quickly recap what we’ve covered in this presentation our main purpose was to get you started with developing a solid foundation that you can now begin to use as you build a highly successful business that foundation demands that you identify and understand who it is that represents your target customer we highlighted two major factors that will help you to identify your target customer their physical profile and their emotional profile their physical profile makes up only ten percent of the small business success equation since it identifies the available universe of prospects who need what you sell the emotional profile makes up the remaining ninety percent of the success equation by identifying who wants what you sell these emotional traits are also known as hot buttons the reason the emotional profile makes up such a large percentage of the success equation has to do with the fact that human beings by based on emotion they only use logic to justify their purchase once you identify and understand their emotional profile you will know how to compel them to buy from you by appealing to their emotions when you hit your prospects hot buttons they will instantly pay attention to your message they will be compelled to buy what you sell because they have selected that specific niche market to serve and in the process innovated your business so you are the only one who can solve their major problem concern fear or frustration creating your own emotional profile is the key step when you begin to implementing your marketing program a marketing program that will consistently generate excellent results by conveying compelling information that reaches your prospects emotionally so take your time and complete the physical and emotional profile assignments use the example businesses in your workbook as guides and then record your information on the worksheet in your workbook remember that a primary goal for the e-learning marketing system is to help you quickly develop the process that will bring more revenue into your business so until next time here’s to your success

Originally posted 2018-02-07 16:43:24.

Marketing Tip #4 How to Identify Your Perfect Target Market by Dr. Karl Ruegg

Posted by Dr. Karl Ruegg on 2018-03-23

Every small business owner wants to build a successful and lucrative business this presentation will begin that process by helping you to develop a critically important component that directly impacts the ultimate success of your business you must be able to clearly identify your target customer let me give you an example to illustrate the importance of knowing and understanding just exactly who your target customer is us-based pharmacy chain Rite Aid is testing a new customer rewards program called wellness+ in four markets and according to its website promises to roll it out nationwide the card offers the typical benefits it’s free to sign up customers earn points and get percentages off of rite aid brand products coupons will flow freely in the mail and so on but one of the new so-called benefits involves earning points toward free health care screenings here’s the deal when a cardholder racks up 500 points or spends five hundred dollars on non prescription products since one point is worth one dollar they will receive a certificate that can be used for free health screenings such as glucose and cholesterol readings the program also gives 25 points for each prescription filled but doesn’t include prescriptions paid for in whole or in part by state or federal health care programs like Medicare or Medicaid but wait a minute isn’t it’s safe to assume that people spending five hundred dollars at the pharmacy or filling 20 prescriptions at the Keller are already screened who exactly is this benefit supposed to be benefiting with the American healthcare system in a state of disarray and pharmacies like Walgreens stepping up to fill the affordable healthcare void with inexpensive health care screenings and advice what is rite aid getting at shouldn’t first step screening that are so vitally important to customer health come more often than when five hundred dollars is spent on toilet paper and a kit kat bar rewarding more affluent customers who can afford to spend five hundred dollars on non prescription items or are constantly filling prescriptions at the store doesn’t seem like the best way to promote public health real innovation here would be free screenings for poverty line customers or at least a more realistic point offering this is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse as the old adage says here is a major retailer that has failed miserably to even remotely analyze who their target customer is and what it is they want after all there’s no magic to selling finding out what your customers want and then give it to them Rite Aid has completely missed the boat here knowing and understanding your target customer and then mapping out their thought process are two critical fundamentals that must be executed properly if you want to build a successful and profitable business this presentation will help you begin this critically important process so to get started you want to focus on four major components that are specifically designed to help you find your target customers the first of those components involves identifying their physical characteristics sometimes referred to as a demographic profile you must have a clear picture in your mind of what your target customer looks like from a physical standpoint in the future this information will help you to pinpoint your target customer once you begin marketing to them making it easier to find them and position your marketing message in front of them let me explain why it’s so important for your business that you clearly identify your target customer and how it will help you to build the business you’ve always dreamed of having your target customer is the customer who shares your passion for your product or service these are customers who want what you offer instead of just need what you offer they don’t just use your product or service they love it they don’t just purchase what you sell they actually feel they couldn’t live without it your target customer will result in fewer returns and complaints they’re thrilled with you and your business they buy from you today and they’ll keep buying from you tomorrow they’ll demand you create additional product and services for them to buy since they trust you and know you have the best interest at heart they’ll tell their friends and family all about you and encourage them to do business with you and maybe best of all they’ll spend more money with you over their lifetime they your average customer will your target customers will provide your business with tons of referrals and they’ll offer you unsolicited testimonials they’ll post their praise about you and your business on social networking sites which Garner’s you free publicity when you identify your target customer you find yourself loving what you do the end result is you begin to work less and start earning more a lot more this impacts your business long term it impacts all future products or services you develop it impacts the customer service your clients receive and it impacts all of your marketing and sales efforts especially when you begin to develop your marketing materials and sales scripts obviously knowing and understanding exactly who your target customer is plays a vital role in building a successful business but let me explain an additional component your target customer provides that can make you wealthy without doing anything more than what you’re already doing you probably familiar with the 8020 rule it says that small actions lead to big results for example count the number of clothes you have hanging in your closet then count the number of the clothing items you frequently where you will discover you wear about twenty percent of your clothes eighty percent of the time your business functions in much the same way approximately twenty percent of your customers account for approximately eighty percent of your business’s total revenue that twenty percent of your customers are your target customers imagine the possibilities for your business if you could attract more customers just like them but wait what if you could alter that ratio and attract forty percent of your target customers instead of twenty percent that would mean your revenue would double now do you understand how knowing exactly who your target customer is can have such a dramatic impact on your business in fact if you could attract one hundred percent of your target customers your revenue would explode by a factor of sixteen if you’re making two thousand dollars per month right now just replacing your current customers with target customers would increase your monthly revenue to thirty two thousand dollars and best of all these target customers don’t require any additional time effort or energy on your part again this is how you stop working harder and start working smarter this is how you make more money while working fewer hours and it all starts by clearly identifying your target customer that’s the power of the 8020 rule unfortunately most small business owners today are only attracting on average about twenty percent of their target customers even though these are the customers that are the most profitable in their business so how do you go about attracting those target customers that’s what this series of presentations is all about you must have the proper fundamentals in place to make this work right you must start by identifying the physical makeup of your target customer then you must identify what it is they want and if you discover that either your business doesn’t offer them what they want or you offer a solution but it’s the exact same solution as your competitors offer then you must innovate your business so you offer your customers the most value when compared to your competition do this and you will explode your revenue and profits to new heights without adding any additional time or effort but to me here’s the really exciting part about the 8020 rule to get 16 times better results than what you’re getting right now you don’t have to do anything different than what you’re already doing you just do more of what you’re already doing that’s working fantastically well figure out why your current twenty percent of your target customers are buying from you and start attracting more of them by creating and developing compelling marketing but that’s the problem isn’t it most small business owners don’t have a clue how to create compelling marketing that’s okay over the next several weeks we’re going to help you do exactly that we’re going to reveal to you the marketing secrets used by the pros and in the process position you and your business as the only logical choice for your customers to buy from but in order to create compelling marketing you must first identify your target customer and you must identify them both physically and emotionally so let’s get started first we need to help you develop your target customers physical profile we have to define their physical characteristics in detail remember we want to start by identifying everyone on the face of the planet who needs what you sell we’re going to help you develop this vital information by providing you with our proprietary target customer profile form then we’ll focus on helping you develop the emotional profile for your target customer the emotional profile begins to define your target customers hot buttons situations so we know specifically what it is they really want from your product or service the emotional profile helps you define what your ideal clients want not need once developed it perfectly complements the physical profile and begins to form a crystal clear picture of your perfect target customer but let’s first define the available universe of human beings that need what you sell and that’s the job of the physical profile first what exactly do we mean when we refer to their physical profile it’s simply referring to the statistical elements that apply to your current customers such as their age education gender marital status income level employment status homeownership and so on this profile defines the physical characteristics of every human being on the planet who needs what you sell as an example does your business sell to consumers or other businesses if you sell to consumers do you sell to mostly men or mostly women if both genders need what you sell are they a perfect 50-50 mix or fractured 7030 mix is there a certain age group or age range that needs what you sell such as 25 years old two teenagers or baby boomers are your customers primarily single married divorced or widowed or does their marital status have any bearing whatsoever on their purchase if you run an oil change shop it doesn’t if you’re a divorce attorney it obviously does do you know their approximate income level and does income play a factor in their purchase if you own a convenience store it doesn’t if you sell Corvettes it does if you sell primarily to other businesses the physical characteristics consist of the businesses annual revenue their number of employees where the business is located the number of branches they have and where those branches are located the way the organization is structured as well as the product or service they sell this in depth physical profile is a great indicator of the type of company culture you’ll be dealing with and selling to it may also give you tremendous insight as to the number of subordinates you may have to speak with in order to get your sales message in front of the decision-maker in many large businesses the decision maker often assigns a subordinate the job of collecting information and bringing it back to them or final decision this person is often referred to as an influencer you must identify if you will be dealing directly with the influencer or the decision-maker if you want to be successful the decision maker and the influencer will each have vastly different wants the influencer wants to look good to the decision maker and if you can help them accomplish that you’ll win their business you’ll need to teach them how your product or service creates unprecedented value to their company how that value benefits the company and how to position this to the decision maker so they see the value and benefits as well in other words you have to teach the influencer how to sell your product or service to the decision maker on your behalf since you won’t personally get the opportunity to do so yourself unfortunately the decision maker will be looking for something totally different than the influencer they want to know if and how your product or service will help their business either solve a problem they have or make them more money they aren’t interested in the features of your product or service only the benefits they will experience as a result of their purchase to get an idea of who your target customers are we must first take a look at some examples of physical profiles for various types of businesses the following examples identify the universe of prospects that need the product or service each business offer let’s use both a business-to-consumer example as well as just a business example let’s assume you own a child care facility which is business to consumer the available universe of human beings who need the services of a child care facility would look like this gender wise they would be both male and female 21 to 45 years old single or married have one to three children and typically employed outside the home with a total annual household income between twenty thousand dollars and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars so in summary any parent 21 to 45 who works outside the home has preschool kids and no one to watch them needs the services of a child care facility again remember that we’re only defining the physical traits of all potential prospects who need what you sell but suppose you were a business consultant they sell business-to-business their target customers physical profile might look like this the businesses that need a consultant might be startup businesses just getting started and need some help getting out of the gate so to speak they might be experiencing financial difficulties and need a consultant to bail them out they might be a more established business that’s doing okay financially but wants to dramatically increase their growth rate or they may simply have hit a financial plateau and need some help generating more income as for the way they have structured their business that could be an LLC a sole proprietorship or major corporation they might have a single location or multiple branches the main decision maker might be the actual owner of the business the CFO the COO or CEO the business itself may be run by a solo professional with no employees or it may have 50 employees the annual revenue for the business may be zero if it’s a start-up and could reach as high as 50 million dollars if it’s a corporation the age of the business itself could be zero if it’s a start-up and range up to a 100 year old established corporation in other words every business on the planet may at some point in its existence need the services of a business consultant but remember that the physical traits only define those who need what you sell this information will be enormously helpful later on when we examine the best way to reach your target customer with marketing messages and what those messages should say when you do reach them your physical profile plays a huge role in crafting the right marketing message marketing to an 18 year old young man requires an entirely different message than marketing to a 16 year old woman the emotional hot buttons you need to hit are much different depending on their physical profile and that’s the message the physical profile is also an excellent indicator as to where you need to place that message to reach your target customer the younger generation is on the internet period the baby boomers are sometimes online but often you have better luck reaching them through newspapers placing an ad in the yellow pages and attending networking events once you properly identify the physical profile of your target customer you begin to remove the guess work from your marketing that will help you save your hard-earned marketing dollars when you position your marketing message in front of them let’s quickly recap what we’ve discussed the main purpose of this presentation was to help you begin to develop the foundation required for you to build a highly successful business that foundation requires that you know and understand who it is that represents your target customer you know that customers buy what they want not what they need they buy based on emotion not on logic they buy based on value not on price just knowing and understanding this information put you lightyears ahead of your competition since you’re creating the basic building blocks for your business that will help you to separate your business from your competition and dominate your market for years to come as we continue will begin to build on this information so be sure to complete the assignment I’m about to give you the information you develop will be information that you will continuously come back to and frequently use each presentation in this program will continue to build on the previous ones so take your time and complete each assignment your present assignment is an important one and will prepare you for more extensive content will cover in future I want you to begin to define the general physical profile of your target customer now remember the physical profile defines the available universe of every human being on the planet that needs what you sell I want you to create a list of traits that you believe defines that universe as it applies to your business and record those traits using this form you only need to fill in the top center box for now we will complete this form and future presentations so be sure you keep this form someplace safe keep in mind that when listing these traits that I’m not talking about the clients who want what you sell I want you to focus first on those who need what you sell we have several completed examples in your workbook for your review if you need help then I want you to use this profile form I’ve included in your accompanying workbook to verify that the traits you’ve listed are the right traits for example if you sell business to business use the form labeled b2b if you sell to consumers use the form labeled B to C use these to record the actual physical profiles for the consumers or businesses you’re profiling here’s the process I recommend you use begin by researching 6 current customers if you have current customers if your startup you may not have any customers at this time if you don’t have current customers don’t worry about it just ask yourself who on the face of this planet may at some point in their life need what you sell this isn’t rocket science so don’t make this hard on yourself this is simply your starting point first consider their age ranges and select the youngest mid-range and oldest male and female customers you currently serve you don’t need to physically interview them just record the information you know about them it’s ok to guess if you don’t know for sure you’re just looking to establish the basic ranges for now it won’t matter if someone is 56 years old and you write down 60 same thing when it comes to approximating their income level most people will be offended if you ask them how much they make but if you know their current profession you can certainly make an educated guess as to the approximate income level you might also look online for average income ranges for that specific profession another trick is to capture their zip code since most zip codes are an excellent indicator of specific income levels once you record this information using the age ranges for both your male and female clients repeat this process as it applies to their ages and marital status again choose current customers that represent the youngest mid-range and oldest single married and divorced customers you presently serve this should get you started developing a fairly accurate range of information you’re going to revise this general list later and make it much more specific and refined when you complete your research use this form as a summary sheet summarize the research you perform and record it for easy reference in the event you sell business-to-business use this form to record the physical profile information for the businesses you sell to notice it’s labeled b2b or easy reference begin by choosing three current business customers that sell a product and three that sell a service then look at their annual revenue and record the business with the lowest revenue approximate mid-range revenue and the highest revenue finally look over the number of people they employ and rank them from the lowest to the highest you’re only establishing general categories that form an overall summary of the types of businesses you currently deal with if you are a massage therapist you may be working with a business owner who is a solo professional like an accountant making fifty thousand dollars annually with no employees all the way up to a major corporation that hires you to come into their offices twice per month to provide chair massages to their executive team they may employ 50 people and generate 50 million dollars in revenue that’s the range you want to record use this form to summarize your data but keep in mind that using your current clients is just a quick way to get started we still want you to assess whether additional physical traits may also apply remember define the available universe of human beings or businesses that need what you sell use the current clients as a starting point but don’t limit yourself to only their physical description however the main reason we want you to begin with your current customers is profound you must be presently doing something to attract these types of customers this may come into play when we have you begin creating your marketing program this way we will have that data available if we need it by completing this exercise you will begin to develop an accurate profile for your target customer you’ll be able to physically identify them when you see them and you’ll know where to begin to look for them when you start your marketing program just remember to use the form in your workbook our next presentation will overview the emotional profile for your target customer and explain why emotions are ninety percent of the small business success equation the emotional profile is where things really start to get interesting since the emotions help us discover your target customers hot buttons hot buttons are the problems frustrations fears and concerns your target customers tend to share as a group and when you discover their hot buttons they open the door for your business to dominate your market this is where it really begins to get exciting so start preparing yourself remember that one of our primary goals in the e-learning marketing system is to help you quickly develop the process that will bring more revenue into your business a big part of that process is dependent on you’re doing a great job on this physical profile assignment so do your very best our passion is helping you build the business of your dreams working together as a team there’s nothing to stop us from accomplishing that goal so until next time here’s to your success

Originally posted 2018-02-06 16:40:45.

How This Former Marine Turned His PTSD Into a Multi-Million-Dollar Business in 60 Days

Posted by Dr. Karl Ruegg on

9 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Hunter Garth, bearded, 27, seems to be as chill as they come. After all, he works with marijuana.

But this was not always the case.

Returning home after serving with the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan for four years was not easy. Readapting to civilian life was not easy. And, as you might imagine, overcoming the trauma of war was not easy–is it ever?

“During my life in deployment, I was hyper-exposed to trauma, but I really negated it all, telling myself that it was not that bad. I really took a tough guy approach while I was in the Marine Corps,” Garth reveals.

However, coming back home was a whole other issue. He could no longer live in denial. “My deployment had pretty extensive consequences. During my transitional period, I was not thinking right, I was not sleeping well, [and] I wasn’t handling things in an appropriate manner,” he continues.

Despite being among the lucky ones, counting on the support of friends and family at the time of his return, Garth marks the moment of getting out of the Marine Corps as the one where things really went South–not only for him but also for almost every one of his comrades. There was not a lot of time to process things in Afghanistan; back home, they were all alone with their thoughts.

“A few of the guys that I served with killed themselves; a few of them got in adrenaline-based accidents… Basically, we were all self-medicating and acting in a way that was incredibly dangerous as a group of people and as individuals.”

 “I can tell you with certainty that I thought about killing myself more than once. And so did one of my best friends and former unit companion, Caleb Patton,” he adds. “It was the guys around us, who are now part of IPG, that saved us.”

Garth had gotten his stuff on a U-Haul, with 400 bucks in his pocket, moved from his home state, Florida, to Colorado and never looked back. Pretty much the opposite: he was now incentivizing his friends to do the same.

Caleb Patton had served in Iraq and Afghanistan alongside Hunter Garth. Upon returning home, he had to undergo a Calvary of his own. Suffering from excruciating physical and mental pain deriving from an injury he got during a training accident–in which seven of his fellow Marines were killed–Patton had turned to alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs, which “the United States Department of Veterans Affairs was feeding him,” Garth points out. After a long quest, he found comfort in cannabis. He never imagined weed would change his life, not only on a personal level, but also on a financial one.

When Garth returned from Afghanistan, he found himself without a job, without a college education and without any experience beyond being a Marine. He was 23 years old, and to a certain extent, it looked like everything was said and done.

One day, already in Denver, he walked into a dispensary to get some cannabis, which helps him soothe and deal with posttraumatic stress more easily, and saw an armed guard. “His behavior, how he presented himself, and his general attitude were very off-putting,” he describes.

He immediately thought that nobody wants to feel uncomfortable when buying weed. This was his a-ha moment: “I’ve got extensive knowledge about cannabis and a military background. I can do this better,” he thought.

That same day, he decided to reach out to his friend Caleb Patton to discuss this idea. This is how Iron Protection Group (IPG) came to be, formed by four former Marines without any additional outside funding or help from business-savvy people.

IPG is not a security company that specializes in marijuana; it’s a marijuana company that specializes in security, the co-founders often mention. The concept is not hard to grasp: in an industry where each batch of product is worth tens of thousands of dollars and is not covered by insurance; where almost every transaction is made in cash; and where access to traditional banking is pretty limited, danger abounds. There are millions of dollars in product and actual bills sitting around at any given moment.

So, what IPG does is make sure that everyone involved in producing, selling and moving the product and the money derived from it is safe–and feels that way.

“People are not necessarily afraid of guns but rather of the people using them,” Garth argues when confronted with the issue of IPG personnel carrying guns. “All of our team served in the military and was in combat; we would literally go out and fight the Taliban. So, we have extreme confidence around firearms and extreme training to use them correctly. However, we are also all very calm in our approach to threats and danger. We are quiet professionals: this means we know our jobs and our skills; we don’t need to prove we are bad-ass.”

This is an industry where there is space for anyone with good ideas and good intentions.

As you’ll find out in the next few paragraphs, Garth’s story is the embodiment of the cannabis industry’s values; it shows that the cannabis industry is not just about growing and selling weed.

This is an industry that loves the Wall Street suit-type as much as it loves the underdog and the “least likely to succeed.” This is an industry where there is space for anyone with good ideas and good intentions. This is an industry where everyone will find a role that suits him or her. And this is the industry that saved, in more than one way, all of the war veterans involved in IPG: people who gave up what many consider to be the best years of their lives so that Americans in every corner of the country can enjoy the liberties they adore.

“We started IPG with four guys, and in about 60 days, we already had 30 employees,” Garth says. “We went from nothing to a multi-million-dollar business in literally two months, but none of us had business knowledge–we weren’t even 25 years old. All we knew was there was a problem in the industry and we could help fix it.”

The complete lack of business knowledge was not a problem at first. However, as time went by, what Garth and Patton learned (the hard way) was that clients would get delayed with payments and, in occasions, would not pay at all. In fact, this is something that every entrepreneur in every industry should know: “shut up and take my money” is an expression that only exists on memes. In real life, people are very often unreliable payers.

Questions emerged quickly. How would IPG continue to cover its expenses as delinquency rates surged? How would they stay afloat with no financial backers other than its owners? If this were your business, how would you?

Faced with these hard questions, Garth decided to stop taking on new clients and instead dedicate his time to getting educated on entrepreneurship and business issues. Six months later, he felt he was ready to go back to taking on new customers and managing the cash flow resulting from these contracts.

But, probably the most important lesson Garth got from his business education was that his company needed expert help. Remember this because you will, too!

Consequently, he decided to reach out to Advanced Cannabis Solutions, which is now a $24 million, publicly traded company that goes by the name of General Cannabis and trades over the counter under the CANN symbol. After presenting his business over a breakfast meeting, Advanced Cannabis Solutions’ Chairman committed to helping Garth get the $200,000 he needed to finance and grow his operation. After looking into it in detail, they decided they would rather acquire IPG, but none of its co-founders were willing to sell.

“This is my baby. I need help, but I am not ready to let go,” Garth told them.

When discussing this story with Tyler Stratford, who’s also a veteran and now serves as director of client operations at one of North America’s top cannabis consulting firms, Canna Advisors, he stopped us at this point. “I love that these guys are still in the business. I don’t like to see people come into the industry, make a quick dollar and then leave,” he commented.

Instead of just making a profit from his company and running, Garth agreed to an acquisition where General Cannabis would give him and his partners equity in the parent company, finance IPG and retain the entirety of the team. What this meant was that IPG would now count on the support of a corporate structure (back office, legal, and financial backing) without having to actually sell out.

“This company was built by brothers helping brothers, and we intend to follow that path,” Patton adds.

This company was built by brothers helping brothers.

This success story clearly shows how anyone like yourself, educated or not, connected or not, experienced or not, can make it in the cannabis industry. “I had made a million dollars, personally, by the time I turned 26,” Garth discloses.

On the other hand, this story also provides numerous lessons about what’s important when creating a business. Funding and expert advisory are central to the realization of a business idea; the fact that the guys at IPG got lucky does not mean anyone else will.In order to make it in the cannabis world, you’ll need to plan ahead, raise money and get good advice.

Having said this, know that you’ll have to put a lot of effort into your business. “People think they will become rich overnight. But this is rarely the case. Cannabis today is a long-term play,” Marvin Washington, Super Bowl champion turned cannabis investor and activist, points out.

“We could have been eaten alive in this process. Someone could have easily taken the company from our hands,” Garth reflects. “I now understand the public space and the nuances of finance, but I didn’t at the time. Education and mentorship were the most important takeaways from this experience.”

“You need to be extremely confident on what you know and get help with what you don’t know.”

This entrepreneur’s military background helped him create a groundbreaking business that paved the way for countless veterans to succeed in an unexpected industry: marijuana.


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