OUR BLOG

LEADERSHIP

Ten Traits Of Organizationally Healthy Professional Service Firms
To Grow Your Professional Service Firm, Prize Culture Over Strategy
TP35: The One Tipping Point Mid-Size Service Firms Must Address To Keep Growing
Seven Reasons Most Mid-Size Service Firms Don’t Grow Very Much
Five Reasons Mid-Size Service Firms Need A New Leadership Operating Model
How Leaders Can Address The Growth Tipping Point For Mid-Sized Service Firms
Five Reasons Professional Service Leaders Should Prize EQ Over IQ
Why Mid-Size Service Firm Leadership Teams Need Collective Objectives To Grow
How To Grow Your Mid-Sized Service Firm: Jealously Protect Your Focused Energy
Why Professional Service Firms Should Consider Circle Of Seven Mentoring Networks
How A Leader’s Energy Field Impacts Team Productivity
Don’t Trade Misery For Money: How Professional Service Firms Can Leverage The Great Resignation
Strong Personality Vs. Strong Person: The Makeup Of A Leadership Council
Custer Or Marshall: Why Mid-Size Service Firms Must Choose Their Leadership Model
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Define And Defend Your Values
If You Want To Grow Your Mid-Size Service Firm, Establish A Formal Leadership Council
Want To Grow Your Professional Service Firm? Focus On The One
If You Want To Grow Your Midsize Professional Service Firm, Align Your Leaders
Why Midsize Service Firm Leaders Must Think Like Entrepreneurs To Grow
How To Grow A Mid-Size Professional Service Firm Today
Why It's Important For Great Leaders To Tell Great Stories
How Great Leaders Persuade Using Word-Pictures
How The Say-Do Ratio Influences Trusted Advisor Status And Profits
Why Service Firm Leaders Should Nurture The Entrepreneurial Instincts Of Their Top People

SALES

Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects

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AN AUDIENCE OF ONE

HOW TO CONNECT DEEPLY WITH DECISION-MAKERS

As marketing people we have been duped. We have come to believe in a lie that distorts all of our messages and causes us to miss the mark with the very people we want to connect with. Marketing programs at major universities and well-established principles of advertising have participated in our undoing. Frequency, recency, reach: this is the language of marketing and it is ineffective.

We believe our job is to communicate a message, to persuade, to target an audience. Nameless, faceless, amorphous stick figures that we aggregate in huge lists: this has been the guiding principle of marketing for the last 100 years. But no more.

Social media and content marketing have forever changed the game. We no longer appeal to the masses. Are you ready to connect with an audience of one?

KEY TAKE-AWAY:

 

IF YOU APPROACH SOCIAL NETWORKS ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THEY ARE TARGET AUDIENCES, YOU WILL MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE.

Sales people and school children already know this

Now I’m not making a comparison between sales people and school children. Let me be clear on this point. But I do think that we can learn, as marketers, from these two groups. Maybe better said, I think we can unlearn what marketing has taught us so we can be much more effective in our roles.

Sales people really don’t want to connect with massive lists of people. They want to connect with the one person who is a decision-maker. They want this person to have:

  • Appropriate budget.
  • A reason to take action.
  • A need for which their products and services are a good fit.
  • A desire to learn more about products and services.
  • A willingness to engage in serious dialogue.
  • A timeline to get a decision made, either by their signature or a team.

Sales people know that if they can build a relationship with this person, they will realize a favorable outcome. To build that relationship, the best sales people know they can’t rely on a pitch about their company and why it’s great. They have to bring some ideas, some insights, some strategies to the table that will help the prospective client achieve their goals. The best sales people know that they need to be ready to communicate on a one-to-one level with honest-to-goodness human beings.

School children know this too. If you watch kids on a playground you’ll see this most fascinating thing happen. Children can approach nearly any game and just start playing with whoever is there. But pretty soon, they’ll start to buddy up with one or two kids. They’ll become pals, and one of the first things they’ll do is ask this question: what’s your name?

Out of the dozens of children that might be on the playground, they’ll want to play with their pals, the one’s they know. They’ll call out their name at the top of their lungs in complete and utter glee. It’s just human nature. We want to play with those we know and like.

How marketing gets it wrong

An audience is not a person. An audience does not have a name. When we first get into marketing, we are forced to unlearn all of those lessons that have guided our relationships for years, even the joy of yelling out our pal’s name on the playground.

We are told to think of audiences, not people. People have names, histories, families, biases, opinions, goals and dreams. Audiences have characteristics, demographics and psychographics. Audiences do not buy products and services. People do.

The conventional wisdom that has guided marketing for the last 100 years, the social scientific principle of sameness, has failed us. It goes against the very fabric of what we know to be true about relationship building. People want to connect with people.

Social media has changed the game

People now connect with people through social media networks. It is highly inappropriate to think of these as target audiences. That is imposing an old-school paradigm on a technological innovation that is driven by the deeply human desire to connect.

Like children on the playground discovering new friends because they love the same game, people in social networks connect because they share a fascination, a passion even, for something they hold in common.

If you approach these networks on the assumption that they are target audiences, you will never connect with people. You’ll miss the opportunity. Yes. People within that network will have budget and may even need your products and services. But if you don’t connect with them person-to-person, one-on-one, you’ll miss the mark.

A flip in perspective

This requires marketers to take a completely different perspective. We have been taught to think of ourselves first: our company, our goals, our sales quotas, our careers. This will no longer work.

In the age of a content marketing glut, the pitch is dead. If your orientation to an “audience” is to tell them why you’re great and why they should do business with you, don’t expect deep connections. Don’t expect to become a trusted advisor that other people within that network admire and even quote.

Now we must think of the one first – the one person we really want to connect with. Create a picture in your mind of that one person who you really want to serve. And ask yourself this all important question: what do they care about?

This is the starting point for building rock-solid relationships. This is what social media, and LinkedIn in particular, now allows for.

Goals, opportunities and challenges

I recommend that you think back over the last 10 years or so about the clients you’ve served. Who, among them was ideal for you and your firm? What made them ideal? What kind of impact did you have on them? How did the relationship feel? What was it like to serve them? What was the client’s name?

Use this to build your vision for an audience of one.

Now take the next step. Ask yourself what goals they were trying to achieve? What opportunities excited their imagination? What challenges frustrated them? Make a list of these and you have the starting point for a great lead nurturing program that can help you and your team members connect with the right people.

Next steps

To help you do this, I’ve developed an action guide called 7 Steps To A Content Marketing Program That Consistently Yields Ideal Clients. This wonderful and free resource could really help you attract an audience of one and convert them into great clients.

About The Author

Randy Shattuck is a seasoned entrepreneur who works hand-in-hand with senior leaders of mid-size professional service firms to grow revenues, acquire clients, open new markets, increase profits and effectively position their brands.

OUR BLOG

LEADERSHIP

Ten Traits Of Organizationally Healthy Professional Service Firms
To Grow Your Professional Service Firm, Prize Culture Over Strategy
TP35: The One Tipping Point Mid-Size Service Firms Must Address To Keep Growing
Seven Reasons Most Mid-Size Service Firms Don’t Grow Very Much
Five Reasons Mid-Size Service Firms Need A New Leadership Operating Model
How Leaders Can Address The Growth Tipping Point For Mid-Sized Service Firms
Five Reasons Professional Service Leaders Should Prize EQ Over IQ
Why Mid-Size Service Firm Leadership Teams Need Collective Objectives To Grow
How To Grow Your Mid-Sized Service Firm: Jealously Protect Your Focused Energy
Why Professional Service Firms Should Consider Circle Of Seven Mentoring Networks
How A Leader’s Energy Field Impacts Team Productivity
Don’t Trade Misery For Money: How Professional Service Firms Can Leverage The Great Resignation
Strong Personality Vs. Strong Person: The Makeup Of A Leadership Council
Custer Or Marshall: Why Mid-Size Service Firms Must Choose Their Leadership Model
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Define And Defend Your Values
If You Want To Grow Your Mid-Size Service Firm, Establish A Formal Leadership Council
Want To Grow Your Professional Service Firm? Focus On The One
If You Want To Grow Your Midsize Professional Service Firm, Align Your Leaders
Why Midsize Service Firm Leaders Must Think Like Entrepreneurs To Grow
How To Grow A Mid-Size Professional Service Firm Today
Why It's Important For Great Leaders To Tell Great Stories
How Great Leaders Persuade Using Word-Pictures
How The Say-Do Ratio Influences Trusted Advisor Status And Profits
Why Service Firm Leaders Should Nurture The Entrepreneurial Instincts Of Their Top People

SALES

Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects