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Knock, knock. Who's There? Your Target Market, Are You Listening?

By Catherine Franz
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Have you ever had a conversation with a person who wasn't listening to anything you said?

This one-way communication experience is a big turn-off and many times frustrating to cope with at the time.

Is this occurring in your marketing? Oops, no one wants to think of their business as turning a deaf ear to their market. Yet it can be easy to do since most of us have a jammed packed life already, with little time to spare let alone to listen to what our market is saying. Yet, we can't afford not to, or we lose our revenue. Relying even 40 percent on push marketing turns off the sound to your market. Okay, Catherine, what is push marketing?

Push marketing is when you use brochures, flyers and other material -- including your business card -- and you push them out into the market praying all the time you are doing it, hoping they read them and will take the action you want them to. This is an easy rhythm to get into because it allows you to hide and not feel any rejection. Yes, if you don't know who they are, they can't reject you.

Materials are supporting documentation and should never be used to push what people need to buy from you. Yet, business owners, especially independent professionals and newbie’s (under 3 years in business) use push marketing to frequently to "feel" like they are marketing. Then when the response rate is nil or real small, which is always the case, they get disappointed, give up (major reason for dissolutions in the first 3 years of businesses), and begin to think they can't market, or marketing is "t-o-o" hard.

Then they walk around pointing out why people aren't buying. Take a moment, do it now before you forget, and make a quick list of what you use to market your service -- brochures, business card, flyers, what else? Yes, most web sites are push marketing -- you need to push people to get them to visit. Of course, there are some exceptions.

Now ask, "How much do I count on for these materials to market for me? Do you go to networking events and push your business card into everyone’s hand?" Oh, did you feel that whoosh of negative energy with that sentence? I sure did. Next time, keep those business cards in your pocket until asked for one and then still hesitate to give it out without some boundaries or criteria.

Why, because a business card has all your contact information on it. U-know, name, phone number, and maybe a logo that took you a year or two to develop that your market could care less about.

Your business card doesn't say how kind, understanding, caring or what you know or the value you bring to your clients. Its just flat energy.

Well, then, Catherine, how can you do this differently? Thought you would never ask.

Be creative. Think of a few things you would prefer to do to establish a relationship with your market. How about printing a copy of your ebook or latest article and discussing the topic instead of handing out a business card. Take one or two copies with you to give to qualified leads.

If someone else sees you giving the ebook out, and you want them to, invite them to a free upcoming teleclass and say its part of the handouts (even if it isn't). Take out a small note sheet that has your name, web site, and phone number printed on them (here's a vendor I recommend if you don't have any of these already -- various sizes -- Day Timer (, and write down the name, date and time of the next teleclass and tell them they can register by visiting your web site.

KEY: The moment you use ink and take the time to write it down it, you move from push marketing to relationship building marketing.

Make it your goal to connect and begin building a relationship with your market. Look around and take measurement on how you are using with your material. Create a "measurement moment" and check in regularly. I do. Ask, "How can I do something different this week that builds connections?" Make a list of one or two you can do differently. Then test them. Be creative.

Ask, "How can I learn about at least one of their challenges?" After you do, spend some quality time thinking how your product or service answers that challenge. If not, and it fits into your niche, then ask the universe to send you some options on how you can. This will open new doors of creative flow for you.

Remember, this is a learning curve, behavioral change, and shift in mentality. So, adapt and adopt with patience and love.

When you connect with others you double, even triple your attractiveness and money. Solo attracts solo.

Questions to support your evolution

> Is your marketing communication two way?

> Is your push marketing percent too high?

> How can I ask prospects to share with me their biggest problems or challenges?

> How does that relate to what I am offering?

> How can I change this right now?

> Have I put my "measurement moment" on my regular agenda for next week, next month?

> What 3 questions can I have in my arsenal for my next point of contact (include e-mail in this as well)?

About the Author
Catherine Franz is a Marketing & Writing Coach, niches, product development, Internet marketing, nonfiction writing and training. Additional Articles: ( (


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