Success Doctor



Magical Marketing Strategies for Creating an Endless Stream of New,
Repeat, and Referral Business

Copyright © 1998 Michel Fortin, Ph.D.



The most common mistake newcomers to any field of business make is to think that by expanding their portfolio they will secure more business, and nothing can be further from the truth. For instance, a management consultant friend of mine who I believe had a knack for the human resource arm of the government also offered bookkeeping services because she thought that having more to offer will keep her busier – and then she wondered why she wasn't getting any work!

The truth, however, is that specializing and narrowing your focus as much as possible will increase the likelihood of you getting more business. An accountant specializing in car dealerships will get more business than a general accountant will. An advertising consultant specializing in print media for home furnishing stores will get more business than a typical advertising agent will. A photographer specializing in weddings will get more business than a regular photographer will. And the list goes on and on.

Over the years, this has been referred to as niche marketing. How is this and what makes it happen? If we go back to the 2 major shifts I mentioned in the introduction of Power Positioning, you'll remember that the explosion in both competition and information are changing the entire business landscape. As more and more businesses get started and more and more people jump into home-based and self-employed opportunities, the less time, energy, and money people will have to spend in making choices for who they will choose to do business with. This is not only related to new and repeat business but also to referral business.

Let's say you have two friends who are in car sales and you're thinking of referring clients to one of them. One of your friends is a typical salesperson while the other, however, specializes in first time car buyers. He or she offers special creative financing methods for those new to credit, additional car-specific driver training for new drivers, and copies of rate comparison charts that suggest insurance companies with the lowest rates for newly licensed drivers (e.g., students, young drivers, newlyweds, late bloomers, etc). Now, to whom do you think you will refer more people? This is the awesome power of narrowing your focus. Think of a laser, which is basically a beam of highly concentrated, amplified light. You want to focus like a laser and, when you do, you will burn yourself into prospects' minds.

When you get down to it, as a consumer you will choose, when you have a choice presented to you, to go to a business that specializes in a unique area in which you have a need. Specialization, in itself, is a fundamental marketing system, for it casts an aura of superiority and exclusivity. When you deal with a specialist, you will automatically assume that that person has greater expertise, has greater knowledge about the field, and offers greater service since, by catering to a unique market, it implies that he or she will have a better understanding of your situation, needs, and concerns.

Specialization is the wave of the future, and the greater the competition will become, the greater the need for more specialists. Why do you think there is a trend in specialty stores these days? They are popping up everywhere! Today, there are stores selling only dry foods in bulk. There are vitamin and food supplement stores. There are electronics stores. There are toy stores. There are bookstores strictly selling self-help and motivational publications. There are restaurants catering only to vegetarians. There are even mothers-to-be and baby clothing stores!

The need to specialize is obvious. For example, you can get a toaster from a department store, a home furnishings store, a home appliance store, a grocery store, and even a bank! With the competition storming you with information, and with your very limited time to be able to shop around for the best product at the best price, you will more than likely go the store that pops into your mind at that moment. Heck, if there were a store selling just toasters, you'd probably go there first! So ideally, your job is to find out your niche, to narrowing it down as much as possible, and then to hit it with all you've got. The narrower your market, the more business will come to you. It's the paradox of Commandment #4 (Thou shall find more with less).

If you're new to business or hesitant about narrowing your focus since you want the ability to offer different products or services, focus on your own specific niche to begin with, and then, as business creates enough cashflow – and confidence – for you, start looking at expanding at that point. However, be careful. Expansion does not mean extension (see the next Commandment). If you expand outside of your area of expertise, you will fall down like a house of cards and will have to rebuild from the ground up. We will deal with this further, but for now, try to focus on your niche and, as stated in Commandment #2, become the specialist by appointing yourself as one!

The Power of Words to Increase Sales

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