I often write about the power of the word no. There can be a problem with that word which causes unintended consequences. When you say no to people it can cause you some real problems. Sometimes people get angry when you say no. Sometimes they get more than angry they go ballistic.
No, I’m not talking about why you exist on the planet. I’m talking about why your company exists. Too often we start a company because we have an idea. You might have done this yourself. When you first started you might even have thought for a little about what your reason for starting was. I bet that after a while you forgot all about this and just concentrated on getting stuff out the door.
With a reason you can get others to come along for the ride.
If you’re a salesperson you probably love saying the word “yes”. Yes, we can provide that product for you. Yes, we can hit your delivery times. Yes, even though in your heart of hearts you know you should be saying no.
No, you say, we salespeople don’t say the word no. Our job is to bring in sales. If we say no, then we’re not bringing in sales. And that is the problem with the way we train our sales people.
A niche is not a market segment. For example, if you’re in the financial services business and you say your niche is someone who has $500,000 in investable assets, you have no niche. What you have is a market segment. If instead you said that my niche is someone who is 55 years old and has worked in a particular industry at a particular group of companies, you now have a niche.
When you describe to others what your niche is they will immediately understand what you’re talking about. Some of the benefits you get from understanding and staying with a niche are:
I was sitting in our lobby looking at the sign that points people to our office. Under our logo was a tag line that said financial strategies for life. If you look at our new logo you will see our mission statement of we make our Clients lives better. This started me thinking about the difference between a tag line and a mission statement.
I’ve written a great deal about what a niche is not. I’ve come to believe that putting together niches that you service is the only way to provide a business that makes higher than average profits and is relatively easy to run. Below are two things I think you need to learn about developing a niche and the effort that it takes to do so.
Niche planning is one of the most important things most private businesses can do. For most of us, the problem is not finding enough potential Customers. In fact, it’s usually the opposite; what can we do to narrow who we’re looking for.
This means we need to have a clear understanding of who our best Customers are and why we need to narrow our search. Here are some things you might want to consider as your narrow and develop your niche:
- Do a demographic segmentation of who your best Customers are. This means developing both a psychographic and demographic profile of who these Customers are. Your best Customer is someone who you make outsized profits with and who is easy to work with.
- Start developing a value proposition aimed at your best demographic.
- Make sure you are adding value at a massively higher level than your competitors for the niche you want to target. This means putting together programs that help your niche become better at what they do using your expertise.
- Develop a marketing program that lets your niche know that you exist and that you are interested in helping them make their life and or business better. You want to be specific in how you are going to go about doing this.
- Join organizations where those in your niche are likely to be. Get involved in community or trade associations where your niche hangs out. Helping people in your preferred demographic achieve their goals will put you in good stead with them.
I spend a lot of time either working on my own practice or helping other financial advisors work on their practices. Much of this work focuses on what one can do to improve the value of their practice.