|An exercise for defining what prospects you are attracting.
Fly fishing -- it doesn't work, does it? When I first
watched someone fly-fishing, I saw them release the line
that went out far in the water. No sooner had the fly hit
the water it was being jerked back and reeled in. Even
today, I still don't understand how this method catches any
fish. Yet it does, so I am told. See, I have never been
It looks like so much more work too. I'm used to the worm,
bobber, sitting on a short foldable chair, having some great
conversation ever once in a while, sipping on a beer (okay
root beer so we don't X factor this article), relaxing and
waiting for the nibble. Or, is it praying for that nibble.
Okay, either one.
If you talk to a fly-fisherman, he says his method is the
best. And the same is uttered from a by-the-seat-of-the-
pants fisherman as well (cute description huh, I thought so
What makes the difference than? Is it technique? Is it the
water type -- salt or fresh? Is it the type of fish you are
going after? Is it the equipment or supplies? Is it the
Okay, back to the first question -- what is the difference?
The right answer is "all of the above." You can also throw
in the temperature, weather and time of day you are fishing
as well. The right answer still is, "all of the above."
And it all depends on the right combination of all these
items performed in a step-by-order method too. You don't
want to toss out the fly without the line. Well, I guess
you can but the chances of seeing that fly again is next to
nil for sure.
Marketing is not any different from fishing. If you are
tossing out the wrong hook to the right fish, they are not
going to bite. If you have the right fish and hook, and the
wrong technique -- fly-fishing instead of butt, wait and
pray fishing. This too will not get many results.
This is why so much emphasis is placed on your needing to
know your target market. Because if you don't you are
forever going to be trying what different lures, hooks and
techniques that wear you down as well as your resources
trying to figure out what is the right combination. You
can't catch flounder in a fresh water or blue gill in salt
Many times, and without knowing it because you are just glad
for the business, the fish pick you. So, what are you
attracting? LetĄ¯s take 15 minutes today and begin an
exercise that answers that question.
Okay, where were we. Getting late in the day. Oh, yes,
what are you attracting? Since I write mostly for service
professionals, let me present the "how-tos" for you. If you
own a retail store or have a much larger client base, you
can do the same by calculating just the top "A" list by
I recommend starting this process by hand to get the "feel"
of it and then you can move it over to Excel or a similar
software as it grows. Yes, you have my permission to allow
this fish to get bigger in this "fish tale."
On a new sheet of paper, turned sideways or landscaped, in
the far left hand side create the first column. Now write
down the first name of you client (or last name or both).
If you don't remember their name and you had given them a
nickname, use that. It doesn't matter as long as you know
who they are.
In the second column, title it "M/F." You guessed it, "male
or female." I knew I didn't have a "dah" market reading
this. Now, go down the column and write in the answers next
to each name.
Next column, title "M/S/D/U" = married, single, divorced,
unknown. Go down the column and complete again.
Remember, before you move onto a new column you want to
complete the previous column as much as possible -- there is
a subconscious reason for this I don't want to go off topic
to explain, so I'm asking you just trust me on this.
Here is a list of other demographic type of information you
want to continue in this same format: Age, time zone,
number of children (if any), how long a client, marketing
resource (how did they find you or you them), fee, and
As you continue to go through and complete each column you
will begin to see some patterns on the type of client you
are attraction as well as how they became your client (the
Continue with this project by adding more distinctions over
the next week. As you complete each column, another
important fact will emerge for you that you will want to
review. If you are missing some information, you might want
to pick up the phone and call that past client and ask ¨C a
great reason to get back in touch with them and renew your
name in their mind.
When you begin seeing the patterns emerge, like you work
mainly with 90% males, or everyone lives in a certain area,
or all are divorced, etc. Some of these patterns are going
to be obvious and some aren't. This is why this exercise is
good to complete at least once a year. I do this even
though I now have software that does it for me. There is
nothing like ink and paper to open my outside-the-box
thinking that doesn't emerge when reviewing a printed
When you get to a slowing down place, pull out the
description again of your ideal client. Now, see the
averages for this measurement chart in comparison to your
ideal client. How is it different? Were there any ideal
clients on the list -- put a star next to them or highlight
Is there a gap between the two? Can you see what the gap
is? Is it obvious? Do you need to build a bridge of things
to evolve with that moves from the island to the mainland?
If yes, what is it?
Okay, you've got your work cut out for yourself. I agree.
Then again, this exercise is the top one I recommend to all
my clients, workshop participants, and teleclass attendees.
I have even had seasoned professionals resist completing the
exercise because they felt they knew everything there was to
know on this already. If you feel this same way, itĄ¯s okay.
Let it evolve and see if something grows.
Much to their surprise after they completed the exercise.
In fact, Jim, an insurance agent from Arizona wrote me an e-
mail after a recent teleclass that did the assignment, yes,
with that same reluctance, saying,
"Damn, Catherine, you're good. The exercise eat at me until
this morning when I gave in and did the exercise even though
last night I convinced myself that I already knew all the
answers. I discovered way too many holes in our marketing.
My whole staff is excited. After I introduced it to them in
this morningĄ¯s staff meeting, we had to cut the meeting
short because everyone couldn't wait to get back to their
office and do the exercise."
About the Author
Catherine Franz is a marketing industry
veteran, a Certified Master Business Coach, Certified Teleclass
Leader and Trainer, speaker, author, and Master Attraction
Practitioner. For daily, weekly, and monthly
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