By Lindy Earl
I like all those Characteristics Quizzes people share about Traits of Successful People. I’ve found they are accurate in that there are personality types that seem to perform better. I’ve also found a plethora of successful people who don’t fit the mold. I’m not as interested in who you are as a worker as what you know, and what you need to know. Outlined below are six areas I work on with all my clients. Sometimes they are opening a new business, sometimes it’s about being more successful in their personal life, but these always help.
This first one may irritate you, but take a moment to really think about it. First, you need to know what you’re offering. I am making the distinction here between an Item and a Product. Nike sells hats – those are items. But a Nike Product is quality, determination, a never-die attitude. When you wear, and pay for, Nike Items, you are telling the world you are serious about your athleticism. So, how you present yourself in both your professional and personal lives needs to reflect what you want people to know about you. Are you a great communicator, immediate responder, what? You need to know what you offer.
The second thing you need to know, and it takes a lot of work to know, then consistently ensure it’s accurate, and this is your price. First, we all know costs and prices are completely different numbers. Never confuse the two. Second, don’t overlook important pieces that belong in your price. Again, whether you are negotiating what your salary should be, or what you offer in a relationship, you need to accurately know your worth.
You need to understand your Target Market. I’m talking two dozen characteristics, more psychographic than demographic, that identifies your clients so clearly that you know how and where to find them. If you work for a company with a clear cut plan, then follow that, but be open to other unexplored and potentially untapped markets.
In your personal life, are you hanging out with the right people? Do you enjoy the friendships you have or are they stale? Are you fishing in the right pond or do you keep meeting the same types of people over and over? Rethink who you want to spend time with and the best place to find the people you want to know.
Choose your best method of Distribution. If you have a physical product, do you need a retail space? Will you be online? If you’re a service, do you need an office? Can you work from your living room? Are you local, national, or International? How will these decisions affect your pricing? A bit awkward to adjust this to your personal life, but know what’s important when you choose where to live – are schools important? Transportation? Do you have a limit of how far you are willing to travel to work or for a date? Consider these before you choose your next location.
Know your competition! The most frustrating, and completely wrong, thing I hear from people is that they don’t have competition because their product is so darn unique. Balderdash. Everyone has competition. Milk has competition in that people can choose to drink water. If you know what you’re offering (see above), then you can more easily understand your competition. What are people choosing to use instead of what you offer? Why? Now you’re understanding your competition.
Promotion/Sales/Advertising. If you’ve done everything well above, then this step should be easier. If you know what you’re offering, to whom, know your worth and any limits of distribution, then this part should fall into place. If you know your Target Market spends weekends on the golf course, then you know where you need to be every weekend. That’s just one small example. This is the fun part.
One last consideration, once you know all six points, it’s important that they work together. You can’t offer a quality product at a low price – at least, you shouldn’t because you would be leaving money on the table. That’s just one example for this short article. Ensure your six pieces work together, and professional and personal success will come.
Lindy is a Business Consultant, Speaker, and Writer. Contact her at LMEarl@Earlmarketing.com to learn how she can make you and your company more successful.