How My Cats Improve Your Sales
When a speaker comes up front, don’t you just love it when they begin by asking you to raise your hands?
How many people love THEIR cats?
How many people are just OK with cats?
How many people prefer dogs?
How many of you really just want to get into the box of goodies over here?
We have three cats. One of which I love because he is just like a dog and shows unconditional love, Wally. Another thinks I am OK as long as my wife, Sharyn, is not around (Fenway). And the 3rd treats me like her servant (Sweet Caroline).
So whats the point of this?
Let’s say that clients are like our cats:
There is a SALES TRIANGLE that describes the process.
Now, I know, if you are not a cat person, I will probably lose you here, so pretend that I’m talking about having 3 DOGS, ok?
So back to our cats.
In this blog, Wally represents the 3% Ready to Purchase clients. He has heard everything we have to offer. He has sniffed at our shoes and decided that we are a match for what he needs (especially that scratching-all-over stuff). And even when he is not in the mood to get scratched behind the ears, he is open to the idea of buying – the next 7% on this pyramid.
Fenway, who is really my wife Sharyn’s cat, is one of those cats who could take or leave me. The only time she even comes near me is if Sharyn is not around. It does not matter how well I would scratch her behind the ears, she does not even think about me. In fact, if we are walking toward each other, she will walk WAY out of her way to get away from me. This makes her the 60% of the pyramid that has very little interest.
Caroline, on the other hand, has so little interest in either of us, it’s like having a stray cat living in our house that spends most of her time under the bed. She KNOWS she is definitely not interested in having us scratch behind her ears or anywhere ELSE.
Now let’s take this back to real world….
There are a lot of sales trainers who would say I should only spend my time with Wally. They think that by giving any attention, or trying to give attention to Fenway or Caroline, I am wasting my time.
They would think that by ignoring two of my cats I am spending my “cat” time in the best possible place. That’s because Fenway is barely, if at all, interested, and Caroline is a lost cause. In other words, the rest of the Cat Market is ignoring me and what I can do for them.
We are believers in being able to niche down your markets, but I have always thought “What happens if you focus strictly on one niche and that niche goes south?”
The answer is you have to have a back up.
For the businesses for whom we create Marketing Paths, we focus on small companies which are usually led by a couple (defined only as two people) who have had a good amount of success, yet need help getting focused to achieve increased levels of sales. But it does not mean we avoid doing work for larger companies that need an outside set of eyes to look over what their internal team has proposed.
For companies that are in that middle 60%, you have to have a program that will talk to them. With Fenway, I find that if I sit down at my desk, and pull another desk chair near to me, she will, sometimes, jump up on that chair and let me pet her. She won’t do it when she is on the floor. But for that small period of time she is up a bit higher, she will let my message of “I can scratch your ears really well” get through.
In terms of sales, if I create a specific message for audiences who would normally shut me out, there is a chance that they will become open to buying from me.
As for that bottom 30%, Caroline, I have to go to extreme measures to get her to pay attention to me. I have to stretch my hands waaaaay under the bed, with chicken, for her to get near me. She knows she has zero interest unless I am giving it away. These are the clients who you can offer yourself for free but they still don’t get it.
What is interesting, is that a lot of our clients think they can get Caroline out from under the bed and spend part of their time with us in Sedona trying to coax that cat out instead of working with us to create their marketing path to attract more Wallys and Fenways.
The point here is that I am supposed to keep feeding Wally, build a relationship with Fenway to make her as friendly as Wally, and put out enough ‘loving vibes’ that maybe Caroline will come around. It’s the same with potential clients. Keep feeding your Wallys, showing lots of appreciation and good will, but keep building relationships with your Fenways, who can become your next Wally. It is how you can expand your niche markets.
As for Caroline, I will have to continue to educate her on my “Cat Scratch” expertise, while not expecting to get her into my lap. I may be good, but there is 30% of my target market to whom I will only sell if I have unlimited funds, or in her case, broiled chicken. And even then, she might not come out to play.
(If you want to follow the antics of our cats, you can find them on our facebook page.)