Effective Ways to Keep Your “Who” Front and Center

by | Aug 7, 2020

We’ve had some interesting conversations in our family lately.

One day last week, we got into a discussion about how people survive pandemics. During that conversation, my youngest child wanted to know what the Spanish flu was. I told her it was a pandemic that killed thousands of people about a hundred years ago. Her next question surprised me. She asked, “Who did it kill?”

She wanted to know the name of a specific person who died.

And it got me thinking about target markets. (After all, everything in life relates back to business.)

As a business owner, you know who your target market is. You know who is most likely to benefit from your offerings. But often, we get so busy that we clump all of these defining characteristics together and say, “That’s our prospect.” Without really considering the person on the other end.

But who is that person?

Part of the Elite Business Growth System requires focusing on your “who”. Who do you serve? How do you serve them? What is the pain you solve for them?

You and your team are busy. However, you’ll achieve much greater success if you can humanize the person on the other end. They’re not a number. They are not a list of characteristics. They are a specific person. They are the reason you get up and do what you do every single day.

To help you and your team stay focused on the “Who”, I’ve got a few suggestions for you.

Give Your WHO a Name…and Use It Frequently

Have you ever seen the movie Cast Away? Do you remember the tragic moment when the volleyball (and inanimate object) falls off the raft and drifts away? Tom Hanks, after failing to rescue the volleyball, cries and repeatedly yells, “I’m sorry, Wilson.”

Who is Wilson? The volleyball. And Tom Hanks’ only friend in the movie.

At some point, during your initial growth stage, you probably created a customer avatar. Having a customer avatar helps you stay focused and quickly improves your marketing. Because you’re no longer chasing an intangible. You’re making decisions based on the characteristics of the person you’d like to reach.

If you haven’t created an avatar or persona, do that first. Then, if you haven’t done it already, I’m going to suggest giving your avatar a name. Had the volleyball been just a volleyball, few tears would have been shed over its loss.

But it wasn’t just a volleyball. It was Wilson.

Your avatar needs a name, and you need to use it frequently. Make your avatar part of the team. When anyone uses her name, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Because you all know who she is, what she loves, and why she is going to be your customer.

Invite “Her” To Spend Time At The Office

While an avatar gives your team direction, nothing beats having that person present and able to speak for themselves. Consider inviting your customers to the office. Invite them to join you in meetings. Get instant feedback on your goals and current offerings.

Not comfortable inviting one of your customers to the office? You still have a few options:

Call Your Customers

This should be part of your process anyway. Especially if you have a sales team. Interacting with your customers one-on-one will give you and your team valuable insights.

Plus…that interaction will build better relationships with your customers. They want to know that you genuinely care about them. A phone call goes a long way in building rapport and leading to loyal customers.

Hire an Actor

If you’ve given your avatar enough details, a trained actor should have no problem joining the party. They should be able to ask questions, share concerns, and strengthen any conversation with their input.

Can you imagine how much deeper your team will have to dig when their ideas are being questioned by [YOUR AVATAR’S NAME]?

It’s definitely a unique exercise in perspective.

Ask If [YOUR AVATAR’S NAME] Would Approve

When holding any discussions that affect customer experiences, always revert back to your WHO. Before dismissing meetings or one-on-one discussions, be sure to ask, “What would [YOUR AVATAR’S NAME], think about our decisions?”

Remember, your who is your purpose. If you’re not serving them in the best way possible, then what’s the point. Make them real and challenge each other on whether that person’s interests are being considered first.

Focus On The Pain You Solve

Just as important as the person you serve is the pain you solve. It’s all part of your vision. What do you do that makes the world a better place? That makes life better for your customer? When you know what your efforts truly mean, coming up with a Vision that drives you and your team gets easier.

Take time to ask yourself and your team:

  • Without our solution, what is life like for our target market?
  • Without us, what actions (good and bad) will our target market take to fix their pain?
  • With our solution, how is life better, easier, more enjoyable for those we serve?
  • If my parent, spouse, friend, etc. was our target market, how would I want them to feel about us and our offering?
You have the chance to make a big difference in people’s lives. Remind yourself how important that is and you can’t help but feel closer to your target market.

Without that clarity of what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for, your Vision will be incomplete. Keeping the most important person in your business front and center will keep you grounded, motivated, and focused as you move forward.


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