Last weekend was “opening day” for Little League Baseball in our community. There was a Pancake Breakfast to kick-off the season, children singing the National Anthem and of course, a local celebrity to throw out the game ball. We really enjoyed our morning and felt grateful to share in the experience. As I sat in the stands watching my 8 year old son Jack and his teammates (The Pinto Dodgers!), I started thinking about how Smart Women, Baseball and Marketing your business have a lot in common.
In my work with Women Entrepreneurs, I find that marketing can be a bit of a mystery. It seems like a beast that cannot be tamed and yet, those who figure it out, become successful with companies doubling in growth and profits nearly overnight. So how are baseball and marketing alike?
Marketing really is just like the game of baseball. And once you figure out the rules of the game, you will move around the “diamond” very quickly, scoring successful runs. First, you have to decide what you are marketing (product or service) and second, who your ideal client is. In other words, who benefits from using your product or service. When you have determined who your ideal client is, you can then create a “message” that will appeal to those people. Makes sense, right? Many times, when we start a business what’s the first thing we do? We create a logo, business cards, and possibly a web site. We do need all of these things to run a business, however, if we don't accurately communicate the right “message”, then we have wasted valuable time and dollars with no success. Our ideal client must be able to understand how we can help to solve their problems with our product or service. It’s essential that you develop your “message” first. Let them know how your product or service can solve the problem they are having.
Once you have your message developed, you get to step-up to Home Plate. Every person you come in contact with, that is your ideal client gives you a “chance at bat.” When you have your message about your product or service developed correctly, you will connect with the right person.
When your ideal client becomes interested in what you have to offer, you move to First Base. First Base does not mean that they are ready to buy what you have to offer. They are typically not ready to buy yet. They have simply said, “I’m interested in what you have to say.” This might be accomplished through them subscribing to your newsletter, calling for more information after you sent them something in the mail, or seeing you speak at a local event and approaching you to ask a few questions.
When you are on First Base, you want to get to Second. Getting to Second Base is when you realize that your ideal client would like to learn more about what you have to offer. This could be a phone call, a complimentary session with you to see if it feels right for them, or a complimentary teleseminar. Here is where you need to offer the ideal client valuable information on who you are, what you have to offer and how it can benefit them.
Gong from Second Base to Third Base is when your ideal client has learned more about you, your product and your service and says, “Yes, I believe that you have what I need and I would like to work with you.”
From Third Base, your only goal is to get back to Home Plate and score a run (a new client). This process is where you agree on how you will work together, when you will work together and for how long.
Every boy or girl that steps up to Home Plate, wants to hit a Home Run, right? We are no different. When I meet my ideal client (women who are ready to move their lives forward both personally and professionally), I get excited because I know what I have to offer will really benefit them. However, this is a process, like the game of baseball, of moving around the diamond, one base at a time, creating belief and trust with the ideal client. And by the way, there will be plenty of Home Runs. The more you follow this process, get your message out there in the field, create belief and trust with your community, you will meet some people who will say, “I’ve heard about you and I want to talk with you about your service!” or “I need what you have to offer!” There seems to be only one thing left to say: “Play Ball!”
© 2009 Joy Chudacoff
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