In the last edition of Business Pros Marketing #63 I offered you a challenge. A big thank you to all of you who responded. Sorry I could not respond to each of you personally.

There were many great ideas, however only one person got the right answer.

Congratulations Cliff Danter! You are obviously an accomplished marketer and well on your way to building a great business.

Here’s the challenge again.
There are four traits of an ideal prospect.

The first three are:

  1. They want your product.
  2. They have the ability to pay for your product.
  3. They have the authority to purchase your product.

What’s the fourth?

Trait number 4. They have bought products and services similar to yours before.

If they have bought before it means they have an established need and have demonstrated a willingness to spend money to solve the problem. Contrast this with people who may have a need but have no interest in solving the problem.

When I was at school studying marketing, my lecturer told a story of two shoe salesmen who visited a poor African country to determine if there was a market for their products.

When they got there, each noticed that almost none of the population wore shoes.

One salesperson sent a telex back to his head office….Yes, in those days they used telex. Can you believe it?

The telex read; “This is a fantastic market. 90% of the population does not wear shoes. I will be staying here an extra week to set up local agents.”

The other salesman also sent a telex to his office. This one read; “This is a terrible market. 90% of the population does not wear shoes. Returning on the next flight.”

Which one do you think was right?

In my view it was the second. Yes, there was a need, but the people were not predisposed to buying. To win in this market, you would have to educate about the reasons for wearing shoes and change the culture. Not a very easy task.

To what extent are you chasing people to buy your products and services who are not predisposed to buying? Do they perceive the need the way you do?

If you are doing this, what is it costing you?

So how do you find people who have previously bought? One of the best ways is to access them with joint ventures.

For example, suppose you sell driver safety training programs. You could look for businesses who sell other kinds of non-competing safety training to the same companies you are trying to attract.

Have them introduce you to their clients and share the profits with them.

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