“I know we’re selling countless NASCAR pins to our southern blue collar base,” you say to yourself one day, “but I feel like we’re growing stagnant. How can we reach the rest of America with our fine product? I especially want to reach the hipsters in San Francisco.”
Thus begins one of the toughest challenges you’ll face as a business owner: how to reach the “unreachables.” These are people who, when you started the business, knew would absolutely never buy your product. Like a farmer buying hair gel, it’s just not going to happen.
Well, that is, unless you MAKE it happen.
Work Your Way In
When going after an impossible (or even simply extra tough) market, like the farmer and the hair gel or the hipsters and the NASCAR pin, it may not be the best strategy to immediately tackle that market head on. Instead, try to work your way into the market through a back alleyway.
If you want to get those NASCAR pins to those hipsters, there could be a go-between. Somewhere in the lands between your current customer base (blue collar Southerners) and your intended market (hipsters) there is a common ground. You should find it, and exploit it.
For instance, one thing about those crazy hipsters is they seem to (ironically, perhaps) love Pabst Blue Ribbon. That particular beer is generally seen as a blue collar beer, consumed mostly by southern NASCAR lovers. Now, you have something to attack – a common ground, a go-between.
This go-between can also be a group of people. If you’re trying to sell hair gel to farmers on top of your current metrosexual crowd, you may have a tough go of it. But if you market towards a go-between, say, suburban gardening enthusiasts, you have a stepping stone to work from.
Hey, today’s world we’re all about open communication, whether it takes place online or in the real world. So you basically have no excuse to not go out there and find out what makes your intended target market tick.
There’s always a reason why certain people don’t buy certain products, and it goes way beyond a simple “I don’t need it.” Those California hipsters? They don’t want anything to do with southern culture. And those farmers don’t use hair gel because they think it’s too “girly.”
Now that you know what your actual issues are with selling to these folks, you can attack them. Again, simply ask what you could do with your product to make it something they would want to pick up and enjoy. You don’t want to change your model too much, as your current customers might revolt. But you can still take what they say into consideration and see if it’s worth pursuing their business.
If so, you may just perform the unthinkable: selling to an openly hostile market!
These are, of course, extreme examples of unreachable market. (I daresay you could find lower hanging fruit than trying to sell your hair gel to Farmer Bob.) Some unreachable markets are unreachable for a reason and your product just isn’t a fit. But you’ll never know until you try!
Which customer markets do you have trouble selling to?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html