The following is an excerpt from my latest eGuide, “In Their Shoes- Understanding High End Clients and How to Serve Them”. This eGuide accompanies a teleclass where I’ll be interviewed live by Nancy Michaels, America’s most sought after fortune 500 consultant, on Tuesday Nov 12th at 1pm EST. It should be a great conversation about this important topic. If you’d like to join us, click here to claim your spot. The call is free.
The important thing to me about this topic is that it is about SERVING the high end market. In order to properly serve, you must first understand. So my eGuide is about understanding, compassion and getting to know yourself first. And then deciding whether you and your business are the right fit for this market segment. It is NOT a “how-to”, “road to riches” kind of thing at all.
Anyway, enjoy this excerpt and please join us on the call Tuesday.
Much of what has been discussed in this eGuide comes down to being the right fit. Alignment you can say. Because the high-end market is such a particular niche and not the masses, I don’t think there’s any place where being the right fit is more important. Offering products and services to this unique market should not be seen as a “good business plan” just because it seems like the roads are paved with gold.
If you are fighting against any one of the characteristics described in this eGuide, you will be fighting an uphill battle, if not setting yourself up for failure. Someone I know who had two successful men’s clothing stores wanted to open a store in an affluent town in Connecticut. I warned him that there was already a very successful men’s store in that town whose clientele were extremely loyal. What could he possibly do to draw people away? He couldn’t. The original store did everything right and there was nothing he could ever do to break the loyalty their clientele felt. His store closed in a short period of time.
While it is imperative that you get to understand the psychology, habits and way of being of the high-end market, it is equally important that you get to know yourself. Who do YOU need to be to satisfy the needs of this clientele and is it genuine for you? One of the greatest tools I am aware of to accomplish this is what is called Perfect Lists. It’s a combination of two lists. The first is a long, detailed list of all the characteristics of your “Perfect Client”. The second list, equally if not more important, is the “Expectations of the Perfect Client.” IF the perfect client walked into your business, exactly who do YOU need to be to deserve and serve them?
Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine what their expectations of you might be. Can you deliver? For example, let’s say you’re in a business that is by appointment only and one of the characteristics of your perfect client is that they show up for their appointments on time. In order for you to deserve such a responsible client you can be assured that one of their expectations of you is that you are also prompt, prepared and able to deliver on time. Or perhaps your ideal client refers your business to their friends. They are going to expect that you are completely trustworthy, reliable and transparent in all your business dealings.
This is not to say that you make this list of their expectations and then you can magically become all these things. You want to take a fair look at yourself and inquire as to whether that is who you innately are or want to be. If you find being timely and prompt impossible or confining for you, then this market might not be for you. If you understand they are going to want to do business with someone who is meticulous, detailed and buttoned-down and you prefer to be casual and loose, then this might not be for you.
And that’s perfectly alright. Businesses are far more successful when they are aligned with the right clientele than when they are trying to force a mismatch. In fact, when you have right alignment of values and characteristics, it’s surprising how little work it is to be in business. Sales never feel like sales again but rather acts of service. Getting a good understanding of who you are, your clients’ expectations, and whether the high-end market is the right fit for you is the journey of not only having a successful business but also one that you love.