The Importance of Specificity in Sales

Posted on January 22, 2019 by

When you’re selling something (and make no mistake, you are always selling if you’re an entrepreneur.

Every meeting with investors is a sales pitch, but what you’re selling is your whole company – you need to convince investors it’s the perfect opportunity for them in exactly the same way a marketing campaign persuades customers that your products (or services, or packages) are exactly what they need.

Whether it’s investors, clients or customers, specificity is the key to success: you need to speak to the specific needs of your audience to persuade them that you are the right choice.

With investors and clients, getting specific is easy: you can research their previous work, look at what’s worked for them and what hasn’t, and the other partnerships they’ve been in, and use that research to emphasise how good a fit you are for them.

When you’re marketing products to a mass audience, it’s harder to be specific. If you’re trying to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people you need to make compromises on how specific an advert can be about being tailored to an individual. You can still bring to bear the philosophy of specific details being the most important, by learning about audience segmentation. This is the process of upgrading your understanding of who your audience is, so you’re not stuck with a fixed idea that you’re only selling to, for example, men over the age of 50.

The human brain tends to latch onto the first piece of information it hears about a subject and give it undue prominence, so you’ll start to believe that the first thing you learn about your market is the whole of the truth. This is a cognitive bias known as anchoring.

Breaking your audience down into segments (or groups) lets you be more specific with your advertising. That doesn’t just mean targeting your adverts to particular groups, it even lets you decide where you’re going to prioritise your spend. If those fifty-year-old men we discussed earlier are your core audience, research might reveal there’s little benefit in marketing to them at the moment: you are their natural choice!

That understanding allows you to refocus your attention, priorities and spend on a less tapped segment of the market, and discover a whole new source of revenue, word of mouth and loyal customers, be they single women in their 30s, students or young homeowners. Without getting specific about all your customers you would never have found these new consumers!

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