What does targeting a market and networking have in common?
It is always so interesting to me when someone tells me that target market concept doesn't work for them. Usually, when I ask to hear what they have chosen as a target market it sounds something like this, "I want to do business with small to medium sized businesses with 5 - 20 employees." Or it might sound like this, "The market I'd like to focus on is middle aged women between the ages of 35 - 65." While the two above examples are a good start, by no means are they a narrow enough target for those with limited marketing budgets. In fact in my opinion, the smaller the budget, the smaller the target should be. That way those marketing dollars will give the best bang for their buck.
But back to networking. When someone says that target marketing doesn't work for them, one question I ask is, "What professional association have you joined to help you either rub elbows with your targets or to get acquainted with people who can introduce you to you to your targets? 99 times out of 100, the answer is silence. Or they attended once and didn't get any business so they didn't go again.
This is where networking comes in.
If done right networking is relationship building. Attending and giving of yourself to a group will give the members of that group the feeling that you belong. This is long term investment. And that is the reason many say, "target markets don't work for me." They have not put in the time, nor chosen a narrow enough target to even figure out what the professional association is of that particular group. These people go back to being jack of all trades, master of none.
Tom Stanley's Networking with Millionaires CD album clearly shows how it doesn't matter what market you choose to focus, but it matters that you choose.
What has your experience been with finding a narrow target and where do you network to specifically find those people?