handshakeClarifying your target market (or desired opportunity) can be immensely helpful in growing your business. The process can aid greatly in focusing your time and energy on building mutually beneficial relationships with the right people.

The problem comes in when the main focus is your benefit, not theirs. In this way, targeting specific people in hopes of landing opportunity is a dangerous strategy that could easily taint your reputation and prove to be a giant waste of time in the process.

While I have certainly made this mistake in my career, recently I was on the other side of the equation. Jack, a friend of a friend, did a bit of digging on our mutual friends LinkedIn profile, identified me as a potential client and asked for a direct connection.

Two weeks later, during a thirty-minute phone conversation, I asked Jack why he picked me.

“How old are you?” he asked.

Thrown off by his question, I said, “You go first,” giving myself a minute to figure out why such a question mattered.

As it turns out, as an entrepreneur between the ages of 30 and 45, I fit his target market. Again, not a bad place to start when deciding who to focus your time and energy building a relationship. The problem comes in when that’s all you know about your target market.

A simple way to take this strategy one step further is to study the people you’ve identified as your target market. See if you can find the answers to these two questions—

  1. What got them into the business their in? Why does it matter to them?
  2. Who’s in their target market, and how can you help foster connections?

Whether they are in need of your product or services at this time or not, taking these steps demonstrates an authentic care for their success. Who doesn’t want to do business, or share opportunities and connections, with someone who cares enough to help them succeed whether they get the business or not?

Have a similar story? I’d love to hear it! Email me directly at Misti at Misti Burmeister.com

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister