November 4, 2021

Priorities - Anatomy of a Target Business

Erica Mackay

Hand a person a fish and they’ll eat for a day, teach them how to fish, however, and they’ll eat for a lifetime.

But… What if that person didn’t even want a fish in the first place? What if what they are actually after is a drink? What if they don’t like fish at all?

You can quite probably safely assume that the fishing rod won’t pique their interest either!

Now swap out that person for a business and imagine yourself opposite with the metaphorical salmon dangling from your fishhook.

Much like customers, businesses don’t want to be sold something they don’t need.

In other words, they won’t be interested in taking a further look at your product or service if it doesn’t align with their immediate priorities.

You might think: ‘but what if I sell them the prospect of a seafood meal? That might change their mind!’

It won’t.

Pushing something on a company they don’t want or need is a waste of your time (and budget!) just as much as it is theirs.

This is why it’s so critical you get to know exactly what your target business would be looking for out of a potential business relationship...

  • Not just what matters to them, but of those things, which matter the most? 
  • Not just what problems are they trying to solve, but which of those problems do they believe need solving most urgently?
  • Not just what are they trying to achieve as a business, but how do they rank those goals? 

In other words… what are their priorities?

As part of this, you need to consider how far along in the buyer’s journey they are.

This is pretty crucial.

You want to gauge to what extent the organisation has identified their problem and the solution that is needed.

If they don’t realise they have a problem, then you are going to find it harder to sell them a solution. 

But also, if they perceive themselves to have a different, more pressing problem, then they are likely to focus their attention (*cough* budget *cough*) on solving that one first. 

On the flip side, if your product will help them achieve their most important business goals or solve their most pressing challenge, you will likely find a more receptive audience. 

As we keep saying, timing is everything! 

This is where lending an ear can pay dividends for you down the line. Getting to know your target businesses and their priorities is the key. 

And once you have wrapped your head around all of those qualifying factors, if you are confident that your product or service is actually a good fit to meet their needs, then getting the messaging right is key to helping them realise that. 

You want to build that marketing campaign that just gets your target business.

While drawing on previous client case studies and testimonials can be a really valuable tool to demonstrate the value of your offering, as previous clients may experience similar pain points, you have to remember that not every challenge is 100% the same.

Therefore, the solutions can’t be either.

You can build up a pretty good idea of how to approach a certain problem.

But you’ll need to pay close attention to your target business to understand what aspects of your solution need to be amended to fit their challenges and align with their priorities.

If a business’ number one priority is to grow, be sure to explain how your product or service will help them to do this. If it is to become more profitable, run more efficiently, raise their profile or whatever else, likewise, tailor your message to align with the things they place the most value on. 

In other words, tailoring both your offering and the way you communicate your offering to meet their priorities will boost your chances of striking a successful business arrangement.

But remember the fish analogy... none of that is even worthwhile doing if the business will not benefit from your offering in the first place, or if what you are offering is not high on their priority list!