I have a lot of discussions around “target market”. Defining who you want as a client, planning how to find them and taking action to attract them.
Sometimes that conversation shifts into specific niches (think medical professionals, members of a defined club or specific political affiliations). Other times those talks move towards targeting a certain age demographic or generation (think millennials, boomers or retirees). But more often than not, when someone wants to discuss target market(s) with me, the conversation leans towards wealth and retirement assets; and how the professionals I coach can attract a more affluent client base.
A complete discussion around attracting affluent clients takes a while – weeks, months or even years. It involves branding, image, your firm’s posture and positioning, an intentional culture fostered within your firm, the plans you’re presenting, product options you’re discussing and details surrounding what after-the-sale client experience they can expect – just to name a few.
But today I want to focus on language. Recently I came across A Framework for Understanding Poverty from Ruby Payne, PhD. Inside Dr. Payne’s findings, she dives deeper into the “Hidden Rules Among Classes” that discuss thoughts, concerns and motivators for those in “Poverty”, “Middle Class” and “Wealth”. For example:
- Poverty: To be used, spent.
- Middle Class: To be managed.
- Wealth: To be conserved, invested.
- Poverty: Social inclusion of people he/she likes.
- Middle Class: Emphasis is on self-governance and self-sufficiency.
- Wealth: Emphasis is on social exclusion.
- Poverty: Casual register. Language is about survival.
- Middle Class: Formal register. Language is about negotiation.
- Wealth: Formal register. Language is about networking.
The list is long, thought-provoking and worth your time; especially if you want to “target” a more affluent client in the future.
“Marketing is about entering the conversation your prospect is already having in their own mind.”
It’s time for you to be deliberate about this. Enter the mind and world of your ideal client, speak to their concerns and have answers prepared for what they need. Empathy can be developed.
Now you have the knowledge – but more importantly, what are you going to do with it?