Speak THEIR Language, Not Yours

Remember the 2011 Tsunami in Asia? There was a post on Facebook the day after the terrible event that reminded me of a powerful marketing lesson…one that you can easily use to attract more and better clients in your travel business today.

As you would expect on Facebook, there were hoards of messages of thoughts, prayers and love going out to the people of Japan. And then I noticed a post by a gentleman, Jay French, but I couldn’t understand what he wrote….because it was in Japanese.ezine10_22_clip_image002
Within seconds, it hit me….he’s demonstrating a very powerful marketing message. If you want to market effectively, you must speak their language. And then I felt a little stupid for posting my own message in English. How assuming of me to think that the people I was trying to send love to would understand my English.

So how can you use this lesson in your marketing of your business? Start speaking the language of your ideal client. First place to start is to ask yourself, who is your ideal client? Have you identified who they are?

Identify your ideal client

If you haven’t identified your ideal client, it’s time to do so….otherwise, your marketing is not going to produce anything for you. Here are some tips for identifying your ideal client:

1. Go through your client folders or database and grade each client from A to F. Clients who booked lucrative business, were delightful to work with, valued your expertise and are raving fans who refer lots of other people to you, would be an A. You get the picture, right?

2. After you have graded your clients, put your As and Bs together and try to find the common denominators. Are they all men, or women? Are they married couples or single? Do they fall within a certain age group? Do they live in a similar area? What about their values? Do they belong to the same church? Did they graduate from the same college? Do they read the same newspapers or watch the same TV shows? Keep asking yourself these questions to find some of the common themes. There are bound to be some.

3. Now go through your D and F grade clients. Make a list of all the reasons why they were not ideal. For example, a reason might be that they were totally focused on price and didn’t really care about the quality they were getting. Once you have completed your list, start a new list, by going through each item on the first list and turning it around. See below for an example. Once you have completed the turn around list, add these characteristics to your list of what your ideal client looks like.


Start Speaking Their Language

Now that you have a better idea of who your ideal client is, you should have more clarity around what they are going through in their life. When you can identify with your clients dreams and their pain, you become so attractive to them. The way to do this is to start speaking their language, even if that means learning Japanese! Here are some tips for speaking their language:

1. Get in their head….not yours. 
However, a lot of times your ideal client is a lot like you, so you can get in your own head if that is the case. Get in their head and start thinking about the struggles and frustrations they are going through. For example, if your ideal client is a bride, some of the struggles and frustrations she is going through is being really busy, overwhelmed with the concept of planning a big wedding, not enough time for herself, tired of worrying about everyone else’s feelings about the wedding and not her own. And the list goes on, right? Keep a list of all the thoughts she might have, trying to start each statement with the word, “I.” It might look like this: “I feel so overwhelmed right now.” “I am tired of everyone else’s opinion and not being able to do it my way.” “I don’t have enough time to get to everything.” Keep a nice long list of these statements.

2. Turn each statement into a question, being super careful to change the wording as little as possible.
Using the above example:

“I feel so overwhelmed” becomes “Do you feel so overwhelmed?”

“I am tired of everyone else’s opinion and not being able to do it my way” becomes “Are you tired of everyone else’s opinion and want to do it your way?”

“I don’t have enough time to get to everything” becomes “Do you have too little time to get to everything?”

3. Now, you are successfully speaking their language!
Use these “Pull” questions in your marketing…on the home page of your website, on the back of your business card, in the opening of a direct mail piece, etc.


Spend some time going through these exercises to identify your ideal client and start speaking their language. When you do, you will feel so much clarity around the value you provide. When you do, you will be so pleased with the quality of clients that start showing up for you….almost like magic!


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