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Oct 4, 2018

On today’s episode of Just the Tips, I’m in a much better mood, having adjusted to the keto diet, though Dean’s fitness advice could put me back over the edge. But in the meantime, Dean and I dive into something that has come up numerous times on the show, but we haven’t quite been able to take our time with the topic. It’s a question that nearly every business owner confronts at some point: What if I’m selling to the wrong customer? And if the answer is “no,” it’s a real turning point for entrepreneurs, because you can either continue selling to people you’re not excited about, or whom you aren’t really helping, or you can wrack your brain trying to get in front of the customers you do desire. So today, we break it all down for you, our loyal Just the Tips listeners.

How to recognize when you’re selling to the wrong people

As Dean says as we dip into the conversation, it took him a long time to even recognize the problem. At first he was just wondering why he hated his life, even though outwardly things were going well for him. And what he realized was that despite the fact that he was selling a lot and was making good money, the people he was selling to weren’t actually using what he was giving them. And so the impact he’d hoped to achieve wasn’t there, because the wrong people were taking what he was selling and letting it go to waste. It’s a really interesting distinction, and fascinating to hear Dean talk about it on this week’s Just the Tips.  

What is being an entrepreneur?

Dean’s conundrum actually strikes at the heart of what it means to be an entrepreneur. I have a quote from Tony Robbins that I return to again and again that says: “Contribution is not an obligation, it’s an opportunity.” And I think that really is what drives entrepreneurs: You find a problem that people have and you try to solve it for them, and you make money as you do so. And so that’s really the first step to figuring out how to dig you out of this hole: Go back to the drawing board and figure out who you are selling to; what they need and how you can help them. It’s sort of back-to-basics approach, but it’s a great gut-check for entrepreneurs that we explore on this week’s Just the Tips.

If you’re not in love with your customer, it’s just work

One of the things that Dean says on this week’s episode of Just the Tips that sheds a light on a very common problem for entrepreneurs is that he never really went through and looked at who he was selling to when he first got started. He just started selling. And that’s often how people get started, but eventually that work is going to start to feel empty, and you’re going to need to figure out who the person is who you’re helping with your product or service. It’s like being in a relationship: If you’re just doing something because that’s what you do or you feel obligated, you’re going to start to resent the person you’re with. It’s the same thing with customers.

If you’re serving the wrong customer, you have nothing to lose

Dean told me about how, when he was feeling the most miserable, he was at his most successful. And that’s a very difficult faucet to shut off. People often feel scared that they’re going to lose everything if they change course. But the truth is, you’ve already lost. If you don’t have the desire to drive your business forward, then your business is already slipping away. And the way to get that back is to find your ideal customers and help them. You don’t have to burn everything to the ground to make this happen. This is a really great episode of Just the Tips that gives practical advice for a common, but somewhat difficult-to-pin-down problem. And unlike Dean, you don’t have to burn everything down to fix it.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:53] Introduction of the problem
  • [5:26] How to recognize when you’re selling to the wrong people
  • [8:43] What is being an entrepreneur?
  • [10:15] Going back to the drawing board  
  • [19:45] Your business is like your own personal club
  • [24:13] If you’re serving the wrong customer, you have nothing to lose
  • [28:45] The scalpel over the sledgehammer
  • [35:15 How to fix things without burning everything down

Music for “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Resources Mentioned

Connect With James and Dean

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