Start With “Who”

Posted by chucktrautman on July 12, 2018

In fact, here are six words that will change your business life FOREVER!

Start with “who” then work backwards.

Too much of the time, we start with the “what.”

  • What do we want to sell?
  • What do we want to promote?
  • What service am I going to provide?
  • What am I going to charge?

What? What? What?

The real question is, “WHO am I going to serve?”

Do you think it’s important to know the age, income, likes, hopes, dreams, location, goals, problems, etc… of the people who are going to buy from you?

Do you think that, if you’re selling Rolex watches, you better have the “who” you’re selling to figured out before you write your message to them?

Could there be multiple “who’s” that require multiple messages?

If one of your target markets is men buying an anniversary gift for their wives, do you think you might touch on different points than if you’re trying to appeal directly towards a woman buying something for herself?

I’ll just assume you agree.

So right now, imagine one product or service you provide and describe “who” your ideal client, customer or patient is for what you offer.

Then, for your next marketing piece, take this description out and write a letter directly to this person you’ve described…and ONLY to them.

So many people are afraid of leaving people out that they create generic, bland, boring marketing messages to everyone and no one at the same time.

You need to write to a specific person because…

There are “Riches in Niches!”


This is an excerpt from my book, “9 Rules For Business Prosperity in the New Economy”.  The book may be purchased in both printed and Kindle editions at:

Target the Right Market

Posted by chucktrautman on July 5, 2018

One of the keys to crafting the right message is making sure you are aiming it at the right market.

The best possible offer made to someone who is wholly unqualified or wholly disinterested in it is not going to work.

You’ve got to match your offer with the right people to receive those offers.

You want to find good prospective customers for a business that:

  • Can be reached affordably
  • Are likely to buy
  • Are able to buy
  • Preferably already know you or are likely to trust you

You may think you know who your customers are but truth is we find this rarely bears out in reality.

Too many businesses have a tough time enunciating exactly who their customer is and what that person is all about.

This means they have a tough time producing advertising and marketing to reach these people.

A few years back, Dan Kennedy was working with an individual in the carpet cleaning business. This business owner was doing a lot of the right things in terms of crafting messages and using good advertising media. But he said none of it was working and couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

They only worked out the solution when Dan took a drive with him around the area they were targeting. It was quickly obvious why he wasn’t getting a good response from his reasonably good messages.

If you looked around the homes in the zip codes he was marketing to, the lawns were poorly kept, the yards were untidy, and many of the driveways had old cars jacked up on them.

It was obvious these were not the kind of people who would be likely to pay money to have a carpet cleaning service come and clean their carpets.

He could have delivered the best marketing message. He could deliver a tremendous, irresistible offer – a great widget – to the people in that neighborhood and still get very poor response.

Right message, wrong market.

If you are in one of those areas, you short-circuit the whole process.

You’re guaranteed to waste money and you are likely to
have an abject failure of the marketing effort.

To get the right answer, you have to pick your target market with more sophistication.

There are several ways that most small businesses can approach this whole issue of target marketing.

For example you can target according to the geographic area, the demographics of the type of people, or the membership of an affinity group.

The more you know about your target market, the easier it is to identify them so that you can reach them with your message.


This is an excerpt from my book, “9 Rules For Business Prosperity in the New Economy”.  The book may be purchased in both printed and Kindle editions at:

Communicating Effectively

Posted by chucktrautman on June 28, 2018

Something that holds back many business owners is that they are concentrating so much on what they do, that they don’t focus on how to sell what they do.

Let’s say you’re the best brain surgeon in the world.  Is this a valuable skill? Did you answer yes?

If you did, let me ask you if the skill is truly valuable or the application of the skill is valuable.

To get a better focus on this, let’s ask this question.

If you’re the best brain surgeon in the world, but you don’t know how to get the word out about your skills, and you don’t have any patients…is being the best really helping anyone?  Being the best, doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t apply your skills to help others solve a problem, fill a need or accomplish a goal!

There’s a famous story about John Lennon where he said “Whenever we want one, I sit down and write a swimming pool.”  That means he could sit down and write a hit song any time he wanted and could buy a new car, house, plane or swimming pool.

Exactly the same applies in your business.  If you can get good at something and then develop the skill of communicating effectively to others what you do, you can also write yourself a swimming pool.

In order to do that, you must be able to speak to people in terms of what it means for them.

Bringing Your Difference to Life

Here’s a little exercise that brings that to life.

You take a stack of 3 x 5 cards and you begin to put one item, one feature, one fact about your business, product, or service; one idea, one theme or one item on each card.

Then you want to think in terms of all the features, all the benefits. Try to write a one sentence description of each one of those things as if you were going to write a headline for an advertisement about each one of those things; all the different ways that you could describe them. The more cards the merrier.

For example, to differentiate features from benefits, a feature of a dry cleaner would be same-day service. So on a 3 x 5 card, if you were building a case for a dry cleaner, you would write down “same day service.”

Now you also want to be able to translate that into benefits.

One benefit that might go on the next 3 x 5 card would be that you can drop your clothes off on the way to work in the morning and pick them up on the way home from work that same afternoon.

One of the features that a lawyer might have would be a free consultation, a no-cost consultation with a client.

Now the benefit statement that he might choose to make about that is that you can come in and have your questions answered, and determine whether or not you have a viable case or a good solution to your legal problem, without committing any funds and spending any money.

Often, chiropractors will offer a free consultation or a free exam.

The benefit statement about that is that we can determine whether or not your health problem can be helped with chiropractic before you commit to a treatment program.

When you do that, you give each feature meaning and you personalize it to the individual’s need.

Now you’ve got the basis of a great message AND you’ve got something the market will respond to.


This is an excerpt from my book, “9 Rules For Business Prosperity in the New Economy”.  The book may be purchased in both printed and Kindle editions at:

The Importance of Widget Making

Posted by chucktrautman on June 21, 2018

One key aspect that separates the most prosperous businesses from the rest is that they develop the skill of widget making.

Widget making could be the number one skill
you’ll ever learn as a business owner.

Once you’ve got it, you use it over and over again every day in your business.  Widget making is where you take some of the products or services that you offer and present them to your prospective market in a way that makes it easy for them to buy.

On a real simple level, if we look at a pizza business as an example, their widget of the week may be “two pizzas with double cheese for a special price”.

They are not just saying, “Come and buy a pizza from us.” They’re holding up a specific thing and saying, “Here’s our thing to buy.”

On a different level, one of the best examples comes from Las Vegas in the hotel and casino business – where pretty much everybody offers the same thing.

Some years ago an entrepreneur took over one of the least successful hotels on the strip and had to find a different way to get people to come and stay in his hotel and gamble in his casino.

The widget that he developed was, “Give me $396 and I’ll give you two nights, three days in my hotel in one of the deluxe suites. There will be a bottle of champagne waiting for you when you arrive. You can have unlimited drinks the entire time you are here and I’m going to give you $600 of my dollars to gamble with in my casino.”

So his offer includes the room. It includes the drinks. It includes several extras plus the $600 to gamble with.

That widget turned that struggling little hotel into one of the largest and most successful on the strip in Las Vegas.

The same approach is used in many other businesses.

There are really three reasons to use widgets and to base your marketing on them.

  • One is to attract new customers by offering a free or low-cost widget to give them a chance to try out your services easily.
  • A second reason is to sell more frequently to past and present customers by continually coming up with new and different widgets.
  • The third reason is to move from the vague to the specific so that you can have something everybody can understand and grab onto that you promote.


This is an excerpt from my book, “9 Rules For Business Prosperity in the New Economy”.  The book may be purchased in both printed and Kindle editions at:

Define a Clear Message

Posted by chucktrautman on June 14, 2018

blog-post-1One of the biggest obstacles to prosperity for most business owners is that they don’t have a clear message to communicate to the market.

Somebody sets up a restaurant, a florist shop or coaching practice and they spend all their time and energy worrying about what it looks like inside or what their website is like.

Then they open the door and wait for the customers to come in.

However none of this matters if the customers don’t show up.

You need to think about what you’re going to communicate to the marketplace about who you are, what you do, what you’re all about and why people should do business with you.

A marketing message is a way of concisely and clearly saying to the right market, “Here’s what I’m all about, and here’s how what I do can benefit you.”

Most businesses fail to do this.  But when you take time to define your message clearly, your results will be so much better.

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the part of the marketing message that differentiates you from your competition. It answers this question coming to you from your prospective customer:

“Why should I choose you versus any and every other provider of the same product or service that you provide? “

You simply have to have a good answer to that.  It’s going to take a little bit of thought but, somewhere in your business, there is a good answer to that question (even if you need to make one or two changes somewhere).


This is an excerpt from my book, “9 Rules For Business Prosperity in the New Economy”.  The book may be purchased in both printed and Kindle editions at: