Mistake Thinking

“My solutions will work for everyone”

You aren’t an island. Many people in business struggle overcoming the same five barriers to reach the success they desire.

The Top 5 Barriers to Success are….

1. Fear of Failure
2. Working in Isolation
3. Not Accurately Interpreting the Problems of your Market
4. Unclear of the How & Why of Decision Making
5. Lack of Direction

Number 3 Barrier to Success – Not Accurately Interpreting the Problems of your Market

How you treat others is a reflection on you as a person.  We’ve all heard the Golden Rule on more than one occasion when growing up. “One should treat others as they would like to be treated”.  I prefer to rephrase this statement. I believe that we “should treat others as they would like to be treated”. This is much more considerate from my perspective, as the first way is assuming that the person has the same values and belief systems as yourself.

It is very easy to assume what others like.  The only way to truly know what someone is partial to is to listen to what they say, watch how they live/work and observe how they do things.  Your problems aren’t necessarily theirs and odds are, the more expertise you have in your field, the more difficult it is to get in the head of your prospects and discover what is bothering them the most in relation to your offer.  Reason is, when you can see the solution clearly, it often becomes more difficult to see the exactly what is the hidden problem.

Once you can identify their problems you can position your offer with a clear understanding of what outcomes your clients want. Ask for help from an authority if you aren’t sure how to uncover exactly what problems are keeping your clients awake at night. You can then develop a marketing message that presents clear solutions and resonates with your clients when you refine this.

So exactly who are your customers? Who is most likely going to buy your product or service?

Assumptions can lead to incorrect decisions, inaccurate pricing, inappropriate marketing strategy – and ultimately, business failure. The most successful small businesses understand that only a limited number of people will buy their product or service. The task then becomes determining, as closely as possible, exactly who those people are, what their problems that you can solve are, and then targeting your marketing efforts and dollars toward them.

One of the first things you need to do is to refine your product or service so that you are not trying to be ‘all things to all people.’ Become a specialist!

For example, in my business, sales and presenting coaching, I made some specific decisions early in my marketing planning on how to reach my target market. I continue to hone this marketing by upskilling and deviating from that path as I’ve proven it works for me.  But remaining flexible so I can continue to monitor my niche market and change tack as need be.

Apart the need to solve a problem, people purchase products or services for two more basic reasons:

  • To satisfy basic needs
  • To make themselves feel good

You’ll need to determine which of those categories your product or service is the solution to, and be prepared to market it accordingly.  Be aware though that your product or service may fit more than one category.

It is crucial to note that businesses, unlike individuals, buy products or services to solve different problems which could be:

  • To increase revenue
  • To maintain the status quo
  • To decrease expenses

If you fill one or more of these corporate needs, you may have found a target market.

Remember, your target customers are those who are most likely to buy from you. Resist the temptation to be too general in the hopes of getting a larger slice of the market. That’s like firing a dozen bullets in random directions instead of aiming just one dead centre of the mark.  Not defining your target market can be expensive and a waste of valuable time.

There are numerous methods of getting information to your target market.  You might reach them through face to face networking, cold-calling, telemarketing, social media, podcasting, blogging, webinars, web pages past clients, or referrals.  Sometimes it is a matter of trialling various methods to see what works best, and even conducting surveys of your market and ask them directly.  As long as your focus is on your niche, you will at least be ahead of the rest in your field who continue to use the scatter gun approach.

Let’s face it – there’s a market, and a target market, for everything.

If you don’t think so, remember pet rocks?  Gary Dahl made an estimated 15 million dollars in profit in the first six months the rocks went on sale.


  • Ask you customers what their problems are
  • Listen to what they say and how they say it
  • Identify your niche market. Who mostly buys your product or service now?
  • Survey your market to discover where they go for information to solve their problems
  • Try many different forms of marketing and test the results
  • Become a specialist

Download your Free e:Book – Top 5 Barriers today