Sunday, December 3, 2006

Consultants Should Have a Velvet Rope Policy

Just about every consulting business should have a velvet rope policy. What is a velvet rope policy? I've become a big fan of Michael Port's book, "Book Yourself Solid". I admit I've given many plugs for his book, but what he has to say about maintaining focus in your business when it comes to reaching out to your target audience is important. In it he explains that the velvet rope policy is a filter one should create when it comes to deciding which clients to work with. We create this filter to help us choose clients that energize and motivate us. After all, we do our best work when we are energized and motivated. Much like a trendy nightclub with a guest list, a business should have a metaphorical version of this barrier.

I'm not encouraging you to be discriminative toward certain people. That would be wrong. What I am doing is encouraging you to take a good look at who you currently have as clients and who you wish to have as clients. Is there gap?

To illustrate my point, let's pretend you are an auto mechanic and your specialty is Italian sports cars. There may not be many Italian sports cars in your town so you take in other mechanic work on domestic cars like Ford's and Chevy's just to keep your business afloat. Would this energize you? Would this make you excited to go to work every morning if your passion and specialty is Italian sports cars?

The point is, if you are a mechanic and your passion is Italian sports cars, having a velvet rope policy where you only serve people with Italian sports cars will force you to focus in on this particular target market and get creative in marketing exclusively to them. Besides, just because you can work on other kinds of cars, doesn't mean you should do it. You got into business to do a specific thing and you should focus in on that if it is your true passion.

So, what is your velvet rope policy? Does your marketing target a specific audience that you want to let past that velvet rope or are you dropping that rope in favor of anybody?

1 comment:

Johnna Johnson said...

A fantastic book along these lines is "Attracting Perfect Customers" by Stacey Hall & Jan Brogniez. Along the lines of the velvet rope -- they use a lighthouse analogy. Very powerful!