What I Learned About Customer Target Groups After Visiting Two Shoemakers

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Image by Matthew McVickar

I was taking shoes to a shoemaker [people still do that, you know] and this is what happened.

The first store took a look at my shoes and said “Actually, I don’t want to do these. We are beginning to do equipment related only to horse riding.”

OK, this made me a bit upset. I asked the not-so-nice-lady that “I thought that there was a clear sign outside that you do shoes?” Her reply: “Yes, but we are changing it soon to cover only things related to riding. There’s another shoemaker around the corner, you could take these there.”

Well, I was a bit amazed, took my shoes, shook my head and left with a “You are probably having too much customers because I didn’t qualify, aren’t ya?” thought in my mind.

I went to the other place she had directed me and guess what? The service was great, prices decent and the sales person was outgoing and nice.

So what’s the teaching in this then? This situation was the “important rule of targeting your audience”, in the flesh. Simply put:

Decide who are your customers, what you want to do and if somebody else comes knocking at your door, point them gently to try another place.

And I say, the place I left my shoes, the business was clearly blooming. They were having a lot of customers and probably many of them were there because of having same kind of directions that I had.

The point is that the first store I visited, were loosing some customers. But when targeting their customers, they could now offer service they wanted to and develop themselves further in it all the time.

So, do you want to be an overall handyman or to focus in something specific? Neither one is the right decision. Perhaps the importance lies in making one.

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