In selling, it can be a really big mistake to categorize your buyers.
You already have some of this being done for you. You've got leads, you've got top targets, you've got prospects, you've got customers, you've got major accounts.
There are lots of ways that organizations are already marketing or profiling your buyers. We even have buyer personas which tend to lump people who have some similar characteristics altogether. And there's some value in that, but only to a point. It's a starting point to help you understand the general tendencies that that group may have and to give you a way to enter into the conversation with them. But if you think of them as being all alike beyond that, then you're going to be very generic in your approach and you're going to miss out on the opportunities to meet the individual needs or even to get to know the individuals that you're working with.
And they'll sense it. They'll respond to it. They won't flourish and thrive and grow with you because you won't be nurturing them at that individual level.
So it's the same in gardening.
I start with a packet of seeds and it gives me some general ideas about how far apart to plant the rows and how much water, what sort of nutrients they might need.
But that's where it starts. That's not where it stops. It's up to me to pay attention to the individual needs of those plants as they're growing and to continually look out for ways to help them thrive even more. You can do the same for your prospects, buyers, customers, targets and whatever other category you may be calling them. Just remember, before they were any of those things, they were people and all of us as people, we have needs and we respond to the people who respond to us as individuals.
When you're growing plants in bales of straw, just like when you're interacting with people, it's really important to consider the individual needs, the individual needs of every single type of crop, in fact, every single plant or every single person. And I realize this extended metaphor may take a moment to wrap your head around, but bear with me here because I want to fully explain it all the way through. See, in my straw bale garden,
I have positioned bales of straw in different places. Some closer to the building are going to get a little bit of shade and those plants need that shade. Some plants and big, long rows are all the same, not the very same plant, but they have the very same kinds of needs. And these are the ones that are going to get bigger soaker hoses that provide more water. And I've grouped them accordingly so that their individual needs can be met.
I plan ahead for this, it's not accidental and I watch and I learn about those plants so that I can improve each year how I position them and what I do for them. And it's the very same thing when it comes to the medium I used to plant them in. I do some experimenting last year, I put tomatoes in dirt and I put tomatoes in straw bales. I wanted to see which ones would produce the most and it turns out the ones in straw bales did.
So this year. All of my tomato plants are in bales of straw. You don't know what the individual needs might be until you learn and experiment. Even all the research that you can do might not be exactly on target. In my case with straw bales that such a new hobby for people that I don't think there's all that much research out there, especially from my particular climate and conditions that are available. You do this already. If you do any kind of gardening, you know that some flowers require sun, some flowers require shade.
This hanging basket hangs in the sunniest part of my yard because these beautiful flowers, they close up at night and they only open up on the days when it's sunny. And since they're so beautiful and I like to see them first thing when I wake up in the morning, I have them positioned strategically so they get what they need and they give back to me what I'm looking for. When you think about the individual needs of a plant or a person, it also includes things like how much space do you give them?
How do you group them? What other types of people or plants are nearby? And are you looking closely at each and every plant to see early on if they experience any sort of difficulty?
When I see little holes in the leaves of some of my plants, I know that that might mean some kind of bug is coming around. And I've got a sprinkle just a little bit of powder on there, organic, to make sure those bugs don't find this to be a friendly environment. I try to stave that off ahead of time. I plant onions around the edges of the straw bales on top because many bugs, Japanese beetles included, don't like onions. And so even the small green onions that won't take up a lot of space can help me to prevent bugs from coming in.
But I can't assume that that will do all the work. My individual inspection, my attention to the individual needs of every plant gives me the best opportunity to make sure that those needs are always being met. It doesn't make me someone who's a crutch to other people, it makes me someone who shows concern and care, and when I've invested in them, they also are going to do their very best to take care of their own needs.
Ultimately, when you take care of your crops, when you take care of people the same way, you're going to get more out of them because you put more into them and you'll be able to do all sorts of things that would never be possible. You won't have the volume of output. You won't have the quality if you aren't investing time and effort into people the very same way that you have to invest time and effort into anything that you ever want to grow.