I Wonder What’s His Angle…? Part II

Marketing Plaza

Yesterday, I wrote of thoughts that were inspired while watching one of the classic movies of all time.  You can scroll down to read it, or just click here to go directly to that post.

The idea was cast by one of the characters, who exclaimed that after awhile, “you just get used to people working angles.” 

In the past, many marketing professionals desired to make the whole world their market, and unfortunately for their companies… some still do today. Trying to be all things to all people causes a small business an array of challenges. 

First, it consumes precious time that would otherwise have been spent servicing the customers they were made to serve.  If you are in business with a legitimate, innovative, and helpful product or service, then there are people out there who absolutely need what you are offering.

Second, without focus they tend to chase business that is suspect at best… short on loyalty, and that will nickel and dime them every step of the way.  It is virtually impossible to create decent relationships with people who place no value on those they work with.

Third, there is this sticky little area that has to do with being genuine; being authentic.  In their bid to do business with everyone, these marketers and business owners tended to rely on persuasion.  By focusing on a mass market, they found themselves needing to convince people who were not interested, not looking, and not their best prospects. 

In short, they needed angles. 


One of the things I love about small business is that we don’t need to do business with everyone. 

You probably already know that you can make a small fortune by getting laser focused on your ideal customer, being at the table when they are making decisions, and then giving them exactly what they are looking for.

So why do so many chase everything that is standing upright and still has a pulse?  More than likely, they are simply operating out of old habits. 

This is pretty dangerous space to play in… and since most of your competitors are already fighting for it, may I suggest that we go ahead and let our competition slug it out for all the marginal, problem accounts out there.

Instead, make your New Year’s resolution along these lines.

1) This week, analyze your current account list and sort them into three categories.  Your top and bottom 15%, and the 70% in the middle. 

2) Next Monday, send notice to the bottom 15% that you will be unable to serve them beginning January 15, 2009.  If you do not do this step, they will still be a drain on your business next December.

3) For the rest of the next year, spend every minute that you freed up in step two to actively market and engage prospects who mirror the attributes of those in the top 15%.

I started this section by saying that one of the things I love about small business is that we don’t need to do business with everyone.  We need to market only to those who fit the profile of an ideal customer… people who are actively seeking solutions… who place value on our products or services, and who are interested in developing long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.

By doing so, we’ll never need to poke and prod… or convince, cajole, pursuade, grovel, or beg.

In short, we won’t need angles.



Think of the level of business and the quality of the interactions that you enjoy with your top three customers.  What would Christmas be like if you had that relationship with six more?  

What internal changes will it take to develop those relationships with twelve more?

I look forward to speaking with you.


Photo Credit: