Could you be marketing to the wrong person or leaving off a key influencer and costing your business sales? While we spend most of our marketing budgets targeting the end user of our product or service, the truth is in many situations that one person rarely makes the purchase decision alone. 

They consult with someone else, present their findings and in some cases even ask for approval or make a joint decision to proceed. In other cases someone else (think of the child in the supermarket) can have far greater influence over the buying decision, convincing your potential customer to buy your products or services in a more persuasive way than you doing it direct. 

So how do you influence the influencer? Here are three tips to get you started. 

1. Identify who your potential customers' influencers are 

There can be different influencers of a purchase decision depending on the product or service you provide. From business partners, colleagues, employers and different departments within their organisation, to husbands, wives, kids, mothers, fathers, extended family and friends. 

Not too mention the trend setters, 'in crowd', celebrities and even the 'enemies' or competitors of your potential customer can influence the way they buy and determine if they'll do business with you over someone else. 

In order to influence the influencer you need to identify who else you are marketing to in addition to your potential customer. Ask yourself who will be in their ear? Who else will need to sign off on the purchase? Who else will have a vested interest in the purchase? Is my customer aware of this influencer and trying to convince them too?

2. Get in the mind of the influencer

Marketing to an influencer often requires completely different messaging than marketing to your potential customer. They have different needs, frustrations and motivations and tend to be less engaged with your product or service. 

Normally only having the incomplete, second-hand information to go on, the influencer may even be wary and skeptical of how you can help, planting seeds of doubt in the mind of your potential customer. For this reason, you need to ensure you give them the information they need to get on board with the purchase. 

To do this ask yourself, what will your target markets influencer be saying in their ear? What concerns and objections will they have? What benefits will they want to see? What information do you need to share (either directly or give to your potential customer) to help the influencer to fall in love with your product too?

3. Target the influencer in your marketing  

Once you know the influencers you are targeting and what concerns and motivations they have, address them in your marketing messages. 

It could be as subtle as working in benefits and features that will appeal to them and address key objections, or it could be as obvious as a ‘how to convince your husband/wife/business partner' guide. 

How can you influence the influencer in your own business? 

Amanda 

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