It's easy to get great leads, and even inexpensively, if you target your market.

Let's say you sell a Super Protein Powder that's good for weight-lifters and people who exercise. Where would you find your target market?

Your first thought might be health clubs: there's a wide variety of good prospects. Some are dedicated body-builders, others are weekend warriors who exercise only on Saturday. Still others join the club, pay their dues, get instructions on how to use the machines, get a written program from their personal trainer--and then do nothing. (Hmm, this sounds vaguely familiar.)

All of these prospects could use your Super Protein Powder...but how will you reach them?

You could join the club. (That costs money.) Then you could stand around hoping to bring up Super Protein Powder in casual conversation with your fellow members: your conversation might go like this:

"Wow! Great-looking gym bag. And y'know, if you used Super Protein Powder, your body would look great, too."

Or, you could talk with the health club owners and ask them to sell your product...only you'll have to wait in line to get an appointment: health club owners receive sales pitches all day long.


Who Else is in Contact With Your Prospects?

Or you could talk with the personal trainers. These independent contractors are hired by their clients to show them how to get into shape fast.

Unfortunately, they are not trained salesmen for your products; they may also feel uneasy promoting your products to their clients for profit.

Here's what you could do: make up some discount coupons for your Super Protein Powder that offer a 25% discount with first purchase, or a free bottle of vitamins with first purchase; give these coupons to the personal trainers. Now they can easily promote Super Protein Powder: all they have to
do is hand out coupons. They could say:

"You'll build muscle faster and lose weight quicker if you supplement your exercise with a good, high-quality protein powder. Here is a coupon for one of the popular brands of protein powder--it will save you some money on your purchase."

That's it. The personal trainer doesn't have to compromise his or her integrity by selling your product--and will actually feel good about saving the client a bit of money.

This is a great deal for you, and a great deal for the client...but what about the personal trainer? What if the personal trainer doesn't want to earn cash from promoting your products? That's okay. You can still reward the personal trainer in other ways. For instance, you could:

There are many ways to reward the personal trainer besides cash. Some of the ways may bond the personal trainer more to you than cash.

Maybe you arranged a relaxing weekend for the personal trainer at a local resort. The personal trainer will always remember the weekend. Cash is quickly forgotten after it is spent on an electric bill.


But I Sell Residential Long Distance Service!

Then use the same technique. Find your target market.

Q. Who uses a lot of long distance?

A. Traveling salesmen.

How are you going to meet them? You don't have to. Just ask yourself, "Who might be in contact with traveling salesmen?"

Let's start with car rental agencies: traveling salesmen often fly to a location, rent a car, and then make sales calls. I'll bet many of them have families, too: wouldn't it be nice if the car rental agency gave them a free calling card along with their car rental? Now the traveling salesmen could call home courtesy of the car rental agency.

Where would the car rental agency get the free calling cards? From you. You could provide a pre-paid 15-minute calling card inexpensively for the car rental agency to give away.

The traveling salesman is happy: he gets to call home for free. The car rental agency is happy: they look good in their customers' eyes. And you are happy--because you have a pre- recorded mini-presentation that the traveling salesman hears before his call is connected, which offers, say, discount long distance for his home, a calling card to use while on the road, or even the opportunity to install a toll-free number in his home.

And the profits? Simply compute how much money you will earn from a customer in a year. Then set out to spend less than that amount to get the customer.


But I'm Special...

I sell tours to China. How will this technique work for me?

Just use the same technique: find your target market.

Who are more likely to want to take a trip to China: a) patrons of Italian restaurants, or b) patrons of Chinese restaurants?

If you answered "B," you're getting the idea of how target marketing can work for you. (If you answered "A," I'm not sure what to tell you.) All you would have to do is to print up some paper placemats with your advertisement for China tours, and give the free placemats to all of the Chinese restaurants in your area. While waiting
for their food, your prospects would be a captive audience for your ad.

Or, make a deal with the fortune cookie manufacturer. On the back side of the fortune cookie messages, print your fortune cookie message that says:

"You are going to take a trip to China. Call 800-xxx-xxxx."

Want a few more examples?

As you see, this is getting easy: you just have to keep
asking yourself, "Who comes into contact with my target market?"


TOM SCHREITER writes Fortune Now (, an online newsletter for network
marketing leaders.