Sales and Sales Management Blog

May 25, 2011

Book Review: How to Market to People Not Like You


When I received How to Market to People Not Like You: ‘Know It or Blow It’ Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers (Wiley & Sons:  2011) in the mail I wasn’t sure what to expect based on the title.  Was this going to be a course in PC etiquette; a simple, common sense review of how to deal with people; or a serious attempt to deal with a serious marketing issue?

Although I found some of each of the first two above, what really dominates the book is very practical guidance on how to identify and connect with markets that you might not be reaching–or even comfortable with approaching at the moment.

In the first third of the book author Kelly McDonald strives to lay out a workable program to help you find and research new markets.  From learning how to get into the minds and discover the values of customers in a new market to learning how to communicate in their language, McDonald presents simple strategies that will help you change your marketing, customer service or other areas of your company to meet the wants and needs of the members of a new market.

The majority of the meat of the book is found in the remainder of the book where McDonald discusses specific market segments such as various age groups, women, various ethnic groups, gays and lesbians, rural markets vs. metropolitan markets, people with specific hobbies, interests or political views, and more and the specific quirks and values that you must be aware of if you want to successfully market to that group.

Each chapter is filled with short stories and examples of the ideas and principles she is trying to communicate.  For instance when discussing how a business might need to change in order to better serve the Hispanic market, McDonald relates a conversations she had with the sales manager of a car dealership who explained why it was important for the company to change its dress code for their salespeople during the heat of the summer from khaki shorts to khaki slacks (sorry, you gotta read the book to find out why), or what you must know about marketing to Boomers (I’m a Boomer, her observation is correct—and really painful for a Boomer to read).

The guidance in How to Market to People Not Like You is very straightforward, easy to understand, and for the most part easy to implement.  No matter what your product or service, there is probably at least one significant market you’re missing which means you’re missing sales—and very possibly big dollars.  More than likely you’re missing more than just one potential market.

Pick up a copy of How to Market to People Not Like You at any fine bookseller and find out where you can be adding more sales and thus more dollars to your bottom-line.

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1 Comment »

  1. I look forward to reading the book – thanks for the synopsis

    Comment by Project Management Courses — May 27, 2011 @ 9:38 am | Reply


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