Does your target industry mean what you think it means?
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Networking
The other day, in one of our Executives Network meetings, Adam was describing his target industry. He said he’d like to work in the Service industry. That’s perfect if everyone knows what the “Service Industry” means. When you say Service Industry to me, my mind immediately thinks of dry cleaners. When I proudly announced that it was a great idea, and that industry could possibly use someone with his skills, he was less than overjoyed. I didn’t get it. Didn’t he say that’s what he was targeting? Apparently, in his mind, the Service Industry is quite different – and doesn’t necessarily include Dry Cleaners USA.
This same thing happened in another meeting. Someone was targeting “Broadband.” But apparently, this broadband world is much more granular than I’m aware (which is fine), but it doesn’t help me help him if he doesn’t get specific about where the differences lie.
Every time someone mentions insurance, I cringe. I know there are companies that do commercial, personal, auto, property & casualty, life, health, and probably a ton of others…how am I supposed to know which one does which? I’m not in that world! The only time I have a clue is when the company ends in the word “Life” (thanks MetLife…I know what you do!!).
It happened again when someone mentioned she was targeting Entertainment. Did you mean the movies, television, cinemas, amusement parks, concerts, sports franchises, or perhaps that coupon book that everyone tries to sell to me at the beginning of each year?
This got me thinking….how many of you target an industry that you believe is very specific and focused, and the rest of us come up with all kinds of ideas that are completely beyond the scope of what you’re looking for.
I’ve said it before (and no doubt, I’ll say it again!), as my 6th grade teacher taught me, “To be specific is terrific. To be vague is the plague.”
When you’re targeting an industry, be sure to get very specific…right down to the company size. Mentioning a few companies in that space would be helpful too. Maybe something like this:
I’m targeting companies in the Entertainment space, specifically cinema chains. Targets include AMC, Regal Cinemas, Landmark, ArcLight, and IMAX. Additionally, I’d entertain companies that sell technology to them – or are in the consumer entertainment/screen space. Companies like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Saaria, MicroCRT, Cinedigm and 3ality.
This is something I can work with. It’s quite possible that I might know someone from at least one of these companies (or maybe even a couple). If not, perhaps I could recommend a contact of someone who works with one of them (a distributor, a charity, a customer – same company/different line of business).
If you find that you’re giving target industries and aren’t getting many contacts from others, your search may be too general. Help get specific for us so we can help you. After all, you might not want to work for Dry Cleaners USA!