General

She had a big fat accent

Out: mass marketing. In: niche marketing.

Saravan Saravan. An exceptionally delightful and hardworking gal in my business years ago, whose native language was Farsi.

She was really hard to understand no matter how big her smile was.

And on the phone, it was nearly impossible.

She did it all. Card decks, leads, ads, door to door. But she never made it very big…

What if she had focused on her first niche cut: people who are also native speakers of Farsi? There was a community right there. And within that group, ask for someone like her? What if she’d found someone there whose English was better, and have THAT person work with the English speaking community?

I wish I had insisted on that back then. But I didn’t pay close enough attention. People moved away from her because they couldn’t understand her. Frustrating for her AND her prospects. And for me as I sat with her while she cried softly.

It’s like support centers you call. Why don’t they hire people who speak English well? And put those who don’t to work doing something else, that doesn’t require speaking good English?

I wish I had done that then. She had to go back to work, and shortly after, she became ill with cancer. She died a few months later.

What’s your best niche?

Go after it before it’s too late.

Forget about missing someone. Go after your own kind first. At least you’ll have those to tide you over while you look vainly for everyone else.

About the author

Kim Klaver

9 Comments

  • Dear Kim:

    Thanks for this exceptional post! Thanks also for posting the beautiful picture of Saravan – what a lovely young woman. I’m so sorry that she died so soon; I wish that she could have experienced the success in NM that she was looking for while on this earth.

    I agree that each of us can find a niche market. Perhaps if we don’t already have a niche, we can find a niche that we can identify with and one that is congruent with us.

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing.

    🙂

  • Wow, Kim, this story really hit home. I am moving out of networking into some online business but i still read your emails and blog because the niche thing holds true in the online stuff as well. And I love how you tell it like it is. That was so sad about your friend but how wonderful to use it to help others who are struggling.

  • Who you are and what you do manifests your “inclusive, caring heart,” Kim; thanks for sharing a glimpse inside today in a special way…
    Carolyn

  • Thanks for all your good words. I never thought about relating Savaran’s story here, but she just entered my brain suddenly the other day and I just had to tell you that story.

  • This post truly shows what a terrible upline you were to her. And my, what a shame THAT was.

    And as for your other massively-uneducated words…

    “It’s like support centers you call. Why don’t they hire people who speak the English well? And put those who don’t to work doing something else, that doesn’t require speaking good English?”

    That’s because those jobs/positions are entirely OUTSOURCED to other countries for the CHEAPEST labor possible. NONE of them speak English very well!!!

    Simply amazing how uninformed people are these days!

  • Yes, I agree that I was probably a terrible upline for her, although she did not think that.

    As to people speaking English, millions of people in India DO speak good English…

    “India has the second largest population in the world with over 1.0 billion people. English learning is very prevalent in India for adults and children (compulsory in grades 4-12).”(http://www.ellis.com/news/industryinfo/intefldata.php)

    So it’s not that many don’t speak it well. The problem is that those who do are not used for that purpose, and those who don’t, are.

    I think we all know call centers are outsourced by now. But people around the world DO speak English. The point is that THEY are the ones who should be used for the speaking jobs on the phone, rather than those whose accents make it so hard to understand them.

    Yes, it is quite amazing what people don’t know, indeed.

  • Wow, I think Robert needs to invest in some chill pills or something.

    That was a very good post Kim. Like Karen said, it does really hit home.

    Bottom line is that we learn as we go. And no matter how much we know, or how experienced we are, there’ll always be that one person (or more) that we think we could’ve helped more. That’s just human nature.

    The best we can do is to do our very best with what we’ve got at the time… and to always aim to improve upon it as we go. 🙂

    Best,
    Aaron

  • well taken, well spoken KIM!

    Having learned a foreign language though I have to say the best way to learn it is to speak it. So I do give them credit for trying and hope their exercise with me will make them better.

    I do agree with finding your niche market but I haven’t figured out what mine is! I have rewritten my scripts at least 20 times each with a new focus….does this ever get easier is about the phase I’m in.

    Marian

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