Seeking the Perfect Customer: Six Characteristics of Your Ideal Customer
When you need to grow your business, the first step is to identify your ideal customer. For example, figuring out the perfect customer when you’re creating your marketing and sales plan helps you target the right people.
While you can’t always choose who you do business with, when you do have control, identifying the right customer brings more profits to your company.
Read on to learn how you can quickly select the model customer for your business.
They Value What You Do
There’s no sense in marketing to people who don’t find what you do valuable. That’s like trying to sell dog food to a cat owner; no matter what your value proposition or price, they’re going to ignore you. Just like cats.
If they don’t give a damn about what you sell, don’t waste your time or theirs.
Instead, clearly identify the people who want the outcome that you deliver and create a sharp, compelling message that starts a relevant conversation.
They Are Willing to Pay You
Rule one of sales and marketing: choose customers who have money. This concept builds on the first idea in that not everyone who values what you do has the ability to pay you, resulting in a common sales problem, they need you but have no budget.
Many sales people get stuck in this time suck that they could easily avoid by asking about money early in the discussion. Another way to do that is publicize typical budgetary ranges for your products.
They Appreciate What You Do
Customers who view what you do as a commodity refer you to the Department of Margin Mitigation, also know as Purchasing. Here you will undergo a process that extracts all your value and produces a transaction that may not favor you.
Instead, identify people who value your ability to tune and customize the product or process to their unique needs. Even better if they consider your offering unique.
If you can’t create distinct value for your customer, you have some work to do to reinvent the product, packaging, process, or outcome.
They are Easy to Work With
There are certain customers who are a royal pain to work with. They are demanding, abusive, and nit-picky. They are going to squeeze you on price at every turn and suck up all of your time and resources.
Either avoid them or charge them enough to make their behavior palatable. They are probably the perfect customer for your competitor. There are some customers that are just not worth their business.
Instead, find customers with a culture that is easy to work with, will play fair, and value a civil work environment.
If you discover that a customer isn’t a good fit, say so. “Based on what I’ve learned about your company, I don’t think that we can serve you the way that you deserve to be served. May I recommend a different supplier?” Give them a business card from your most-hated competitor. Sweet revenge!
They Expand Your Knowledge
Working with the same group of customers doing the same thing over and over may be appealing. Yet, if you don’t grow, you’ll be overtaken by a competitor that does. More than one sales person has been shocked when replaced after they thought they did a great job. They may have, but they didn’t keep expanding their value.
Instead, look for situations and customers that stretch and challenge you. They will make you and your product better. Plus, they’ll keep your team from getting bored and complacent. Comfort creates a competitive opening.
They Can Introduce You To New Customers
The best source of new business comes from referrals because it’s the lowest cost and highest value with little competitive pressure. If a customer can’t or won’t introduce you to other business opportunities, they have less value then another customer who introduces you to lots of new deals.
Look for customers who have a history of promoting their vendors to others, such as through joint marketing, case studies, or public relations activities.
Choose good customers and watch your business easily and profitably grow.
Mark S A Smith
P.S. If you’d like 15 minutes to talk about how to build your customer acquisition system, go to MarksSchedule.com to set up time to meet.
I’ve created an on-line training session that goes much deeper into creating value by automating the customer acquisition process without cold calling. Sign up here to take the class as my guest.