The ideal customer decision criteria and how to employ it

When you identify your ideal customer, it’s a beautiful thing. The effort you need to put into selling decreases, because you’re selling to customers who are most likely to buy your products and services. It’s Pareto’s Law in action – 20% of your time and effort produces 80% of your results.

If only all your sales time was spent marketing and selling to ideal customers, this 80/20 principle says your revenue potential should increase by a multiple of four times.

Chomping at the bit to learn what criteria to apply to uncover your ideal customer? It’s something I spoke about with Dr Jürgen Strauss in my podcast episode ‘How to nail your ideal client’. Here are a few tips from that podcast and a few extra for good measure.

1.      Start with what you know

It’s time to dive into your business and analyze your current and previous clients. Those you are working with currently, and those who you have worked with before – especially those you worked with for any extended period. Look for the commonalities between them, such as:

  • Who do they serve?
  • How old are they?
  • What is their gender?
  • What is their field of specialization?
  • Do they own a business, and, if so, what size is it?
  • What is their personality/culture?
  • What do they do best/what is their specific talent?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • Are they big-picture-oriented or detail-oriented?

You’re looking at your most productive clients here, and starting to build a picture of why they are most productive.

2.      Don’t ignore the clients who moved on

I’ve been asked before why it’s necessary to profile the clients who moved on. It’s simple, really. You want to learn what factors they have in common with the client picture you have built up through the process outlined above. Then you want to understand why they moved on.

Usually, it will be that they changed focus, or they moved into a new sector, or started offering different products to their clients. They may simply have run short of funds.

Whatever the reason, this is important information. It helps you build a picture of negative customer criteria, as well as positive.

3.      Ask for feedback

As you’re building an ideal customer profile, it makes sense to speak to your clients and learn why they are your clients. It’s easy to meet with them online if you cannot do so in person. Or send them a questionnaire. I prefer face-to-face, because it gives me the opportunity to read their reactions, and their answers are ‘from the hip’.

There’s another bonus to meeting with clients and getting their feedback. It shows you care, and this helps to build loyalty toward you. And loyal customers are the most lucrative, and the most likely to refer your services.

4.      Make your ideal customer come to life

In the podcast I’ve mentioned above, my guest Jürgen Strauss told me that he puts a picture to his customer persona – literally. And he names his ideal customer. The name he chose is Sam, because it’s a gender-neutral name. The image he chose is that of a woman, whom he imagines as his ideal customer.

For Jürgen, this brings his ideal customer to life. When he looks at the image of Sam, he immediately remembers who his ideal customer is:

Her name is coach Sam. She’s an enthusiastic and motivated business coach in her mid-40s,” he says. “She’s passionate about working with small and medium-sized businesses. Typically, she’ll have a team of five to 20 people. She’s got a servant’s heart: the culture fit to me is very important. She is well-known and respected in her community.

She’s a problem solver and she’s the go-to person for her particular field. She spends a lot of time online. She follows and models other international coaches and entrepreneurs, and her biggest challenge is time to work on marketing and marketing systems. She kind of thinks big picture, and she often struggles with delving into details and being systematic around things like marketing that aren’t her core strengths.

Jürgen’s ideal customer profile is well-honed, and he remembers all of this from the picture of Sam. What a great tip!

5.      Be dynamic with your customer profile

As environments, societies, and economies change, so, too will the criteria on which you decide your ideal customer. A year ago, who’d have thought that so many potential customers would be working from home?

So, revisit your customer persona regularly. Take note of those who become new clients and those who move on. Gather feedback, and evolve your ideal customer profile as customers evolve.

It’s critical to identify your ideal customer

An ideal customer profile is critical for your business. It will guide your marketing, your services, and your product development. It’s going to help you decide which channels to use to communicate effectively with potential customers, get their attention, and improve your revenues.

Without a customer persona, you risk expending all your energy marketing the wrong products and services to the wrong target audience. And you know what that means for sales and your mindset.

Your ideal customer profile will help you deliver to Pareto’s Law – 20% of the time and effort for 80% of the results. It’s going to help you target connections better on LinkedIn, and develop more leads through social media.

(By the way, if you want to leverage LinkedIn with your ideal customer profile, then you should take a look at Sales Machine.)

If there is one thing you do today, let it be this:

Call a client. Say hi, and ask them why they work with you. Start to build a picture of who your ideal clients are. Then repeat this with a different client each day. You’ll soon have the feedback you need to target your ideal customer more effectively – and you’ll be on your way to maximizing your time and pumping up your revenues.

Let me know how you are getting on in the comments below.

Alternatively, feel free to contact me today and let me help you get started.

Publish Date:11/13/2020 12:00:00 AM
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The ideal customer decision criteria and how to employ it
When you identify your ideal customer, it’s a beautiful thing. The effort you need to put into selling decreases, because you’re selling to customers who are most likely to buy your products and services. It’s Pareto’s Law in action – 20% of your time and effort produces 80% of your results.
If only all your sales time was spent marketing and selling to ideal customers, this 80/20 principle says your revenu…

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