Can you identify your Ideal Client in the sea of prospects?
How often have you heard that “Any client is a good client”? This is a myth of massive proportion and the cause of many a headache, of reduced profits, and a serious decrease in the enjoyment factor for those dealing with this mismatch of clients. Not to mention the cost of marketing to the unqualified masses.
Who are you marketing to?
The return on investment on marketing dollars spent is seriously diluted if you are marketing to a population who does not need or want what you sell.
If you don’t have an ideal client profile – how do you choose your market and then, how do you select or de-select your clients? Are you prepared to sell to anyone?
Are you the ideal supplier for your ideal client? When did you last review the criteria for your model client? If you want to attract a certain buyer, then you need to be attractive to that buyer. There is no point going to the market with an out-dated picture of either your ideal client or the brand that will attract that client – you must be relevant.
Getting to know who your ideal client is
If you sell coffee, is your ideal client anybody who drinks coffee? Are you just selling coffee or an experience? Is it just any coffee or is it from an environmentally & socially responsible source? What about the setting – who would be attracted to the styling, to the ambience and to those working there?
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Your ideal client will be the one who is most likely to buy because your WHY resonates with them. So, you must be clear on why you do what you do so that you have clarity around who it is who will align to or connect with your WHY. Know why clients will buy from you and not another supplier. Why did you decide to sell this particular coffee experience – and who will be attracted to your venue, your people, your product? Being absolutely clear on this will help you to more accurately, develop your ideal client profile.
Another tip on how to identify your ideal client
Examine your current clients and identify those who are loyal referrers, who buy often and value the relationship they have with you. Ask yourself, why they are different to those who are less “ideal”. This will help you identify key filters, which will enable you to choose the market and the prospects who are most likely to buy what you sell.
We have seen profiles which include criteria such as:
- culture fit
- geographical boundaries
- listen and take advice
- industry specific
- annual spend
- high profile
- pay on time
- marital status
- age demographic
- number of products used
- number of employees.
Any of these criteria may be valid depending on what you are selling. However, there are four must have criteria no matter what you are selling –
1. Clients have a need which they desire to fulfil
2. They can afford to buy what they need
3. They are prepared to pay for the need to be fulfilled, and
4. You have what they need.
The Hard Truth
When you meet with a prospect who does not fit your criteria, be prepared to refer them to another business. You must be prepared to walk away from those who do not fit your model. Otherwise there is no point in having the criteria in the first place!
Involve your Team
Make sure your team is absolutely clear on your ideal client criteria – this will ensure everyone is on the same page and focused on attracting prospects with the best fit.
Knowing your ideal client profile means that you can tailor your sales process, focus your marketing and branding campaigns and better engage with your centres of influence.
It is more important than ever to create, or review and tweak, your ideal client criteria to ensure that your on-line message is relevant and effective.
Remember to Adjust
If you feel that you may be too close to your business and your products to be objective, then consider engaging a consultant to walk you through the process. This is part of what we do at Opening Gates and we would love to assist.
If you have an experience with creating and utilising an ideal client profile, please share a comment – it would be great to hear from you.