Your Ideal Client

The three biggest frustrations I hear from business owners are:

  1. “I need to increase sales”
  2. “I need to increase profits”
  3. “I’m wasting too much money on marketing that isn’t working”

When the frustrated business owner is asked who their ideal client or customer is, the response is often a look of dismay. That look is followed with, “Anyone with a heartbeat!” Or, “Anybody that could use my type of service.”

Without properly identifying an ideal customer, it is very difficult to create the right messaging in advertising, where to spend time prospecting, or how to price a product that appeals to the targeted audience.

Here is an example. Lets say I sold high end cars valued in the $50K – $75K range. You ask me who my ideal customer is and I say, “Anyone who needs to buy a car”. How successful do you think I will be if I spent my time prospecting or advertising to people who drive cars worth $15K? Sure everyone in this market segment would like a car worth $50K+ and would even be willing to spend a little more than $15K to get the more expensive car. However, unless I severely discount my product I am not going to be making a sale and wasting a lot of time.

When a business clearly understands who their ideal client or customer is, decision making on marketing, prospecting, and product offerings becomes much simpler and efficient. So how do you go about defining your ideal customer? Here a few simple tips to get your started.

Defining Your Ideal Client or Customer

1. Imagine that you are looking through a magic window that only allows you to see your ideal customer. What do you see? Are they of a particular sex, income level, where do they live, what are their core values? Think of as many traits as you can. Write these down. This becomes the profile of your ideal customer

2. If you don’t already track who is buying your product or service start tracking it right now. Chances are that 80% of your sales are coming from 20% of the market segment that shares similar traits. Starting noting if they possess any of or all of the traits in Step 1 above. Do they share any of these traits?

Once we know exactly who our ideal customers are we can tailor our marketing and messaging just to that group. We can advertise where they spend their spare time. We can determine where they spend their money or by which TV or radio shows they watch or listen to. And finally, we can spend our time with the “right” prospects and close more sales at a better margin.

Many businesses resist targeting a very specific audience because they may exclude someone. The fact is that 80% of people see little to no value in what we offer anyway. By targeting the 20% who do see value in what we offer our message gets through in a much more efficient, effective and profitable way.

Remember: those who try to make everyone a customer ends up with no one as a customer.

Tony Malyk

Tony Malyk is a Certified Professional Business Coach and Business Value Accelerator specializing in improving profitability and increasing business value in the manufacturing, distribution, trades and technology sectors.