The number one desire of most businesses is to get more customers, but where do you start? This article is the first in a new series to give you a roadmap and proven marketing techniques to help you grow your business.
When your business is new, you’re more likely to sell to or service every single customer who comes your way. However, once your business becomes established, it can actually drain resources significantly to take the view that ‘everyone is a potential customer’. Not all customers are ideal and not all are worth all the effort, time, and money invested on advertising to or servicing them.
By defining what makes an ideal customer you can tweak your marketing strategy to focus on getting more customers that add the most value to your business.
Who is Your Ideal Customer?
An ideal customer is the one who wants your services and gives you business without using up an unduly large amount resources for the transaction. You know, the customers who are a pleasure to work with.
You probably have customers you rave about and customers you wish you never had done business with. Obviously what is needed is more of the former and preferably none of the latter. To attract more of the ideal customer, it is necessary for you to understand what their needs are and how your business must present itself to grab the attention of your ideal customer.
For example, Mr. Never-Satisfied gives you $1000 worth of business every year but he constantly calls out your people on service calls that are unnecessary. Ms. Happy-Customer gives you the same $1000 worth of business, but she has referred two of her friends to your business and there has never been any need for a service personnel to call on her. Clearly, Ms. Happy-Customer is the more viable customer for your business.
Identifying Your Ideal Customer
Identifying ideal customers is the critical first step to tweaking your marketing plan to attract more customers. Start with creating a profile for a single imaginary customer who embodies every characteristic that you believe your target market has. Making a detailed profile (add likes/ dislikes, political preferences, shopping habits, etc) helps you hone your marketing strategy so that you can communicate with this customer on various levels.
To develop this profile even more, think of your best customers (the ones you rave about) and pick out the characteristics that make them so valuable.
For example, Ms. Happy-Customer has given you referrals, another customer may give you substantial business year after year, while yet another may pay on time every time. Each of these is a clear benefit for your business.
To keep and attract these ideal customers you could come up with offers that will appeal to them especially.
For instance, to attract customers who are happy to make timely payments, reward this habit with a 10% off on the invoice for payment made before due date. Implement similar ideas to clearly underline desirable traits and habits that you will reward.
Let’s start working on your business! Start analyzing your customer base and make a list of the traits of your ideal customer. The more characteristics you can identify the better.
Here are some questions to get you started on profiling your ideal customer:
- What service/product do you offer?
- Who needs that service/product?
- What problems are you solving?
- Who typically uses your product/service?
- When do they use your product/service?
- Is your target market in a specific geography?
- Does your target market fall into a certain socio-economic profile?
- Does your target market fall into a certain demographic or psycho-graphic profile?
- What related products do they use?
- Does your ideal customer regularly need your service?
- Does your ideal customer expect a certain level of service/attention?
- Does your ideal customer assume you will be available on a regular basis?
- Is your ideal customer male or female?
- How old is your ideal customer?
- Is your ideal customer single, married, divorced?
- Does your ideal customer have children? If so, how old and how many?
- Can your ideal customer pay what you charge?
After you have profiled your ideal customer, start tweaking your messaging in a way that would appeal to them. Your messaging should focus on the benefits your ideal customer desires.
Finally, start tailoring your products and offers to attract those desired ideal customers again focusing on the benefits. Stick to this plan and before you know it you’ll not only get more customers, you’ll get the right customers for your business.