It's a simple fact that in order to grow your business as fast as you possibly can, you must understand who your ideal customer is. Yet it's amazing how many companies don't do this.
Earlier in my career, I worked as a business growth consultant, and I had the opportunity to work with Fortune 100 and Global 100 companies. Without fail, the companies that truly understood their markets were the ones that grew the fastest.
Why? What your company offers and the way it operates will make it very easy for some people to work with you, but much harder for others. When you intentionally build your offerings and sales processes around your ideal customers, the customers that are easiest to work with, the more focused and effective your sales and marketing efforts will be.
For example, when I worked with Home Shopping Network, they never referred to "a customer"; they always referred to "her" or "she." The average Home Shopping Network customer was an older female with a large expendable income that bought products online, and everything they did was tailored towards "her," which made all of the efforts more effective.
The question, then, is: Who is your ideal customer, and how can you work with them more effectively?
Ask these questions to gain some clarity on your ideal customer and how to work with them better.
What characteristic must your ideal client possess? For us, as a coaching company, we help entrepreneurs grow their small to medium size businesses. So we want small to medium sized business owners. They also must genuinely want to make a change in their businesses.
Here's another good example. Recently, my wife Cadey and I met with an array of CPAs because we wanted to change who handled our taxes and compliance at the end of the year. During a meeting with one firm, they came straight out and told us exactly who their ideal client was. For them, it was a high net-worth individual who worked and lived in Austin, Texas.
Why do those characteristics make it easier to work with that individual? For us, individuals who don't genuinely want to make a change in their businesses, who aren't 100% committed to it, probably won't see results no matter what we do. We can't force someone to implement the strategies we recommend. So working with business owners who want to make a change allows us to better serve and help them.
For the CPAs I met, their clients are decision makers, and they prefer to work directly with us. They like developing personal relationships where they can make an impact for the people that they work with.
What attributes of your product or service matches up with that customer perfectly? This helps you think about how you are meeting their biggest needs, and why you satisfy them more than anyone else. When you can sit down with a potential client and explain why they are an ideal client and how you have set up your services to cater specifically to them as an ideal customer, it makes your offerings much simpler and much more effective.
What can I add to my services to become more important to my ideal customer? You should always be trying to find ways to serve your ideal customer even better. As an example, the CPA firm listed the cell phone numbers for both partners on their business cards. They explained that because they work with individuals who don't have a lot of time, they have always shared their cell phones and make themselves completely open to their clients.
By starting with the simplest aspects of your ideal client, you can create an informative customer profile. Once you have that, you can refine it even more based on demographics, income, and so on.