By: Tony Malyk
The three biggest frustrations I hear from business owners are “I need
to increase sales”, “I need to increase profits” or “I’m wasting too
much money on marketing that isn’t working”
When the frustrated business owner is asked who their ideal customer
is the response is often a look of dismay 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 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.
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, where they spend their money or by which
TV or radio shows they watch or listen to. 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.
“The Coach Who Knows”