Who is your ideal customer?
Every business, no matter what it does, needs to be very clear on who they serve. This is one of the single most common sources of trouble I see in businesses. They aren’t clear on who their ideal customer is.
When I ask the question, too often I get an answer that is some variation on “everyone.” That’s a recipe for disaster.
You need to have a very clear, very specific idea of who your ideal customer is. This can be counterintuitive for a lot of people, but it’s critical that you do this. To get bigger, you’re going to serve a smaller segment of the market.
As I mentioned, most businesses try to appeal to way too many people.
Because they’re afraid of leaving money on the table if they don’t try to offer something to everyone.
This ends up causing endless problems.
When you try to appeal to too many people, you end up with an offer that appeals to the lowest common denominator. Often, that means you end up with an offer that appeals to no one.
You end up diluting your sales and marketing efforts. Instead of going all-in on talking to one specific market, you spread your efforts around. This dilution kills the effectiveness of your marketing. And it leads to frustration and anxiety about sales that are too low.
Trying to serve people with too many different needs also tends to cause chaos in your operation. That results in lousy customer service and unhappy customers. Unhappy customers who don’t come back. And tell their friends how bad you are.
This is the core problem I’ve been helping a client of mine solve. They are a consulting firm who struggled to close sales at the price point they wanted. The problem? They were trying to sell to every business that came along, regardless of the nature of their problem.
Their staff was being pulled in too many directions. Doing too many different things to be either effective or organized about doing any of them.
The results they delivered weren’t as good as they could or should have been. The staff was unhappy. The owners were frustrated.
So, what happens when you get specific about who your market is?
You develop a laser focus on appealing to a specific group of people.
Think of it this way. Instead of shouting into a big crowd, you start talking to one person in that crowd. And you don’t care if what you are saying matters to anyone else.
When you start focusing on one specific group, you will get to know their needs better than they do. And that’s the goal.
You want to understand exactly what their pain is. You want to understand exactly what their needs and goals are.
When you know those things, you can speak to them in their language. That will get their attention and spark their interest in you.
If you’re trying to serve too many different people, there’s no way you will ever get to understand them that well.
This is what I did with my client.
We settled on solving a specific marketing problem for a specific segment of the market. That let them refine their marketing funnel and sales pitch. Now it appeals to exactly that group and lets them get more leads, more conversions, and a higher price.
Ready to get more focused on your ideal customer?
Here’s what you need to do.
- List out every identifiable characteristic you can think of. These are things like age, gender, income, or where they live for consumers. And things like company size, job role, or industry for businesses.
- Think about the ideal customer’s self-image and personality. Write down how they see themselves and how they want to be seen by others.
- How do they make decisions? Do they rely on facts and data? Or are they more swayed by relationships?
- Where do they learn about things related to your product or service?
- What are their hobbies? How do they spend their time? Capture anything that could tell you what matters to them or where you could reach them.
- Write down all the issues they have that are relevant to your product or service.
- Write down the outcome they are looking for by using your product or service.
If you need inspiration, think about your best customers. use them as a model. Think about your worst customers. Write down the opposite of them.
Keep at it until you feel like you know this person.
What did you learn by doing this exercise? Please share in the comments.
Feeling stuck trying to do it? Get in touch.