Who Is Your Ideal Customer?

Do you want more customers? Do you know who those people are? Do you know them and understand them? Do you know what obstacles they face in their businesses, their lives and what might be holding them back from growing their businesses? Do you know what advantages they have in the marketplace?

If you said no to most or all of those you are not alone. Most people know very little about the prospects they are trying to acquire which is a big reason why they are not getting new customers. It’s hard to help someone solve a problem that you don’t know they have. It’s even harder to make someone’s life better if you don’t know that there is something lacking in their life. When you don’t clearly understand your ideal prospect, your ideal client, you will never be able to effectively sell to them.

Advertising without a clear target is hope marketing. Hope marketing rarely works because unless you have massive amounts of money to throw at it, you will never attract the right customer. So unless you have massive amounts of money to throw at marketing, and I assume like me that you don’t, than you need to get laser focused on who your ideal customer is and how you can make their life better and solve their problems. You can’t continue with hope marketing and think you will live happily ever after because it just doesn’t work.

Marketing is fishing and if you are going to go fishing you have to know what type of fish you are seeking. I like to charter fishing boats when I go fishing. It’s a lot more fun for me to hire someone with the right boat, the right gear and all I have to do is relax and fish. I don’t have to clean the boat, pay the upkeep or pay for the repairs. When I’m done fishing I just get off the boat pay the bill on go on my merry way.

Often I go fishing in Islamorada FL. Typically we fish for one of three types of fish, dolphin, not flipper but mahi-mahi (when cooked), snapper and of course sail fish. When fishing for dolphin all of your rigs are geared toward fishing near the surface of the water. The lures are designed to be a little flashy because you want them to be seen from a distance and cause the dolphin to chase the lure while the boat is trolling. Trolling is the boat moving at a fairly slow pace to just keep the lures moving briskly in the water but not too slow and not too fast. So to catch dolphin you have to fish at the surface with the right bait. This may sound simple but this is where the dolphin are. The best captains know where they are and how to get them to onto your hook. With snapper you fish on the bottom with squid, mullet or mackerel. The captain will look on the depth finder and if he sees a large school of fish he will typically drop anchor at a point where the back of the boat ends up above the schools of fish. Then you simply drop the bait into the school and bam, fish on. You fish where the fish are, pretty obvious right?

Fishing for customers is not much different. No matter what type of customer you are seeking you need to know as much as humanly possible about them to be successful in targeting them. You also need to use the right bait to attract them but I will not be discussing that for now. So let’s look at a few items to define that will help you narrow your target market. The more micro focused you can become in this area the better your marketing will work. For this discussion I’m going to focus on commercial and industrial customers because for most contractors this is where the long term money is earned. Here’s a short list to help you describe your ideal customer and what they might be facing. This is also referred to as your customer “avatar”.

  1. What type of business do they own?
  2. What products or services do they sell?
  3. Who do they sell to?
  4. What obstacles do they face that hinder them from growth?
  5. What keeps them up at night?
  6. What are their fears?
  7. What are their goals?
  8. What problems do they have that you can help them solve?
  9. What false beliefs do they have about your products or services?
  10. How can your products or services make their life better?

This list is by no means exhaustive but if you answer the above you will find you have a much better understanding of your ideal customer. But I don’t think you should stop there. I think you should also define what you don’t want in a customer. I have a several hard and fast rules when it comes to customers and when I break my own rules I have found that accepting the wrong customer takes more time, affects my happiness and frankly just is not worth the money. This is my list, yours may be different.

My ideal customer…

  • Has a positive outlook on life and business. ALWAYS.
  • Isn’t a whiner and complainer.
  • Is focused on growth and their future.
  • Doesn’t get hung up on the little things.
  • Is willing to spend money to make money.
  • Is not looking for the lowest price.
  • Has a desire to learn.
  • Is teachable.
  • Understands the importance of family.
  • Is not arrogant.

If you take the time to clearly describe your ideal customer and then take the time to define the traits in them that you don’t want, fishing for them will become so much easier. When you know the real thing so well that you can recognize a fake it will make your life and customer acquisition efforts work better.

When banks hire tellers they don’t spend time teaching them how to recognize counterfeit currency. They spend their time and training on teaching them the look and feel of real currency. They know how it feels in their fingers, what it looks like up close and from a distance. They know the real thing so well that the second a counterfeit bill hits their fingertips they recognize it immediately. When you know your ideal customer on that level selling to them will be the easiest most seamless thing you can do. Take the time to do it, it will change your marketing forever.

Does your business have a constant flow of incoming customers? Can you follow a simple formula that I and many others have used to generate massive amounts of sales? If so you can be on a path to prosperity. Click here to find out how.

To your lifelong prosperity,

David Mulvaney

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