First, let’s define 'perfect customer.' The concept of a perfect customer is pretty simple – they are the ones that, if you could get enough of them, would rock your year. They're profitable, they value your knowledge, experience, and you as a vendor partner, and they refer you. They are the people you love to do business with. As Duct Tape Marketing Consultants, we call them ideal customers.
Why should you care about focusing on your ideal customer? Because we all have limited time, money, and resources (people). To have effective business development, you need to know more about the customer’s business than they do. If you don’t have an ideal customer, you cannot possibly know all there is about all of the businesses out there. When you focus on an ideal customer, it gives you the target you need to become that expert on the customer’s business. After all, they run one business – but if you're an expert in their type of business, you bring many points of view and experience to the table. It's much easier to market and sell to someone when you know what all of their issues and pain points are.
Why is it important to narrow your focus? Here are the pros to knowing who your ideal customer is.
Customers in your sweet spot are more profitable because you know how to solve their problems quickly. Even better, you may have a process that makes solving their problems less time-consuming.
|When you take on a customer outside your sweet spot, you're typically outside of your comfort level and aren't efficient or effective. When you don’t do a good job, you strive harder to make sure that you do a good job, and the outcome is that you spend a ton more time on the project, which makes it less profitable (if you're lucky; in some cases it can be a loss).|
|Customer Satisfaction||Because you know what you're doing and are more likely to be efficient and effective, your customers get the best of what you have to offer and are happy.||Because you don’t know what you're doing and are less likely to be efficient and effective, your customers get the worst of what you have to offer and are unhappy.|
|Employee Satisfaction||When you and your team do a good job, it makes everyone feel great. Happy employees lead to better customer service, which leads to happier customers.||When you and your team do a bad job, it makes most people feel awful, which can lead to a downward spiral. Unhappy employees lead to bad customer service which causes unhappy customers.|
|Referrals||Excellent customer service leads to happy customers and hopefully referrals. (Having a referral process helps this tremendously.)||Bad customer service leads to unhappy customers which are always more vocal than happy customers. Even worse, with the internet and the advent of social media and reviews, it easier now more than ever to get a bad review. One bad review will negate lots of good reviews.|
|Reduced Cost per Customer Acquisition||If you narrow your focus on an ideal customer, you can wrap your head around all of the pain points they're dealing with. Focusing brings the cost of customer acquisition down dramatically.||If you don’t narrow your focus, you won't be able to know your target as intimately as you should for really effective sales. This means trying to find more leads because your conversion isn't as good as it should be. More leads of lower quality cost more money.|
Narrowing your focus can seem scary but it is actually one of the more profitable things that you can do for your company.
At Leading Results, we focus on a few markets – ones we know very well. Application software developers, consultants and implementers, HVAC installers and distributors, environmental consultants, and related businesses. With this focus, we know the issues our clients have with their business development efforts (usually before we talk with them) and we understand the problems they solve for their customers. Do we work with other types of businesses? Sure, at times and where there's a logical tie-in to knowledge we already have. But we try not to go completely out of our knowledge zone because ultimately it isn’t as profitable for us and the results aren't as good for the client.
If you have a story about how focusing on your perfect customers has helped you grow your business, we’d love to hear it.