Can you describe your ideal customer?
If not, you’re certainly not alone, but you have some work to do.
The more you know your target customer the faster your business will grow. But many small businesses struggle with this and cast too wide a net.
In this short, sweet post I’ll outline the steps you need to take to find that person, focus on their needs, and as a result improve your marketing.
Here are a few facts:
- The wrong customers stifle growth.
- The right customers drive growth.
- And trying to be all things to all people is a huge drain on you and your business.
What you need to do is be a bit obsessive about finding the right customers.
You’ll make your marketing work by focusing on the right people and their needs.
And simply taking the time to do this can change everything. Meaning it will drive business growth.
So, what is your step #1?
Start with the basics and ask:
- What is the ideal company size?
- What industries are a good fit? Are they local, national, global?
- Are we targeting businesses, consumers, or both?
Then visualize your ideal customer.
Create a “sketch” of this person. Start by describing who they are, what they do, and how they buy.
Focus on their buying behavior. Think about their decision-making process and the steps that they take. Ask the following…
- What are their wants and needs?
- What are their primary motivations?
- What are their expectations?
- What triggered them to contact you?
- How will they evaluate you and your competition?
- What roadblocks do they face?
And, what is the ultimate thing that gets them to buy from you? To become a customer?
Once you have that information then you can dive deeper to get the insights you need.
That’s step #2. Pick up the phone. Schedule a Zoom call.
Put together a list of your current customers and schedule a call.
Five to Six interviews should do the job.
When you schedule the calls do me a favor and ditch the script.
- Make it conversational.
- Ask about their buying process.
- Start slow let them talk.
Every answer should lead to another question…
- “So, what was your next step?”
- “How, exactly, did you analyze that?”
- “What one thing did we do that persuaded you to work with us?”
When interviewing your customers it’s fine to start with a list of questions, but once the conversation starts flowing let go and be conversational.
Even if you start with the same list of questions for every call, each conversation will have its own theme.
Just remember to ask open-ended questions and keep digging for the juicy tidbits you need.
If you stay focused and remember your purpose (to learn more about their buying process) you’ll come away with the valuable information you need.
You’ll get better at focusing on the right customers for your business, and as a result dramatically improve your marketing.
You’ll also get better at creating the messaging and content they are looking for.
What NOT to do?
Don’t get buried in the details. Stay focused on their buying behavior.
Don’t get hung up on Demographics (things like age, income, education).
Or Psychographics (values, personality, lifestyle).
These insights are very important but you want to laser in on the buyer’s journey.
- How did you discover us?
- How did you evaluate our business and the competition?
- What triggered you to contact us?
What motivated them to pick you?
What convinced them to buy from you? Was is Price? Responsiveness? Reputation? All three?
These insights are incredibly valuable and they’re what you need to clearly define your target customer and as a result, improve your marketing.
Set up a call, build one persona and go from there.
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