Finding Your Fantasy Customer
Every business owner has “perfect” customers. These are the clients for whom your business seems to have been created. A perfect customer’s expectations are in line with your level of service, they have the means to pay for your products, and they refer other “perfect” clients. Customers like this are a business owner’s dream to serve. What if you could attract more of these coveted customers?
You can! One of the best things you can do for your business is to define your ideal customer by creating a perfect customer profile. Then, once you’ve defined your perfect customer, you can tailor your marketing efforts to attracting this unique client community.
Working to attract more ideal customers to do business with is a great way to increase your revenue without expending more time or funding. Serving an ideal customer base is working “smarter” not harder. You are able to accomplish more things (and make more money) with less effort when you are serving people who actually want and need your services. Another great benefit of catering to an ideal customer base is that like attracts like. Your ideal customers will tend to socialise and work with others like them. When you cater to and satisfy your ideal customers, you’ll get more referrals and leads to other customers who fit your ideal customer profile.
What is an “Ideal Customer”?
The ideal customer is one who is perfectly suited to your product or service. What does an ideal customer look like? That depends on the company. Every business has a unique ideal client population that must be identified and attracted.
Sample Ideal Customer Profile
For example, a financial adviser’s ideal customer might be a person who:
- Earns an income of $150,000 or more per year
- Has the means to invest at least $75,000 per year
- Likes to make smart financial decisions with the guidance of a professional
- Prefers a hands-off approach to daily financial decisions (read: isn’t calling with every shift in the stock market)
- Has defined specific goals and dreams for his personal and professional life
- Understands what it will take to reach his goals and is willing to do what it takes to get there
- Trusts the adviser’s opinions and advice
- Will not second guess the adviser’s advice after reading or hearing “expert” advice
- Is well connected within the community
- Is willing to refer friends and family who fit the business’ ideal customer profile
- Respects and treats members of the team with dignity
- Is committed to following through with his promises
- Has a sense of humor and is pleasant to work with
- Understands the importance of charitable contributions and giving back to the community
As you can see in the sample profile for a financial adviser’s ideal customer, a business owner’s ideal customer profile should include specific information about the customer’s ability to pay and service preferences. The ideal client profile should also include information about a perfect client’s character and personal preferences.
For some industries, an ideal customer profile might include things like age, gender or marital status. Obviously, a dating service for singles is best suited for people who are not married while a babysitting service is only appropriate for people who have (or are responsible for) kids. Describe your ideal customer as completely as possible in order to get the best results.
Developing Your Ideal Client Profile
To create a profile of your business’ best customers, you need to know your client base. Who does your business best serve? In order to attract better business, you need to know who your ideal customer is, what they want, and why they come (or will come) to you.
The following questions will help you paint a picture of the perfect customer and help you identify how to find more customers who fit the description. It helps to answer these questions about an existing client who your business serves well.
- What does my best client normally buy?
- What character traits or qualities does my ideal client have?
- How much does my ideal client make?
- What motivates him to purchase my product?
- Is he the decision maker or does he rely on someone else’s opinion to make decisions?
- Why does my best customer keep returning to my business? (What does he like best about my company?)
- What do I like best about this client?
Attracting More Ideal Clients
Developing a written ideal customer profile is essential to improving the success of your company. The first step to getting what you want is defining it. Once you’ve created the ideal customer profile, you can go about coming up with ways to attract more customers that fit the profile. Answer the following questions about an existing customer who fits your ideal customer profile.
- How did my existing ideal clients find my business?
- When does my best customer normally do his shopping/purchase my services? (What time of the day/week/year?)
- How does he get his information?
- What kinds of habits does my best customer have?
- What kinds of promotions or incentives would entice this customer to shop with me (or buy more from me?)
- How could I better serve this customer?
Using this information, you can reach out to people who would fit well with your ideal client population. Do your grocery shopping where ideal clients shop. Socialize in the same circles. Advertise in trade magazines that you believe would be of interest to your ideal clients. Do whatever you can to connect with and attract the perfect customer population for your business.
Another great way to attract more ideal clients is to share your perfect customer wish list with others. Explain to your current customers (who fit the ideal client profile) that you are looking for referrals and that you would appreciate any help they can provide. Many of your clients will be thrilled to help you by directing you toward new leads and suggesting your services to their friends and family (after all, they are your perfect customers for a reason). You can also talk to your friends, family and colleagues about your ideal client profile and ask that they refer anyone who fits the profile to you for a consultation.
By getting to know your ideal client and considering how you can best attract more “perfect” customers, you’ll uncover more opportunities to expand your ideal client base and grow your business.
Some other useful resources in relation to identifying the ideal clients:
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