I put this question before a client during a review meeting with him. Sir, who is your ideal customer? His answer was brief and simple; “anybody that can pay for my products”. Immediately, I sensed one key problem that has been snowboarding his sales over the years. If this sounds similar to the answer you would have given if you were asked, this topic is important to you.
Doing business without a good knowledge of who your ideal customer is, is a risky and wasteful adventure.
For B2B businesses, the effect is usually quite obvious. Among businesses selling to the masses (B2C) like retail businesses, however, this may seem unimportant. After all, sales turn in every day.
However, If you own a retail business, you may ask yourself this question; why are your customers keep asking for credit facility when buying at your store, while at other retail stores, they dare not mention it?
Why do your customers frequently ask for a reduction in your prices while at the other retail stores, a price tag has been fixed on products?
Or if yours is a service business, say a school owner, ask yourself this brief question. Why do some schools collect tuition right upon school resumption while at other schools, it’s usually a “war” to get these fees turned in?
Or while do some businesses in your industry charge a higher price for a business you render and still reel in more customers while you rely on fate most times to close deals?
The simple answer is, those businesses on the positive side are dealing with the right customers. The ideal ones. Period.
The issue is, entrepreneur forgets that they have to choose whom their business’ customers are. Using the words of Lincoln Murphy “if you don’t choose who you want to do business with, your customers will choose you…and they may very well be less-than-Ideal”
You can’t afford to sell to everyone. You’ll lose focus and turn away the right customers.
A good knowledge of an Ideal Customer (AKA customer profile) in your business empowers it in no small measure. It helps you achieve pretty much things in the business. From removing wastages in the course of doing business, helping to cut cost to debt management, its place can not be overemphasised.
A profile of an ideal customer will serve as a template upon which you base your marketing and sales approach. It will help you find out the “why in the how” of your customers’ behaviour in order to better target them.
As a manufacturer or retailer, a good knowledge of your ideal customers will help you offer better products. It will also help you work with your customers and build future products/product features to suit their needs. With well-developed customer profile( otherwise known as buyer persona), you can create products and services that are more closely aligned with what your customers want, allowing you to better cater to their needs.
You’ll be more likely to keep customers for the long haul if your products grow and change with your customers.
In a nutshell, your knowledge of an ideal customer for your business will help find ready, willing and able customers. It will also help you prioritize customers that will stay with you. And ultimately, it will help you identify how to make your ideal customers happy always. The result? More sales always!