You have probably been asked at a networking event or lunch these questions:
Who is a good lead for you? Who is your ideal client?
These questions are important; ones that that people don’t think about or examine fully. We know who we like to work with and we certainly want to find quality clients and customers. However, have you recently considered who your best clients are? Have you asked them why they work with you and why they like you?
Small businesspeople are continuously marketing for business, but are they looking for the right kind of business? This is why creating an ideal client profile is valuable.
The following are questions you need to ask yourself. The questions may vary depending on industry but the same strategy applies for everyone. Create a profile (or profiles) that will allow you to focus your marketing efforts and that will enable you to get in front of the right people/businesses more frequently. Getting the answers to these questions is not as easy as you might think; it will take time and effort. It may take several meetings or even months.
Start with the financial qualifiers. How large should the company/business be in terms of revenue or sales? If a company is too small, are you wasting your time?
Does the company have a budget for the products or services that you offer? Ask about a budget. If funds are not allocated for items or services you offer, don’t waste your time or cut your prices.
Is the company in the right industry or niche for you? Many of us work hard to adapt our services, but this may limit our ability to be successful. Stick to the industries where you have your greatest strengths. Trying to service too many different industries can spread your marketing message too thin.
Who do you need to get in front of? Will you be presenting to a CEO, CMO or CFO? Make sure your profile identifies who the right decision maker is to fit with your process. This is where many networkers fail. They waste their time speaking and meeting with the wrong people.
What structure is needed for the client to effectively engage with you and your business? If you need to communicate with a CEO who is generally inaccessible or you need to be in touch with a marketing department, make sure that this is part of your profile.
From a marketing perspective you will want to know where your ideal clients congregate or meet? Who are their clients/customers? How can you help them meet more prospects? By understanding your prospects’ needs you can be helpful to them in their efforts to grow their businesses. If you know where prospects are you can find them. This may be in the physical sense. For example, if you know certain decision makers will be attending a trade show or conference then you can focus on these events. If you know your ideal client reads a particular blog, trade or business publication, you can work to get coverage in that publication. You want your prospects to see you and learn about your leadership and expertise.
Spend the time reviewing and researching your best clients and look at the attributes that make them perfect for you. Create your own list of similar companies or businesses and start marketing to them. Find out where they will be, work to build relationships with them and plan to provide them services that have value.
How did you meet your ideal client? Can you repeat this process? Who introduced you or gave you the referral? If you received business from a referral, create an ideal referral profile.
Work to recreate the process for meeting and engaging with an ideal prospect and track how your marketing and relationship process resulted in the opportunity to make the sale. Keep good records and repeat your successes.
By Bill Corbett