Knowing who your ideal client is, is critical for leveraging your business’ time and resources effectively. If you don’t know who your ideal client is, it’s going to affect your business exponentially. Your focus will be blurred. You won’t know how to prospect effectively. You won’t be able to target your campaigns effectively. Your conversion rate will be lower. Your chance of delivering successful outcomes will be lower. Your chances of running a successful business will be lower.
When defining who your ideal client is, there are 4 critical questions every business owner needs to ask themselves.
1) Do they have a need, pain or a sense of urgency?
Customers need products and services to fulfil needs and to assuage problems that if otherwise left unaddressed are going to result in their lives getting worse and worse. Millionaire entrepreneur and business mentor Dan Lok calls this his ‘bleeding neck philosophy’. Who are the customers most haemorrhaging reputation, status, efficiency, profitability, meaning, belonging, opportunity, guidance or happiness from a bleeding wound in their lives or business? Who needs to stem a gushing flow of self doubt, fear, guilt, confidence and belief? Focus on the ones who need you the most and you’ll find the ones you can help the most. Don’t waste your time on people who may need you. Focus on the ones that definitely do.
2) Do they have the finances or the willingness to source the finances required for your business?
Many people will need your service that can’t afford it. Being needed won’t do much for your bottom line if the people who need you can’t pay. Yes. In business we want to help people. However, our desire to help people can result in trying to serve everyone. Many business owners try to answer every enquiry, follow through on every lead, give great service until their dying breath, literally. A lead isn’t a lead if the customer can’t afford you. How many times have you gone through the whole process just for the customer to baulk on price at the end and walk away?
People who can’t afford you make you wait unreasonable times for invoices to be paid. They cost you money on follow ups. They cost you money on cash flow. They cost you money on time, stress and disappointment. They cost you money on missed opportunities. They are usually the most critical. They are last to give a referral despite you bending over backwards to satisfy them.
Your ideal client won’t barter you on price. They’ll value the return on investment you provide. They invest for their own benefit with funds they have available or they have the motivation and willingness to go out and find. They’ll never expect you to compromise your offering to meet their budget or wait until they have the money available to settle your account.
3) Are they likely to take action?
Maybe the client you are targeting has the funds. But are they accessible? Or are they so flat out you can’t ever get to them? Are their gatekeepers difficult, unassailable and get worse through multiple levels? Does the target require you to somersault through tangled red tape, jump through hoop after hoop and double over under the weight of bureaucracy just to be stonewalled at the end by a decision maker who thinks it’s all to hard? Maybe they just they love to play hard to get and think you love the chase? If you really have to dig and dig and dig some more, it’s possible you are going to end up in a hole.
4) Do you feel passionate about helping them?
Most business owners don’t really like ‘working for the man’. They don’t say ‘a job is a job’. They feel the opposite of this and that’s why they go into business. So don’t say ‘a client is a client’. It doesn’t matter if they know they need you. It doesn’t matter if they have all the money in the world to pay you. If you don’t love what you are doing and who you are doing it for, you’ll be methodically killing off your motivation and passion with each deal done. You are doing a disservice to yourself and it’s going to result in you doing a disservice to the client eventually anyway. Meanwhile, the people you love working for will be going unanswered or saying goodbye.
Finding your ideal client allows you to be able to help more, be valued more, be tired less and most importantly, it allows you to be happy.
Who is your ideal client?