If you had to describe your perfect customer, how would you describe them? Have you ever taken the time to work out what demographic your best customers belong to? If you were asked to create an avatar of your ideal customer, what would it look like? What defines your ideal customer?
Let’s take a look at some of the markers that can help us tailor our marketing, sales and qualifying processes to ensure that we get in front of as many ideal customers as possible.
Attracting the right kind of client is important, but attract the wrong ones and not only will you waste your time marketing, advertising, visiting, writing, proposing and selling to them, if you do win the sale, they will suck the life out of you.
They will be the most awkward to sell to, once the service or product is delivered, they will be the ones that complain the most. If you charge in arrears for your offering, they will also be the ones that will not pay on time (if at all).
There’s a good chance that 80% of your profits will come from just 20% of your customers. Similarly, 80% of the work you do will only generate 20% of your pro t. Sometimes the numbers will be nearer 75:25 or 85:15 but you get the principle.
So how can you develop a qualifying process to get more of the 20% of good customers that give you the 80% of your pro t to ensure you maximise your efforts and reduce wasted time and energy?
How can you get rid of the 80% of headache customers who mess you around, change their minds, don’t pay on time, are rude to your staff, bringing down morale and are generally unprofitable?
The answer is by creating an Avatar and here are a few steps that can help you build a real clear picture of what your ideal customer type looks like.
Once you can imagine this perfect customer, it helps to give the avatar a name. Think of your most recent perfect customer and name your avatar after them. You can focus your marketing and processes directly at that person.
If your ideal customer is a 30 year old bodybuilder, who competes in Tough Mudder and attends Kickboxing events, using soft caring language, fluffy images in your marketing and an over polite qualifying process probably isn’t going to resonate with them. Hard, bold tough talk, macho language and action images will be more their style.
The chances are that the customers you don’t want to attract, will be repelled by this well designed process.
What are your customer’s goals, aspirations and values? What’s the real driver for the decisions they make in the important parts of their lives?
Are they trying to make a million? Leave a legacy behind? Impress their family? Prevent pain and loss? Leave their affairs in order for their loved ones if they depart soon?
What emotion is driving their decisions in life? Why are they buying what you have to offer?
A great way to unearth the main reason for their motivation is simply to ask them… “So what made you decide to buy a Mercedes?”… “What got you interested in having an outdoor kitchen fitted to your home?
The art of asking questions is the fastest way to ensuring you make the right sale for both you and your customer. Careful questioning can help gently unearth the real reasons they buy something, and with that information you can form a solution that fits their true desires perfectly and build a solid in-depth picture of your ideal customer.
The answers to these questions will also give you a better picture of their personal values. What drives their behaviours? Ambition, Abundance, Generosity, Achievement, Reputation, Security, Stability.
Providing even more detail on what to include in your marketing, the language you use with them and the end product or service.
What demographic do they belong to? Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), Millennial (1980- 2004) or Centennial (2004 onwards)
If your perfect client is a GenX, you’re probably wasting your time trying to get a 24 year old to buy a new kitchen. Millenials attention is typically focused on fitness, socialising, clothes, a new car, girls/boys and they’re probably still at home with parents or renting.
Knowing the typical behaviours of these groups can also help you see the pattern of your best buyers.
Does your product sell to mainly male or female customers? What type of salary bracket are they in? What house type do they live in? What’s the typical value of their home? Do they have kids? (this is a huge deal maker/breaker on personal spending budgets.) Do they have an eye for detail or are they happy with average? What is their role in this purchase? Is it for them? Someone else? Their wife, kids, parents?
Make a list of your best customers and collect as much information as you can on a spreadsheet until you start to see the patterns forming.
What would their typical quote or claim be? “I just want the best, I don’t care how much it costs?”… “I need to make sure I don’t make the wrong decision”… “It needs doing properly at the right price”
The importance of knowing your data
Before you start to create your qualifying process, you have to know your numbers and KPI’s. If you’re not already doing so, keep a track of all of the leads that come into your business, what source they came from, and what type of demographic the customer belongs to.
Then compare your actual sales and separate those into the easiest, most pro table sales, and the pain in the ass, break even or losses. Knowing where your good sales came from is the first vital step. If they all came in through Facebook and the bad ones through Google Adwords, well, you know what to do…..
What are your conversion rates? So for every 100 leads, how many sales did you make? It’s good to have a starting point when making any improvements to your processes.
Let’s say you are making a sale to half of the leads that come in and making your business 20%NetProfit. But 50%of those sales are a pain in the ass to deal with and individually not that pro table. By using a qualifying process to reject the bad half, you are saving yourself 50% more time, 50% less hassle, 100% less unprofitable sales.
You owe it to your customers to sell
them the right option and not some
cheap lower value proposition that
your competition is selling
If you managed to attract 100% of the right customers, your profits would more than double. Your life will become easier, your cash ow will improve and your business will run more smoothly,
You are also creating more time to spend with Mr & Mrs Right, and if you can design your marketing with this qualifying approach, you will be saving advertising money and creating a higher ROI with your marketing budget.
So it’s going to be difficult to ask these qualifying questions outright. This process needs to have questions that gently get to the real reasons, and include questions that will eliminate the wrong customers.
For example, if you are a high end residential builder/ developer, asking questions like, “What’s more important to you, Appearance, Cost or Guarantees?”, will eliminate the buyers that are looking for the cheapest job and therefore not be suitable to your type of business.
Save yourself the bother, listen to your data, listen to your gut and trust the process. Do not give them your time. Move on to Mr Right. You may repel the odd customer that would have been ok, but the chances are slim.
The better you get at this by refining your questions and making them natural to your personality, the more impact this process will have on your results.
Great research material for this would be “Good Leaders ask Great Questions” by John Maxwell.