How to target your ideal client
In our previous article, we explored how to identify your ideal client or customer. Once you’ve gone through this process and have a profile of the personas you want to target in order to grow your business, how do you then attract these clients and secure and retain their custom?
Understanding your ideal client or customer allows you to move forward with confidence rather than trying to be all things to all people. You can now act more decisively to gear your offering, your products or services and your sales and support towards attracting and serving a well-defined customer group.
Think small to win big
Part of identifying your ideal client is narrowing your targeting, concentrating your resources and effort on a much smaller group. This might feel counterintuitive and it’s tempting to go for the biggest market possible, but you are likely to be a small fish in a big and very crowded pond. Your ideal clients have very specific demographics and specific problems or needs that they want to address. If you can make yourself the perfect fit for this smaller group, you’ll build a loyal and dedicated customer base. Once you’re more established you may want to expand your reach, but there is also a lot to be said for being the big player or the ‘go to’ name in a smaller market.
Why should they choose you?
You’re now looking at a smaller market with specific problems and needs. Why should they choose you to help address those issues? The thinking you’ve put into identifying your ideal target will help you understand how your product or service offers something special to them; something that more generic alternatives can’t provide. This forms the basis of your ‘why us?’ value proposition – the reasons your ideal client will want to choose you over any other business in your industry. This can be constantly tested and refined as you move forward and continue learning what your ideal clients love about your offering. Your business plan is important and you want to execute it successfully, but those ideal target clients and customers won’t choose you based on your business plan. What is it you offer them that sets you apart?
Go to the source to find out more
Businesses can learn a lot from every client interaction. This is an opportunity to get priceless insights straight from your ideal clients or customers. How is your ‘why us’ value proposition tracking against what they actually say? What is it about your products or services that get them excited? What problems do they face? What are the criticisms or stumbling blocks preventing them from giving you their business? Start-ups with more limited customer interaction might need to look at more creative ways to test their ideas. You can be thinking about these questions when you meet with prospects from your ideal target group. Whether you convert or not, you can always gather valuable information about how they perceive your offering, what they need and how you can serve them better. There are also likely to be relevant industry or trade groups that can help you get face to face access to your ideal clients. In a more structured way, you can consider offering free sample products, a free trial period or beta test relationships to attract those willing to provide feedback.
Apply this back into your strategy
Armed with these insights and some growing relationships with members of your ideal target group, the final step is to apply this to your wider business strategy. How does what you’ve learnt about what your ideal clients like about your business, what they need and how you can serve them impact your existing model? Is it still client focussed and, more importantly, focussed on the clients you want? How might this affect your offerings, your revenue streams, distribution channels and pricing? Do you need to change anything to better serve your ideal client and make yourself more attractive to them? Who might you be able to partner with to reach this market? What resources or strategies will help you make an impact with the people in this market?
As your business grows and develops, you can always revisit this process periodically to ensure you are still positioning yourself effectively to serve the changing needs of your ideal client and remain their best choice for years to come.
If you are unsure on how to identify and target your ideal client, SP Solutions start you off in the right direction with a free business consultation.