Your Ideal Client
An IDEAL CLIENT is a client that would not only use your product but will LOVE your product. Loving your product means they will come again, and again and again and still buy from you. Not to sound like am re-writing the Oxford Dictionary but I think that was a good place to start. Let’s get to the gears!
I would like to confess that this is one area of business that I had long ignored in my entrepreneurial endeavors, because I had not understood its dire importance in any business venture. This goes to say that some of the best performing businesses I believe would be businesses of specialization. Any business that has managed to cut out its niche and dedicated to carefully and creatively improving their products and services while giving a sharp listening ear to its target clientele, has achieved milestones in short periods. This does not mean that generalist businesses aren’t doing well, some of them include e-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba and we all know what kind of numbers they are posting in profits. But to the entrepreneur that is either starting out or struggling in a business that isn’t bringing in good revenue, consider the philosophy of the ideal client. Two of my favourite Authors; John Assaraf and Murray Smith actually slapped me with this idea in their jointly authored book “The Answer” please for any entrepreneur out there, ensure you lay your hands on this book, it is gold. I shall do a review of the book on here later.
The philosophy of the ideal client revolves around optimizing your clients and the goal is to SERVE YOUR CLIENTS BETTER, not to make more money, I will also explain how to make more money as a result of optimizing your clients. When you specialize it means you will serve less clients and therefore be able to focus your energy, resources, creativity and feedback response to a smaller group of people you aim to satisfy. While this group is smaller, we are working on having a few people obsessing about your products/services and creating a small army of unpaid brand and marketing ambassadors! You cannot be everything to everyone and if your try selling to everyone you might find yourself selling to no-one. Kaboom!
Feedback Systems and Surveys
Creating an effective feedback system in your business could go a long way in client optimization. Short surveys can also help to identify the needs and wants of your clients who might have escaped your feedback system. Remember there are those clients who would not be satisfied by your service or products but they stay quiet and go looking elsewhere. This is where surveys come to your rescue. These surveys could be done in your office when they visit, on your website, by email or even on the phone. Ensure that you probe your clients really well because some of them could be shying from telling you the truth for fear of hurting your feelings, make sure they are comfortable to say anything to you that they expect of your business and they will because your business affects them.
Making more money as a result of client optimization
Most of us are aware of the Pareto Analysis, a universal principle that applies to any business. Pareto was an Italian Professor that discovered the 80/20 rule which states that in your business, there are the 20% of your clients that give you 80% of your business and 80% of clients that give you 20% of your business. And the billion dollar question here is, why not focus your efforts on this small group of 20% that brings over 80% of the money your business makes? This optimization in my view means you will spend half the effort and make twice the money in half the time! You don’t believe me? Try it out.
As you optimize your clients, remember to create referral channels with small businesses that are in the same field as you and refer some of the 80% that bring 20% of business to them in exchange of either commission or other clients that would be more valuable to you. Commissions in exchange for referrals works better in this case but ensure to have proper agreements between you and the other businesses. You see, you have helped other small businesses, you have saved yourself time to serve your targeted clients and you have made money in referral commissions! Is it worth trying? I believe YES! Work on doing a detailed due diligence on the companies that you intend to work with on this referral programme to ensure that your clients will receive proper service. Find a way of tactfully explaining what you are doing and in the end make them understand that it is for the good of both your organization and especially themselves. Also let them know that they can come to you anytime they need you, this will keep the trust between you and your clients rock solid. If you can find a book by Tim Vandehey and Peter Montoya called Brand Called you, most of these techniques are explained there in much more detail.
Things to do
A little homework don’t hurt, does it?
- Make a list of the Characteristics of your Ideal Client. Today.
- Group your clients as you know how, and later use the 80/20 Rule to separate them. In 5 days.
- Create a short Survey and implement it to know the exact wants and needs of your clients. This can be done in a week or two via emails, calls, or website or during office visits.
- Work on creating an efficient feedback system in your business to help you improve service.
- Create a referral system with businesses in your field and start giving them referral business in return for commissions.
This topic is quite debatable and could even get controversial in some cases but hey, remember we are learning as we work. Your comments are welcome!