Who Is Your Ideal Client?

February 23, 2018

I’ve been asked twice this week who our ideal clients are and it’s something we’ve struggled with over the years when updating our buyer personas.  Our clients range across industries, size of business, location and age, but we do have a niche.

It’s 100% personality driven.

Knowing the attributes we are looking for helps us with our digital marketing, our onboarding process, our internal systems and most important, our customer service.  We know we can produce better outcomes for, and it fits with our purpose, to work with business owners who:

  • are great communicators
  • can delegate
  • are ambitious
  • are positive and happy (I know, but it’s important to us!)
  • know what they enjoy doing and where they add value to their business
  • value those who they partner with in business

Targeting personality traits works for our business but that approach might not work for you.

Are you worried being niche reduces your pool of prospects?

Particularly in startup or scaling up phases there can be a concern that targeting an ‘ideal client’ reduces the size of your market.  Not so, it’s much better to be a big fish in a small pond than to be lost in the ocean!  Knowing the clients you work best with, and can add the most value for, means you can be the expert they need.  You’ll know their pain points and have the solutions needed to solve these.

How to define your ideal client

If you haven’t already, here’s an exercise to help you determine exactly who your ideal clients are.  Once you know that, you can develop your buyer persona and make sure your onboarding process qualifies your prospects, so you’re only working with ideal clients!

  1. From your CRM or accounts system, export into Excel a complete list of your existing clients.
  2. Assess and categorise these clients in terms of:
    1. Customer satisfaction
    2. Customer complaints
    3. Profitability
    4. Repeat business
    5. Referrers
  3. Based on this grade your clients into A, B and C categories (A being ideal, C being you might need an exit plan!) . Keep in mind the 20/80 rule where 20% of your clients bring in 80% of your business, you want to target those in the 20%.
    1. If you want to take this a step further you can also audit your prospects list.  Which prospects converted into clients?  What were their pain points, where did they find you, what were the conversion costs?
  4. Now look for similarities amongst your “A” clients.  They might be personality traits (like ours), or industry, size of business, position or role, location, sex, age …. and so on.

The common trends you find in #4 above form the basis of your ideal client.  Knowing who that is will make your business more profitable, more efficient and most importantly ensure you and your team enjoy coming in to work each day … at the end of the day, you choose your clients!

 

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