Creating a profile of your ideal client is an exercise that serves many purposes for any business that has limited resources (which is all businesses, right?). Especially in a B2B business, it is much more efficient and profitable to acquire, manage, and delight a client that you know your business is optimized to serve.
Profiling Your Ideal Client
If you have gone through the process of profiling your ideal client and haven’t looked at it for a while, or would like to validate your decision making process, here are 3 considerations to filter your work:
- Do they all want the same things?
- Is it efficient to deliver your products and services to all of your ideal clients?
- Are they all able to enjoy all of what you have to offer?
Do they want the same things?
As our Visionary Darrell Amy says in one of our previous blogs, “Buyers don’t buy products, they buy outcomes…people don’t buy drill bits, they buy holes.” To take it a step further, you need a hole in your wall for a specific reason. For example, I would like to be able to fly a flag in my front yard, but the front of the house is stucco, and hanging a flag mount on stucco is not all that easy.
So, while I actually need to buy a drill bit that can drill into stucco, what I am investing in is some sense of pride that I might get from flying the stars and stripes or raising a flag when the Baltimore Ravens are competing in the playoffs.
But let’s turn back to your ideal client profile: Do your ideal clients want the same outcomes?
Yes? If they do, it makes it a lot easier to connect with them using messaging that’s focused on the outcomes they want.
No? If they don’t, it will be hard to connect with your ideal prospects in your efforts to sell net-new business because your messaging may only resonate with some of these prospects.
Is it as efficient to deliver your products and services to all of your ideal clients?
Think of two fictitious restaurants as an analogy to illustrate this point:
- A+ Burgers: A restaurant that is all about burgers. They sell a yummy burger and a handful of simple complementary side dishes.
- Downtown Bistro: A restaurant that offers burgers, steak, chicken, and salads with some with an Italian twist, others with Asian spices, and some just plain American!
I love to eat, and anyone that knows me knows that I typically do extensive yelping before I make the seemingly life altering decision as to where to eat. I typically have a better experience and meal when I eat at a place that has a clear identity. I have found that the quality of the burger, steak, chicken, or salad that I might get at a restaurant like the Downtown Bistro is sub-par to a place that has a specialty like A+ Burgers.
Interestingly and more relevantly, A+ Burgers is more than likely able to deliver phenomenal burgers more efficiently with less cost than the Downtown Bistro is able to deliver their extensive, less-yummy menu of diverse offerings.
Is your business set up to do too many things for lots of customers? Or are your products and services well aligned to serve the needs of specific clients? Businesses that are more focused on a tightly defined ideal client typically have better client satisfaction.
I met with an associate recently that told me he had about 100 clients and annually goes through the exercise to fire the 6 of them. How cool is that? So, they fire the 6 clients that cause the biggest drain on his resources from either a time or emotional standpoint in order to serve the other 94 better. I’m quite confident the flywheel result of that is happier clients, resulting in more bandwidth to serve Ideal Clients. I am quite certain that it is not too hard for them to replace those 6!
Are they all able to enjoy all of what you offer?
Ideally your suite of products and services are targeted at your ideal client. Given that, you should be well positioned to expand your share of wallet with all of your ideal clients to maximize your revenue.
It is probably a good exercise to take a look at your client base. What percentage of them do you feel are a fit for everything that you offer? Going through that exercise should help you determine which ones you should be focusing your limited resources on. Not to say that you need to get rid of the ones that are not able to enjoy everything you do, but it should help you prioritize your efforts.
Speaking of limited resources, shouldn’t your sales and marketing efforts be focused on the ones that you can fully service? Having a focused, aligned sales and marketing strategy focused on the clients that can maximize your revenue seems like a good idea, huh?