How to Find and Keep Your Ideal Target Customer

How to Find and Keep Your Ideal Target Customer
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How to Find and Keep Your Ideal Target Customer and Why It Matters
We define ideal target customers as those who will profitably, happily, and consistently buy from you the majority of the time.  High growth firms are almost three times as likely to be highly specific and detailed about the type of customer where they shine.  Experienced sales managers know that ideal target customers also lead to higher margins, greater retention, and shorter sales cycles.

Unfortunately, too many sales teams invest time and resources trying to sell solutions to everyone.  Do not that mistake if you want to increase win rates, grow profitability, and decrease sales cycle times.

Clarifying Your Buyer Personas
Investing the time to define your ideal target clients, also known as buyer personas, will help to focus, align, and accelerate sales, marketing, product development, and resource allocation.  The key to identifying the specific audience that you think is most likely to appreciate your unique value proposition is smart market segmentation.  To grow profitably, you should NOT try to market and sell to everyone.

The right target market increases your chances of success because you can focus on what matters most to them and why you offer the best alternative in the marketplace.

How to Find Your Ideal Customers
Once you have identified your ideal customers, you can save selling and marketing time and effort by ruthlessly focusing on where they are and what matters most to them.  It is much easier to find (and be found by) well-defined targets with specific priorities than by trying to be all things to all customers.

How Ready Are Your Ideal Customers for What You Have to Offer?
Even if you have identified a target customer, sales prospects may not yet be ready or willing to hear what you can do for them.  In general, before customers trust what you have to say, they need to be “warmed up.”

The “Warming Up” Process

  1. From Stranger
    First and foremost you need access to your ideal target client. Direct client referrals from your trusted network are by far the best way to get a qualified meeting.

    But, if a client referral is not possible, your next best tactics are to join associations where they meet, speak at events that they attend, invite them to hear a speaker on a subject of interest, share research and best practices related to their immediate concerns, and request a meeting to discuss one of their priorities about which you have special knowledge.

  2. To Familiar
    Build on your introduction to show that you understand their situation and want to help them to be successful personally and professionally. Whether by email or face-to-face meetings, learn all you can about your target clients — their interests, their role in the organization, their challenges, and their goals.

    Before you can advocate a meaningful solution, you need to listen carefully so that, when it’s time, your insights and suggestions will be on target with what matters most to them and their key stakeholders.

    At each contact point, provide customer value.  Send a relevant link to your web site, forward a timely article, and share testimonials from similar customers to show you know what you are doing.

    Each step will give them more information about your capabilities and hopefully create confidence that you can help them to succeed in a way that makes sense.

  3. To Trusted Partner
    Once you have nurtured the relationship to the point where they are ready to try you out, make it easy for them by suggesting a trial period, a first step with satisfaction guaranteed, or a discount if they continue as a customer.

    With each positive experience, your customer will gain trust in your relationship and each subsequent deal will be easier to close.

The Bottom Line
To grow profitably, you need to find and keep your ideal target customer. Be proactive about identifying the ideal target clients where you should win the majority of the time and then follow a methodical process to take prospects from stranger to trusted partner.  Don’t waste your time trying to be all things to all people.

To learn more about how to find and nurture your ideal target customer, download 4 Research-Backed Steps to Define Your Ideal Target Clients

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