How to spot your ideal customer

Wouldn’t it be great if every customer was your ideal customer? But hang on a minute – do you really know who your ideal customer is?

And, before you ask, no not everyone makes an ideal customer. You will have many different types of customers but only some of them may be ideal. These ideal customers are different for every business and each one meets certain criteria for your business.

When you think about who your ideal customer is, think about the following ideas;

  • How often they buy
  • How much they spend when they buy
  • Their location
  • How quickly they pay
  • How clear their communication is
  • How often they tell others about you
  • When they buy from you
  • What are their demographics – gender, age and family situation

Let’s start with their spending

Customers who are repeat buyers are more ideal than new customers buying for the first time. You see, you’ve already spent the money to capture them as a customer and now you don’t have to spend it again – they are coming back because they like what you are selling and they trust you to provide it again.

And there are always advantages to customers who spend more, buy extras or go for your premium offering. (Do you have a premium offering?) These customers improve your profitability. If you’re not sure how that works check out this article Increasing your profitability in easy to follow steps

You also prefer customers who pay on time or earlier don’t you? I sure do. So your ideal customer is likely to be great at paying.

The amounts, frequency of buying and payment timing for the ideal customer is individual to your business but you need to understand these important measures for your ideal customer before you can move onto attracting more of them.

Communication is so important when it comes to your ideal customer

Probably the biggest hassle you have with customers is when they aren’t clear in their communication so you don’t really know what they want or expect. The kind of customer who says it doesn’t matter when they receive your goods or services then calls back in a couple of days angry because they haven’t yet received them.

I am sure you spend time every day clarifying with customers what they really mean or expect and asking them lots of questions to get everything straight.

Imagine if you didn’t have to do this because your customers are totally clear in their communications with you. Does it sound like too much to expect? Trust me it isn’t – if your customers feel as if they already know you and your business. 

So what can you say about the ideal customer when it comes to communication – how can you define it for your business? Whether you are a picture framer or a plumber there will be some key communication details which make the purchase go more smoothly. What does the ideal customer say and do?

You can probably see by now that this person is confident that they know what they want and that your business is one they would like to buy from. So instead of wasting time explaining how you can help them you can focus on the information which really matters and ensure that you give them the best customer service that you can.

Another form of communication that defines your ideal customer is the number of times they talk positively about your business to others who could be ideal customers too. We know that people are more influenced by word of mouth recommendations from friends and colleagues than any or all forms of advertising. That’s why any customer who regularly tell others about your business are so ideal.

So how can you measure how this happens to spot your ideal customer? Maybe you can run a promotion where anyone who responds to a recommendation just mentions the person’s name to get an added extra. Then you can record the information and reward your ideal customer also.

Whatever you do please recognise just how important communication is when you think about describing those wonderful customers.

What about the demographics?

Being able to categorise your ideal customer using whichever demographics are useful for you enables you to focus on where you are most likely to find them. Whether this is online or in a geographical location doesn’t matter because it will depend on your business.

For example, a carpet cleaning business might decide that their ideal customer is a home owner with pride in their home who wants to get their carpets cleaned at least annually. They might also spot that for their business it is more often a woman who calls for cleaning or who finds them through recommendations through social media. But to save time driving all over they might also know that this customer lives in a certain geographical location.

Whatever your business you can work out lots of information about your ideal customer and this will help you to communicate effectively with them. Once you know who they are you can research online about where they go to find information before buying and know that this is where you need to be to meet them.

Describe your ideal customer

Now you need to take some time and focus on this making some bullet points to describe them. You can then check and develop the points after you have finished the article.

Of course the description will not match all of your customers – you don’t turn away business when you are trying to grow – but this description will give you a picture of who it is that you really want and need to attract to your business in the future.

Write down as many bullet points as you can so it is easier to really be laser-like in being able to spot them easily.

Where do they hang out?

Once you can describe your ideal customer it’s time to work out how you can put your business in front of more of them.

If you are using information about existing customers why not ask them for help. Do a little market survey with them and find out as much as you can. Things like where they found out about your business, what social media they enjoy the most and who they usually ask for recommendations about businesses. Once you have this information you can then start to be more visible in these places.

But what if your business is new? Well then you need to hang about on various forms of social media (not just the ones you like because you are not your ideal customer) and join groups or follow people who post stuff that makes sense with your business. Lurk about and observe at first until you are sure that this is where your ideal customers are likely to be.

When you know where they hang out it makes it much easier to put in place marketing strategies to be able to attract them to your business.

What do they need to know before they buy?

This is another important set of facts that will help you to spot these lovely creatures more easily.

Do they look for reviews? If they do then crank up your Google My Business and get some great reviews up there. How? By asking your customers to please review your business. Most will be happy to help you out. And don’t tell me you’re too shy – there can’t be shyness in business.

Maybe they ask others about their experience with your business? If this is important to them then you need to make sure that your ideal customers have such a great experience that they are happy to recommend you to anyone they meet. And, don’t forget to ask them what makes customer service special for them – you can guess but it is much easier just to ask them.

Is trust an issue for them? Depending on your type of business you may find that your ideal customer wants to know that they can trust you before they make any contact with you at all. How can you assist that? By offering useful information for free every chance you get.

Make your social media posts valuable to them or add a blog to your website. Give valuable information, set up a regular newsletter that people will want to receive or make some videos and share information via YouTube. I am sure that you can think of other ways that will work for your business and your personality.

What is more important to them than price? Yes, you read that correctly. Most buyers have criteria which is more important than price when it comes to buying your product or service. If this wasn’t true then no-one would own an iPhone would they?

Your ideal customer is looking for benefits other than price in making their buying decision and you need to know what they are. It could be convenience, location, delivery time, range of products or more personality based such as how it reflects their ego or worth. Once you know what is important then it is easy to ensure this is made obvious in your marketing.

Did I mention measuring yet?

Anyone who has read my articles or attended a course will know that I always go on about measuring. That’s because you can’t move forward if you don’t know where you are currently.

So what you need to work out is what percentage of your current customers fit the criteria you worked out earlier for being ideal. The answer may surprise you – and not necessarily in a good way. But the figure will give you the starting point for growing this base to get even more of them to buy from you.

And while you’re at it don’t forget to measure their spending pattern and frequency of purchases so you can plan better to satisfy other ideal customers.

Never forget that some of your less than ideal customers may change once you know what you need to do to help them to fit your criteria better. And don’t be afraid to walk away from customers who are totally not ideal for your business. It shocks people when I say this but not every customer is worth keeping – some just take up too much energy and create too much stress for the value they bring to the business.

What would your business look like if most of your customers were ideal?

Imagine how enjoyable every day would be if you had the customers that work best for your business. Sure there would still be some stress and there would be issues to work through that crop up unexpectedly but mostly it would be you helping the people you were meant to help and enjoying it.

Does this seem a bit far-fetched? I can assure you that it isn’t. Around the world there are businesses which have focused on their ideal customers and gone out to find them in the market. These are businesses which don’t need to discount, don’t need to place adverts or worry about meeting their bills each month. They can pick and choose their customers if they wish.

Your ideal customers are not just going to appear by magic – you need to decide on your criteria and then you need to actively find more customers who meet these criteria.

They are out there and they are waiting to find your business – help them find it today.

© Robyn Forryan 2021

The Biz Coach NZ

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