salesman finding my ideal prospect

Three ways to understand your ideal prospect

Knowing your ideal prospect is vital to be able to connect with them, and have a higher chance of turning them into a client.

But how do we find out more about them?
How do you get to know what they like?
How do you understand where to find them?

Imagine you’re happy to take money from anybody. You’re the sort of person who rolled through lockdown thinking Zoom meant you could have customers anywhere in the world. And maybe you also succeeded.

But if you accept it takes time and money to reach new customers, isn’t it better to allocate those resources smartly? 

Now, think about your perfect client. Yes, it’s a bit like children where you’d never admit publicly that you have a favourite. Truth is, some customers are more rewarding than others.

Focus on your perfect customer and ask yourself what your business would be like if you had another ten like them. It’s what marketers call a customer profile, or persona.

Maybe you’d be happier, maybe richer, but your business would be in a better place.

So what is it that places that customer in the sweet spot?

Demographic

There will be some statistical features that identify that ideal client. For example: age, gender, etchnicity, marital status, income, education, and employment. If you’re not convinced by the global power of Zoom relationships then maybe the location of your customer is important.

Most businesses will target a specific age group. At its simplest, if you’re in B2B sales you’re probably not targeting students or pensioners. 

If you’re a consumer business you really should be thinking about the income bracket of your ideal customer. Walk past any supermarket shelf and you’ll get a sense of where each brand is pitching.

Some businesses focus on developing services for female businesses, so gender or ethnic background could be a factor.

These are all factual considerations and can usually be identified by statistics. If you look in the right place you can figure out how many women aged 35-44 there are in Yorkshire.

Behavioural

This gets you more into thinking about what your ideal customer gets up to. What sort of car do they drive, what type of holidays do they take and where do they eat out?

What clothes do they wear, are they pet lovers, what’s their favourite media? The list goes on.

There’s a world of difference between these two personas:

  1. Drives a sporty BMW, holidays in Ibiza and eats out four nights a week 
  2. Drives a scruffy Volvo estate, takes holidays in France and eats out with the children in Pizza Express

If you’re looking to understand your prospects, then these factors help you understand both what interests your clients and where you might find them for targeting (for example, what social media platform do they use?).

Emotional (or psychographic)

However cleverly you target demographics the reality is many purchasing decisions are made for emotional reasons. So if you can figure out what really motivates your potential buyers then you stand a better chance of engaging them.

As more and more people choose businesses with Purpose this is becoming increasingly important. The list of brands called out for not “doing right” is growing. 

Just one example of this is how many companies changed their logo into rainbow colours during Pride Month.

Try to figure out what it is that makes your ideal customer passionate. Maybe it is gender relations, social justice, veganism, pets…

Perhaps they just want the service you offer because it takes a weight off their shoulders, pleases the accountant or helps them spend more time with the family. 

Work it out and you’ll be selling on a quite different level.

Happenstance

Of course, this is where most of us found our first client. Someone we knew bought something from us – or introduced us to someone who did.

This is why so many business owners cling to the belief that their customers could be anybody. Yes, they can be if one of your family personally recommends you!

But that’s not scaleable. The bigger your business gets, the harder it is to rely on personal relationships. 

It’s an amazing feeling when one of your clients introduces you to someone else. But typically that’s because they see someone else with similar problems to theirs. They are doing your targeting for you.

Happenstance is a beautiful thing, and often what helps you find clients in the early days. But it’s not a robust business strategy for the long term.

How to find your ideal prospect?

It doesn’t matter how you capture the three things above. You might document them, put them in an illustrated file or create a zany mind-map. It’s about the insight, not the process

The important thing is to do the thinking. Then ensure you focus your time and money on going after the prospects you really want to reach.

When happenstance shows up, enjoy a little celebratory dance, then go back to your personas.

The first step in finding your perfect customer is to identify who they are.

prospecting tips, decorative squiggle

Read also: “How to attract the right customers for your business

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