Early stages of business can be a mixed bag of experiences. Most business owners are trying to get as many customers as possible. They find themselves working to market to a wide audience, which inevitably puts their efforts and messages all over the place.
While we may get the customers, we may not serve them according to their needs. This is why it’s important to know your ideal customer: the person your business exists to serve.
It’s a who, what and where analysis that will help you improve your marketing, and ultimately drive sales.
who are your customers?
One of the things I ask my clients to do is to dig deep into the topic of customers. This helps them define who they are in business to serve, and it can help you too.
The first step is to know exactly who your customers are. None of this “I work with / sell to anyone”.
Here’s what will happen if you refuse to define your niche:
- you will struggle to find your customers because your marketing efforts will be all over the place.
- your customers will struggle to find you because your message doesn’t call to them specifically.
- customer service will suffer because you don’t truly understand what your customers need and / or can’t deliver to a great standard (like in my story above).
Don’t let this happen!
Take a moment to define your ideal customer. Picture just one person and describe him or her.
where do you find your customers?
Once you define who your ideal customer is, list out all the ways that you currently find them or that they find you. Think about both online and in person encounters.
Brainstorm on all the possible ways.
Once you have a full list of what you’re currently doing, I want you to consider 3 new things that you could try to attract your customers.
Here are some ideas… social media channels, print ads, blogging, guest blogging, videos, podcasts, interviews, workshops, meetups, conferences, networking events, referrals, collaborations, partnerships.
Please don’t just copy someone else out there who you think is successful!! Your strategy must make sense based on your own customers and your own offering.
show them the love
Thanks to Sales Force, it’s common to hear that it takes 6-8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. In other words, you need to have some sort of interaction with a potential customer 6-8 times before they’ll even consider buying from you.
But that statistic is from 2015 and more recently I’ve heard it takes 15+ interactions, particular for digital businesses.
I’m willing to bet that most of you are giving up before getting that far along. Am I right?
how to nurture these relationships
For each interaction, your goal is to help your potential customer start to know, like and trust you.
If you first meet someone in person, take an interest in what he or she is saying. Try to remember their name or their face so that you recognise them next time. And if you see them a next time, engage again.
- Follow up with that person.
- Provide more information.
- Add value.
- Stay in touch.
- Stay in touch some more.
- Add more value.
Each business and industry is different. There is no “right” way to engage with your potential customers. Spend some time thinking about how you can nurture your existing and relationships and turn a stranger into a paying customer.
need more help?
If you’re finding it tough to define your ideal customer, build a strong engagement plan for them and turn them into sales, it’s time to fix that.