If you are looking to create your ideal client profile, you first need to decide whether you are looking for more clients like the ones you already have, or whether you are looking to diversify and find different clients. In other words, you need to establish who your target audience is. Once you have established this, run through the following steps:
- Identify what clients you DO NOT want
This is just as useful as identifying those clients that you do want to include. It helps to eliminate the negatives so you can focus more energy on the positives.
- Talk to your clients to find out what they want
Do not guess what your clients are looking for or what they need. Speak to your clients to make an informed decision. If you want to understand your audience better, you need to spend time getting to know them. Ask them questions that probe (rather than closed questions). Encourage them to speak freely about their pain points and what they like and do not like.
- Look at common demographic traits
Look at all the clients you have worked with in the past and create a systematic overview of traits. This can include age, gender, job title, city and country they live in, hobbies, pain points (core problems), preferences, etc. Create two to three ideal customer avatars based on that. This strategy is useful as it is based on real-life data of your actual clients who use your services.
- Identify what the problem is
There are two questions to ask: Firstly, what problem or challenge do your (ideal) clients face? Secondly, how do you, or the service you offer, help them to overcome that problem or challenge? Getting clear answers to these questions will give you the information you need to define your ideal clients better and may potentially help you to refine what you offer and how you offer it to them.
- See it from your client’s perspective
To create an ideal client profile, flip your script. Focus less on what services and solutions you can provide to your ideal client and more on framing their “wants and needs” and do it from their viewpoint (not your own). Understand the difference between what they say they want and what they truly need, and how you can help solve their problem or help them achieve their goal or objective.
- Factor in whether they make you money
Most firms think of the ideal client as the one that either does or can spend the most amount of money with them. However, there are other important data points to consider. Bear in mind acquisition costs, maintenance costs, and opportunity costs (or opportunities lost*). Be cautious not to let your ideal client misdirect your time and energy, which could prevent you from achieving important company goals.
* If you focus too much on money, you may miss opportunities, i.e., other potential clients they could refer you to.
- Figure out who you are excited to work with each day
If you sell to whoever wants to buy, you’ll find that certain personality types or styles can drain your energy. If that happens, then the time has come for you to take stock and focus on the types of clients you do want to work with, and then, create a profile of that ideal client.
Don’t be afraid to go deep! Brainstorm a list of traits, characteristics, and the personality of your ‘perfect’ client. Once identified, direct all your business development and marketing efforts to engage with those clients.
If you need help to create your client avatars, or if you simply need help with how to ask the right questions or how to listen to your clients better, then get in touch with me or give us a call on 01903 530787.