Acquiring a relationship with a new customer is very expensive. The process of collecting their contact info, attracting their attention, listening to your buyers’ needs, determining if your product or service is the right solution can be very cumbersome. What if at the end of this process – nothing? Time – wasted. Resources – wasted. Money – wasted. There’s a better way!
Create a profile that is a representation of your ideal client.
• It is cheaper for you and the client
• It establishes long-term relationships
• It makes each relationship more talkable
During my 10 years of business development coaching, I have witnessed these relationships increase in length and productiveness by at least 400 percent by following the ideal client profile strategy.
Like Talks to Like
CEO’s of technology companies know the leaders of other technology companies. They may have been to the same award dinners. At one time they may have even worked at the same company and shared employees. They may have been a reseller of the same technologies, received certifications from the same organizations and worked on the same political agenda. They may have shared clients and competed in the same marketplace. They also read the same trade pubs and track the same trends that affect their industry as a whole.
Utilize the new ways of marketing to form and leverage strategic partnerships. Information today moves quickly to potential audience members through the social network. Allow your partners, clients and prospects to leverage your story or the valuable content you produce in order to reduce your acquisition costs.
Focus Increases Frequency
Don’t give up too quickly. Business leaders sometimes forget the power of frequency. In fact many prospecting and business development plans give up right when the work is just beginning. They think that their message is falling on deaf ears because they have not received the exact response they want. Yet just a slight adjustment of the medium used or message would seal the deal.
Focus and frequency are the keys to any good marketing plan. Know the group who needs what you sell and understand why they need it. In today’s speed of life you have to adjust, repeat, change repeat, connect repeat, redesign repeat, reposition repeat. The bottom line is it is always cheaper to finish a good story then to start a book from scratch.
Market to Perfect and You Get Better than Average
Every client I work with struggles with this concept. They understand the concept of having a perfect client, but it’s difficult to put it into action. They know that many of their clients are imperfect. They don’t want to turn down the money. They’re scared that some clients are going to walk away because both parties realize that they just no longer fit.
Profiling is nothing more than for making better decisions on who to target. Use it to work consistently in building a plan or a system to go after the right business instead of spending costly dollars going after the wrong types of business.
Think about it this way, most advertising campaigns are designed to get a penetration of more than 5 percent. That means the advertiser is only truly targeting 5 percent of a potential user base. In the end, the company wasted 95 percent of its money trying to get the attention of people that don’t make sense for his business, at least from a monetary standpoint.
That being said most companies don’t know what is great about their story. They have the curse of knowledge. Rather than taking the best story they have, the one crafted by their best client and using consumer generated content to tell their story – the stop listening.
The “free advertising” captured may sound something like this…
It will sound something like this,
“You know what we love about Goodwill, they are a non-profit run like a for-profit company. I mean they’re not just asking for money; they create real value.”
“You know the thing about Bravo Lawn Care is they never leave my dog out and the rows are always perfectly straight. They are organized and have standards they follow.”
“You know what I love about Jen Whaley as a web writer; I get back stuff that sounds like me just smarter and more clearly communicated.”
These stories are the foundation for all great branding and fundamental verbiage for telling your story. The problem is if you use the story from the wrong client you get more wrong clients.
You must get intimate with the profile of your ideal client. Analyze the objective and the subjective, the personality and the values, the social circles and the economic drivers. You must know what is important to them and communicate your messaging in a way that connects with them.
Mock Profile of Ideal Client:
• CEO 30 million to 200 million dollar company
• Industries, Biotech, Medical Device and Reverse Logistics
• Demonstrated Leadership capacities in non-profits servicing the disadvantaged
• Awarded Acknowledgements of Business Citizenship
• Attend classes on Diversity in the Workplace
• High Gross Profit Margin, Our line items are small as a percentage of sales
• See us as a partner
• Seek long-term strategic relationships
• Invest in the community at large
• Understand, Support and Invest in the Goodwill Mission
• Work to create a diversified workplace
• Value you their social standing as a leader in the market place
• Understand the PR value of partnering w/ Goodwill
Triggers to Drive Interaction:
• Recognition of Leadership and Citizenship
• Hiring of Key C-level Executive
• Launching of new innovative ways to engage their employees
• Demonstrate community evolvement at other board non-profits
Ways to connect:
• Ask them to guest blog
• Ask them to do an interview on community citizenship
• Ask them to attend an event
• Ask them to serve on Advisory Board
• Ask them to be content expert at a hosted event
• Edify them in the press as an example of a leader
• Introduce them to another leader that is a client that could be a strategic partner
Create a profile. Analyze that profile and decide the proper messaging and mediums to use to connect to the right audience at the right time. Don’t get to the end of your sales and marketing processes and feel that your time, resources and money were wasted.