4 Awkward Questions You Can Avoid Asking if You Know Your Ideal Customers

by Benj Miller | Mar 1, 2017

We see it all the time: businesses get caught up in trying to reach as many potential customers as possible, but miss out on reaching the right customers. The reality is that most businesses don’t know who their ideal customers are.

Most businesses don’t know who their ideal customers are.

If you know who these customers really are, here are 4 awkward questions that you can avoid asking:

  1. Why aren’t we reaching our goals? If you’re not reaching your goal to onboard a specific number of clients in a given time period, the go-to is often to start pitching to everyone. This can mean wasting valuable resources and missing out on big client wins.
  2. Why has my prospect been around this long without making a purchase? While your market may be large and full of opportunities, if you were to take a step back and look at all of your prospects, how many would you say are actually likely to make a purchase? How many are you keeping around “just in case” you can persuade them to buy? Hint: if you have more of the “just in case” prospects than those that are actually likely to buy, you may need to change some things up a bit.
  3. Why can’t we keep customers? Losing customers is tough. But sometimes it reveals healthy learning opportunities for your business. Often it’s because they were never cut out to be a customer in the first place.
  4. How do we know we’re targeting the right customers? Take a look at the similarities between all the customers you’ve lost in the last year. This will help you identify who to say no to (yes, saying no is okay!). Now look at your best customers. What can they tell you about who you should be targeting?  

Missing the mark here can mean wasting valuable resources and missing out on big client wins.

If you’ve ever found yourself asking yourself (or your team) these questions, it’s time to talk ICP: Ideal Customer Profile. This will help you focus your efforts on the right prospects, instead of the most prospects.

Every business is different, so you’ll have to do some soul searching when it comes to your own ICP. In order to get started, identify your specific ideal customers and begin recognizing their similarities. Here are some things to help you define your ideal customers:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, etc.
  • Psychographics: personality type, preferences, etc.
  • Behavior: likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc.
  • Revenue
  • Budget
  • Company size or type (for B2B companies)
  • Stage of life (B2C) or stage of business (B2B)

Identifying these similarities will help you identify your ICP and begin filtering your prospects through this lens.

Don’t be afraid to say no.

When you’re faced with a non-ICP prospect, don’t be afraid to say no. You’ve seen what can happen when these prospects become customers. Save your company’s resources for the customer relationships that you know will have value; that’s how you know you’ve found your ICP.

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 by Benj Miller

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