It is time to get to know your target customer.
Why is having a target customer so important?
Have you ever received a call at dinner time from someone you don’t remember about a product or service you didn’t care about? Has someone knocked on your door, despite your “no soliciting” sign to sell you a product or service you weren’t interested in? Do you ever get random emails offering a product or service to you that you didn’t inquire about? These businesses were playing an expensive numbers game. Based on their history of success, they know that X number of people out of 100 will buy from them. They spend the time reaching out to the 100 in order to get the X number of people to buy.
You can do the same thing if you want. We have already determined that your product or service has a market. If you were to contact enough people, you would find someone who is interested and would buy. Why spend time contacting those people who don’t want to buy?
A target customer allows you to increase your chance of a sale because you have already determined who is most likely to buy from you. What would your sales be if you only marketed to and sold to the X number of people out of the thousand? Knowing your customer and your target customer allows you to have much higher odds of making a sale as well as spending much less effort, time and resources trying to make the sale. To clarify, your target customer is who you want to buy your product. There will be others who discover you and buy your product or service as you market to your target but you are after the target customer.
If you are already in business, this may be a different exercise than if are just starting. If you are just starting out I want you to close your eyes and think of who you would most love to sell your product or service to (avoid the temptation to say “anybody with money in their wallet”.)
What do they look like?
How old are they?
What income level do they have?
Where do they live?
Are they single, married, have kids?
Where do they work?
What do they do for fun?
Where do they shop?
What are their hobbies?
Who are they friends with?
What social media platforms, if any, are they active on?
What do they enjoy most about their lives?
What are they unhappy about?
What are their dreams?
How will your product or service help improve their lives?
If you are selling to a business instead of a consumer, tweak the questions a little bit but keep the answers to your questions as if the business was a living, breathing thing.
Congratulations! If you were able to answer these questions, actually giving some thought about them, you have completed a basic demographic and psychographic analysis of your target customer. With this information you can prepare a marketing plan to reach those target customers. You may have multiple target customers that you may want to do this exercise again for.
If you are already have customers, your exercise is a little different. You should go through your list of customers and put them in three buckets. Bucket A comprises your top ten customers. These are the ones you love to do business with and who love to do business with you. It may turn out that these are your top ten revenue generators but this list shouldn’t consider revenue. Bucket B comprises all of your other customers except the customers you put in Bucket C. Bucket C contains the customers who you really shouldn’t be doing business with (but may need to still do business with) – the ones that make you cringe every time they call.
For your Bucket A customers, go through the questions above for each one of them. Compare the answers to see what similarities you find. From these ten profiles, you should be able to create a target customer profile. You can then use this profile to develop a marketing plan.
We will talk about marketing and marketing plans in the future, but having your target customer in mind as you make decisions about how you do business will be of great benefit to you.
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