One of the golden rules of marketing is: It’s always cheaper and easier to sell more to an existing customer than it is to find a new customer. But at some point you are going to have to find new people to do business with, so how do you make sure that you get the most from your outreach efforts to new prospects? Just make a small modification to the golden rule above:
It’s always cheaper and easier to sell more to an existing customer, or someone like them, than it is to find a new customer.
If you want to make sure that your marketing and outreach has the best odds of landing new customers for your business, you need to figure out which of your existing customers you should try to replicate. This is called creating an Ideal Client Profile, and it allows you to identify the traits and demographics that make up your best customers so that you can look for others who meet the same criteria. Since people or companies who fit your ideal client profile will be similar to your best existing customers, they should have a higher predisposition to buying from you and make it easier to close them.
Here are the 3 steps to creating your ideal client profile:
- Identify your top 5-10 clients or customers only in terms of profitability
- Remove any clients or customers who are troublesome or high-maintenance
- Compare the remainder for similarities
When analyzing their similarities, different approaches are needed depending on whether or not your clients are businesses or individuals. For individuals, you need to look at things like age, gender, income, location, lifestyle, peer groups, and social identity — are your best customers trend-setters or establishment-followers? For businesses, it’s important to consider things like company size, industry, current market challenges, and what stage the company is in — is it a new start up, a growing small business, or a public company in a mature industry?
Once you’ve identified your ideal client profile, you can gather critical business intelligence from your existing customers for how to best pitch and close others like them. Ask your best clients what drew them to your business originally, as well as what has kept them a customer. Figure out what the most helpful aspects of your business are and what features are not used frequently — you may be surprised that a feature you thought was inconsequential is actually the primary reason they chose you over your competitors! You want to make sure that you highlight the right things in your pitch, and the only way to do that is to use the feedback you get from your existing.
After you’ve surveyed your best customers about what they like the most about your business, analyze the results to determine what the most important selling points are for customers like them (which is your ideal client profile). Once you’ve worked out your pitch, it’s time to get out there and sell! Research where customers who match your ideal client profile spend time online and offline and find a way to reach out to them in order to deliver your sales pitch. An alternative is to capture their information and then follow up with your sales pitch, instead of immediately trying to sell them, in case that comes off as too pushy. Since these customers match your ideal client profile, and you’ve crafted your sales pitch specifically for their preferences and demographic information, you should see a strong conversion rate for these outreach efforts.
How do you think knowing your ideal client profile will help your business? Share with us in the comments!