Knowing Your Ideal Client
Knowing Your Ideal Client
A Quick History Lesson…
In the past, Business owners could operate in business for years without really knowing who their ideal clients were and what motivated them.
In the good old days you set up shop, in an accessible location, customers would come to you. Unless you did something extraordinary there were no high, no lows but a steady reliable trade.
Even in the good old days, there were cutting-edge entrepreneurs trying new things to increase their sales and build bigger businesses. A good example is the invention of department store window displays. Back then there were also the Business owners that were happy just to travel along and make an income.
With limited competition, businesses could travel along without any real need to know their ideal client.
As competition increased in their markets, marketing and sales activity seemed to get harder for a lot less return on their investment. Price wars and commoditization are born.
Business owners now start suffering from inconsistencies in sales, revenue, profits, and cash flow. And competition and the noise in the Marketplace continues to grow.
In our modern day business world, we are used to competition, noisy marketplaces, and business ups and downs. And as Business owners we no longer have the luxury of just traveling along and making an income, if we did, we would go out of business.
Successful business owners and entrepreneurs know to maintain consistent sales and business wins they always need to be learning, keeping up-to-date with trends, and seeking new opportunities and clients.
Today, business owners struggling with consistent sales and business growth often tell me “My offer is suitable for everybody.”
And that’s a problem…
If your offer is suitable for everyone it is generic. Nothing sets it apart. There is nothing about it that resonates, appeals and it is a no-brainer for anyone.
As founder of the Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs and bestselling author, Meredith Hill put it “When you speak to everyone you speak to no one.”
You will burn money trying to talk directly to everyone.
Your salespeople will run around in circles being chameleons for a hugely diverse group of prospects unable to find a system that will help them convert more opportunities into sales.
The solution is to find your niche. Or to use one of my favourite sayings, “riches are in the niches”.
And it all starts with knowing your Ideal Client.
For all the clients I have worked with that didn’t know their Ideal Client, when they discovered them it was a transformational moment for their business.
Why Knowing Your Ideal Client is So Important
- You Can’t Have An Irresistible Offer Without Knowing Your Ideal Client.
- When you know your ideal client you can speak to them directly and your offer becomes magnetic.
- You enter the conversation in your potential client’s head and they feel understood and this can be injected into all your copy and messaging.
- Your messages resonate with them and your offer becomes so much harder to compare with any other options.
- You know where your ideal clients like to hangout so you can pick the best channels to reach them.
- You know what they like and don’t like so you can better find them in a crowded advertising space (and do it for less!).
- You know their problems, motivations, mistakes, desires and what they really want so you can market and sell to them in a way that makes them feel you really know and understand them (because you do).
What Should You Know About Your Ideal Client?
When we work with our clients to Really Know Their Ideal Client we use 3 different levels of data:
- Profiling and Targeting and
When it comes to knowing your Ideal Client the good business advisors talk about demographics and psychographics and sometimes cover a few profiling and targeting questions. But I haven’t seen any cover all three comprehensively for Business Owners to really Know their Ideal Client. That is why I developed this Ideal Client Framework.
Let’s dig in and investigate each level, the types of questions we ask, and why each level is important to know.
Ideal Client Demographics
Demographics are the most common way to define and find your Ideal Client.
Demographic data is the sort often found in census, tax, or other public data.
When collecting demographic data you will be looking for information like:
- Levels of Education
- Political Affiliation
- Relationship Status
- Family Status
- Employment Status
- Hours worked per week
- Annual Income
- Revenue for B2B
- Industry for B2B
- Size of Company for B2B
Whilst demographic data is important it is also very basic when it comes to really knowing your ideal client. If you were to simply stop here with your research into your ideal client you may be able to find them a little better in the crowded marketplace but you would not be able to cut through the noise or enter the conversation in their head and make them feel understood.
Ideal Clients Profiling and Targeting
Profiling is the process of targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics and behaviours. Having your ideal clients answer our Profiling and Targeting questions will help you find your Ideal Client in the crowded market and advertising spaces by focusing on their interests and behaviours. It will also enable you to better resonate with them by sharing common interests, ideologies, and beliefs in your outreach.
Here are the key questions we ask to profile and target Ideal Clients:
- Where does your Ideal Client Hangout @ Work?
- Where does your Ideal Client Hangout Away From Work?
- Where does your Ideal Client Shop?
- What tools and technologies does your Ideal Client Use?
- What Influencers does your Ideal Client Follow?
- What Companies/Brands does your Ideal Client Follow?
- Ideal Clients Favourite Books?
- Where does your Ideal Client go to get their News?
- Groups and Associations your Ideal Client belongs to?
- Ideal Client Free Time Activities/Hobbies?
- Ideal Client Interests?
- Ideal Clients Likes?
- Ideal Clients Dislikes?
- Their Digital / Online Activities & Behaviour?
Once you have your Ideal Client Profile complete, it’s time to dig deeper and get the why of your Ideal Client.
Ideal Client Psychographics
Psychographics focus on attitudes and aspirations or if you prefer “the touchy-feely.” With the right psychographic questions, you can discover how your Ideal Client thinks, what motivates them to take action and why they buy.
Here are the MentorsOnline.com key Ideal Client psychographic questions:
- What does your Ideal Client Prioritise?
- What does your Ideal Client Value?
- What does your Ideal Client Fear?
- What does your Ideal Client Desire (dream about)?
- What motivates your Ideal Client into action?
- What are your Ideal Client’s biggest problems, pains, challenges or frustrations?
- What has your Ideal Client tried to fix these problems before?
- What is the cost to your Ideal Client not to fix these problems?
- What’s working for your Ideal Client right now?
- When at HOME what negatively impacts your Ideal Clients emotional state?
- When at WORK what negatively impacts your Ideal Clients emotional state?
- What keeps your Ideal Client Awake At Night?
- What is your Ideal Client currently happy / satisfied with?
- What EMOTIONAL outcomes/results is your Ideal Client looking for?
- What LOGICAL/TANGIBLE outcomes/results is your Ideal Client looking for?
- Why does your Ideal Client want these outcomes/results?
- What mistakes is your Ideal Client Making?
- What humiliates your Ideal Client?
When answering these questions for your Ideal Client, answer all that are relevant and try to respond in the specific voice and language of your Ideal Client.
We have armed you with the types of questions you need to ask to really get to know your Ideal Client on a demographic, profile, and psychographic level and now we need to find them to ask them.
Where Can You Go to Get to Know Your Ideal Client Better?
There are a number of Quiz Funnels out there that you can invest in that claim you can collect valuable information about your target market and ideal clients to fine-tune your messaging and speak directly to them. The big problem with this type of funnel is that if you don’t really know your Ideal Client, you can very easily spend a great deal of time and money trying to gain intel to only discover you were asking the wrong questions or you were asking the right ones but speaking in a foreign language!
So before you invest time and money in a Quiz Funnel or something similar check out these ways to know your Ideal Client better without the advertising fee.
Look at Your Current Clients
The best place to start is to look at the people that you are currently doing business with.
Some great places to look for more information on your existing clients are:
- Your CRM
- Interactions on your social media and blogs
- Put together a survey or questionnaire and distribute to your existing clients and,
- Transactional data
Some ways to narrow the focus and unearth the cream of your crop are to:
- Find the top 20% that provide 80% of your business. Your transactional data should help point you in the right direction if you don’t already know
- Look at the clients you like to work with
- Look at the clients you really don’t like working with and reverse engineer the answers
- Include a feedback survey into your existing sales process. This can also be a great way to ensure you are always asking for testimonials and referrals if you build it into the survey framework
Listen to Sales Call Recordings
I think the #1 way to get to know your Ideal Client, their language, and get inside their head is to listen to sales call recordings.
In an ideal world, a sales call recording should give you all the information you need on your Ideal Client.
Your sales presentation should be customized to your Ideal Client to uncover their motivations, current state, problems, and desired state to ensure you can solve their problems and help them achieve their outcomes and desires.
I say in an ideal world because often those businesses who don’t know their Ideal Clients also need to work on customising their sales presentations.
When you take a look at your sales call recording if you aren’t getting the particular information you need about your Ideal Client you have just discovered a blindspot in your sales system that is costing you sales. Adjust your sales presentation to fix the blindspot.
A great way to improve both your marketing and sales is to ensure you inject what you learn about your Ideal Client into both your marketing and sales messaging, process and strategy.
Look to your Competition
Always check out what your competition is doing.
What are they doing well or poorly when it comes to knowing and speaking to your Ideal Client?
See what they are doing on their website, in social posts, in paid and organic outreach.
Is there something you could do differently or better to stand out and resonate with your Ideal Client?
Do they have information you don’t that could help you speak to your ideal client and make them feel better understood?
Is there a gap that no one is seeing? Sometimes it is easier to look at someone else’s work and see the holes and missed opportunities rather than see them in what you have worked so hard to put out.
If you don’t have direct access to your ideal client but you have a profile and know their psychographics you can get greater insight into their thinking and language by looking at reviews of things that interest them.
One great spot to look is Amazon book reviews. If you know what topics are of interest to them related to their problems, motivations, frustrations and desired results and outcomes you can look up books around those topics and read more into what resonates with your ideal client in the reviews.
Visit the Places Your Ideal Client Hangs Out
Find out more about your Ideal Client by visiting the places they like to hang out. Including:
- Favourite social media channels
- Groups and Associations they are members of
- Pages of Influencers they follow
- Workshops or seminars they attend
- Podcasts they listen to
- Trade Shows or Conferences they attend
- Networking events they go to
Taking a look at your audience insights on social media and your website’s Google Analytics data can also help you uncover places your Ideal Client hangs out. By far the fastest and easiest way to uncover where to find your Ideal Client is to ask them. Ask your existing clients, social and email followers where you can find them. If you choose to do a survey this is a great question to include.
Once you find their hangouts, follow conversation threads, read up on things that interest your Ideal Client and if you’re able, post useful information for feedback and greater insight into them.
Bonus to Knowing Your Ideal Client: Establish Qualification Criteria
When you know your Ideal Client it is a very easy and straightforward process to develop your own Ideal Client Qualification Criteria which can be used in both your sales and marketing to better qualify the people you want to work with.
I often tell my clients “People either follow your sales process, or you follow their buying process.”
If you want people following your sales process you need an Ideal Client Qualification Criteria that quickly and easily outlines which factors are essential to qualify for a sales call, and an invitation to join your service or program.
As an example here is the MentorsOnline.Com Ideal Client Qualification Criteria:
If you have any questions on Knowing Your Ideal Client that you would like to ask please reach out and get in touch with me.
And most importantly to help you implement this article’s advice quickly and easily into your business.
The MentorsOnline team and I would like to give you all a Free Gift to help you to Know Your Ideal Client better.
Get a copy of our Ideal Client Workbook that all our clients build and use as a dossier on their Ideal Clients.
This workbook includes all the questions we covered today on demographics, profiling, targeting, and psychographics to help you really know your Ideal Client.
Get your copy. Simple as that. My gift to you!
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