This seems like a fairly simple question, and yet it is one which I find some clients struggle to answer and clearly articulate. Who is their ideal customer? Who are they selling to? As an experienced business coach and marketer, I then often get asked the question: “Does it matter who I’m selling to? As long as I’m selling!” Well, yes, actually, it does very much matter. Let me clearly share why it’s so important that you really understand clearly who your ideal client is and why that is so important. Let’s look at a whole different thing of concepts and scenarios.
Your business is selling to…
Selling to another business (B2B) or to a customer direct (B2C)?
When you sell to a business there are usually more people involved and it can involve as many as 6 or more people. You’re dealing with everyone from the receptionist, to a supervisor, manager, CEO, Board and more. You’ve got to deal with a multitude of people. Whilst you may think that the receptionist doesn’t matter, they are often the gatekeeper, so getting past them is a skill in its own right. Then if you convince a manager, that person may not be the actual final decision-maker. Plus you need to know how businesses make decisions; it’s often less about emotion and more about fact. However, with B2C, it’s usually one or two people deciding and often emotion-based. Knowing who you are selling to is super relevant, both from a marketing and sales process perspective.
Where do you market?
If your target market is people aged 14 to 24, then you absolutely won’t be advertising in the local newspaper and certainly won’t be on LinkedIn. They will be hanging out more on Snapchat or Tik Tok. Mind you, they’ve picked up pretty quickly how annoying ads can be and are likely using an ad blocker. However, only around 20% of people over 55 have an ad blocker.
Digital Marketers need to target the right person!
Whilst I don’t believe 100% of your marketing strategies should be solely digital (you should have a balance with traditional marketing) – a good part IS digital. All digital marketers are going to need to know something about the client or customer you are looking for. That’s why I build an ‘Ideal Client Avatar’ with clients to really get down to the specifics of their ideal client. It’s not ‘just someone with a pulse’ but rather, you need specifics. Age, gender, what language they speak, their income level, education level, job status, industry, hobbies, interests, values, what social media platform they hang out on and so much more. Do you want to know what they are looking for? Do they value a service or product which saves them money, or which is good for the environment or which is cost-effective or which will last for a period of time? When you are running campaigns you have to specify all these details in your advertising targets – so you as the seller need to know this.
It’s not just digital marketing which requires knowing who you are selling to – it’s every form of marketing. We’ve all heard the expression about selling ice to Eskimos. That expression was alive and well long before digital marketing was every day.
Who do you target in your emails?
In business, we have a range of marketing strategies. You may be emailing your database and in order to grow a database you’ll need to target people. If your ideal clients are accountants, then that is who you are targeting, versus say electricians or vets. This is why segmentation in a database is super important. You may segment according to industry or according to where the person sits in your sales funnel. You need to decide your strategy before you build your database and select your segments. I decided to go with industries. My message to my tradie clients is different from my message to those in allied health. Their frustrations, pains and needs are similar but different. My message is different. I remember one new client coming on board saying to me “Donna, every one of your newsletters I felt like you were talking to me personally! You knew exactly what I needed and what I was thinking.” Awesome – I nailed it!
It also comes back to personality type
If you’re selling to a person who is rushed, busy or only interested in the facts and details, then your sales manner, approach and how much you say will need to be relevant to them. However if the person in front of you wants to get to know you, understand your business and services fully and build a connection and relationship with you, then you need to identify this quickly and slow it down. Spend time getting to know them and making them comfortable, answering questions and engaging. You won’t (and should not) rush the sales meeting (or the process). Social proof (reviews and testimonials) will be important so be sure to have these. Alternatively for our facts person, they will prefer assurances and guarantees.
Do your research
If you have the opportunity, check out your prospect. It amazes me how often people try to sell to me on LinkedIn and they will make a comment which makes me think they have no idea who I am, what I do, or what I might need. The interesting thing is that all that info is in my profile. If you have a prospective lead – Google them. This will answer some of the questions about them as a person. If you are selling B2B then Google that business. What do they do? What is their point of difference? Asking questions at a sales meeting like “So what does XYZ actually do?” is a little bit of an insult, unless of course, that business does not have any web presence whatsoever. The larger your ticket price, the more time you should take to research and prep for a sales meeting. Googling your customer may not be suitable for the sale of a $29 printer cartridge, but it sure would be suitable for a $20K contract.
Part of your research process is also asking great and relevant questions of your prospect. You are not being nosy or infringing; you are becoming informed so that you provide them with the best solution possible. The better you understand a prospect’s needs, the quicker and more effectively you can meet those needs.
Improve the buyer experience
By knowing your client and what they want, and how they want to receive it, you are more likely to improve the buyer experience for them. That’s assuming that you act on that knowledge. If your prospect is likely a super busy person who values their time, then a sales process which is painful, clunky, inefficient or cumbersome will probably have them leaving before they are even on board. One of my rules as a business coach is that there are 3 main times you should always make it as easy as possible for someone to do something for you.
1. Do you a favour.
2. Give you business and
3. Pay you.
Knowing your customer and their needs, wants and expectations (and endeavouring to comply) will improve the buyer experience. In turn, you are more likely to get rave reviews and from there the sales will snowball.
Knowing who you are selling to is just one step in the sales process. You also need to know what you are selling, your USP, benefits of the product or service … the list goes on. If you need any help with your business or its sales processes, I’d love to talk to you. Give me a call on 0411 622 666 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org … I really will try to make it easy for you to do business with me. : )