Focusing on Your Perfect Client

 

Who is the perfect client? That depends greatly on your industry and business model. Often business professionals, particularly new business owners, mistakenly believe that everyone is their customer. They are not nor should they be. Additionally, your profile of the perfect client will change as your business grows.

For example, “Kate” has just opened a print shop. This is her first time as a business owner. She wants to provide quality customer service to everyone and anyone she can. Currently, her clients are people in the neighborhood who need small print runs of one to 25 pages. That’s a good way to get the buzz started and to cultivate a base of customers. But Kate can’t exist on just the work she gets from residences in the area. She needs to take a look at the local businesses and keep expanding that radius outward. She might consider looking to see if there is a particular industry that prints more forms than others, such as medical groups, or that needs booklets or pamphlets, such as a community college or human resources firm.

How to ID Your Perfect Client

Kate needs to determine who her audience is and what their needs are. To do this, she may need to speak with:

  • Other printers about their experiences and possibly creating a mentor/mentee relationship
  • Professionals who have similar clients to hers such as copywriters and graphic designers
  • Organizations such as the local Chamber of Commerce or a networking group
  • Current clients and how she can better fulfill their printing needs

 

Besides getting advice or support from others, Kate must also factor in where her passion lies and determine which industries those talents would best serve. Once Kate can give a face to her perfect client, then she can begin to cater to that individual or industry. That doesn’t mean she can’t still work with residents in the area. She still can as long as she has other clients who can bolster the workload.

 

How to Market to Your Perfect Client

How should Kate market to this base? It depends on what their needs are. For example, if they are continually feeding projects through her print shop, maybe she can develop a package plan that will save them money in the end, or offer special, limited deals for clients with larger jobs. The idea is for Kate to get clients to value what she can do for them so that they won’t look elsewhere to have their printing done. Her objective is to:

  • Gain their loyalty
  • Get them to appreciate your expertise
  • Be more than willing to pay her for that expertise
  • Get them to recommend her to others who can help grow her business
  • Proceed with projects they have put on hold due to cost effectiveness, etc.

 

Kate can create a successful business by developing a variety of customers—some her ideal clients and others as a supporting cast, each bringing different demands to her business, but all contributing to its overall growth.

 

Robin Kellogg is a local writer and owner of Robin Kellogg Associates, which helps businesses with their marketing and communications. She is the author of “12 Easy Steps to Better Business Communications”, available on Amazon.com. Robin can be reached at robin@yourwritingresource.com or via her website at www.yourwritingresource.com.

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A Checklist for Better Business Communication

Proofread checklist and checked boxes next to the words spelling        I have always found checklists helpful, particularly when it comes to my business tasks. Below is a checklist of actions I’ve created over the yearsto help my clients communicate more effectively. In the following posts, I’ll speak to each point separately.

  1. Define your audience. How do you know what topics to address if you don’t know whom you are directing your message to?
  2. Ask your customers what they want…then LISTEN for their response. Don’t just ask a question, wait for their reply.
  3. Stay focused on your goal. If you go off on too many tangents, you will lose your client’s interest.
  4. Speak English (or at least some semblance of it). Avoid techie talk. We get so involved in our industry lingo that we start to believe these terms are universal. Newsflash: They are not. Write in simple, easy-to-understand English.
  5. Stay mum on the minute details. You may have a head full of information on your product or service, but that doesn’t mean you have to impart all that knowledge to your clients.
  6. Promote the benefits, not the features. Tell them what you can do to solve their challenges.
  7. Back up your statements with facts. If you state a fact, back it up with a quote or another source that says the same thing.
  8. Use positive words to sway them. Positive words and gestures will go farther in getting your customers to see your side of things than negativity will.
  9. Write like you speak. Make your text conversational so it sounds like you are speaking directly to that individual.
  10. Exude expertise. Remember, you know more about your product or service than anyone else. You are the expert.
  11. Make it easy on the eyes. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Your job is to grab the reader’s attention before they lose interest.
  12. Proofread, proofread, proofread…everything. Print your text out and read it aloud. Once you’ve reviewed it, let another person look it over. Avoid being your own proofreader. Your eye will skip over the mistakes.
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