What customers are worth going after?


What customers are worth going after?

by James Destinas

Which customers are worth going after?

Have you ever had a customer who was such a pleasure to work with that it made you wonder why can’t all your customers be like them? The experience made you think about the attributes that define a good client and compelled you to ask a very important question, which customers are worth going after?

The simple answer is the ones who are willing to pay you what you are worth who not only believes in what you believe but also appreciate your approach to the work you are doing. These are the customers who allow you a chance to do your best work.

In all honesty, a business relationship is similar to any other relationship with key elements being a sense of mutual care and understanding and if both the parties involved aren’t the right fit for each other, the relationship is doomed. Often times, the reason is lack of communication, however, most of the time it's as simple as that your customer's and your business goals don't align, and you just aren’t meant for each other.

Now, the question is, how do you make sure that you are collaborating with the right person (customer) and how to decide which customer will result in a successful partnership now as well as in future?

Niche down: Limit your choices to find the perfect match

Have you ever heard the phrase, the riches are in the niches?

I see many of my clients go after ‘everyone’. The ideology behind the strategy is that the more customers they target, the more business they get. I disagree with it, because the more people you try to target, the more limited you are in making an impression. When you want to target everyone, you are just like ‘everyone else’ and there's nothing that differentiates you from your competition. Also, let’s be honest, the market is already pretty saturated with generalists. It’s simple math, the more people you are after the more general you have to be, and the less impact you can make

As I said, one of the most commonly heard business advise by business guru and consultant out there is to ‘niche down’. While niching down may seem counterproductive to business, it isn’t. Being a generalist or an all-rounder means that you are perhaps ‘good’ at everything but ‘excellent’ at nothing. This is a no-no because if you are offering something for everyone, how will your ideal customers find you when you look like just another business?

The solution is to find your niche and focus on providing your best work to those who are looking exactly for you.

Let's take an example of two graphic designers – one of them offers services in branding, website designing and illustrations, and character design and advertising themselves as a jack of all trades, while the other one has a vast portfolio in only illustrations and character design. Who do you think a customer looking to get some illustrations are going to choose?

As a business owner, you can always expand later on after getting established, but in the beginning, you have to choose whom you want to go after - the ones who will maximize your time and efforts.

It’s simple when you are offering service to a particular type of customer you are able to maximize your time, along with offering your best work to your customer. Your work speaks for itself.

How do you find your ideal customer?

To find your ideal customer, you will have to define your ideal customer persona, and announce to the world very clearly that you are looking to serve only those who fit this profile.

This system works because when you allow yourself to choose your customers while turning down those who aren’t the right match, you make room for those who are looking specifically for you all the while saving yourself and your employees a lot of frustration that comes with working with the wrong people.

You need the courage to walk away from those who don’t fit the profile and say that unfortunately, we aren’t a match and be okay with it.

How do you set this criterion? The ideal customer profile is a pre-defined set of people or groups belonging to a particular set of demographics, age group, and gender along with other characteristics who you are out in the market to serve.

You announce to the world that we are looking to work with people who have ‘these’ goals, and are looking to accomplish ‘this’ and if you fit this criterion, you are our ideal customer and we are looking for you. In other words, the ideal customer is someone who would gain maximum profit from your product or service.

The crucial element of creating a customer profile is to niche down until you reach a highly targeted market of the customer. The customers who meet these criteria are going to be a perfect match for you, just as you are going to be for them. The total number of people may be less but remember that when you are selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.

Another perk of focusing on a single niche or sub-niche is that it will lay a strong foundation for creating and implementing customer-focused marketing strategies.

Which customers are worth going after?

To summarize, go after a customer who is looking specifically for you, the customer who is willing to pay what you charge without haggling over the prices. This is a customer worth having because they see your value and is willing to invest in your business. Finding the customer worth going after may seem like a stretch and even pointless, but finding your ideal customers have other advantages like the low cost of acquisition, more repeat business and referrals and recommendations.

Additionally, your ideal customer needs no convincing and they already see the value of product or service you are offering. Your ideal customer becomes a brand advocate for you and that’s enough reason for you to seek them out.

As a business, you have the opportunity to decide whom you want to serve and work with. A customer who is worth your time will not only happily pay for your product or service, but may also become a brand advocate for you over time leading to a collaboration you and your customer both enjoys and cherish. This is only possible due to two reasons: you know what you have to offer and you know whom you can help.



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James Destinas