This is important. Your client roster speaks to your character and principles and will either support or undermine your vision for your company. Being clear about this helps you stay true to what you value so you’re not swayed by dollar signs.
When we have a solid definition of our ideal prospects and clients and understand why they’re ideal, it keeps us focused and on track in everything we do from networking to servicing and how we allocate our time, money and resources. Here are some tips and questions you might ask to determine/verify which prospects are the best fit for your business.
Be clear about what you bring to the table. What niche are you serving? What expertise do you offer? Why is this important to the market? What are your prospects struggling with that you can solve? You have to know this before you can identify your ideal customers.
Are you employee-focused or customer-focused? Think long and hard about this question. If you adopt the mentality that the customer is always right, discern whether you may be creating undue internal tensions trying to constantly please some of them. If you adopt the mentality that you’ll be employee-focused and hire those who best fit the role and work to keep them engaged in their work and your company, might your customers naturally be well taken care of?
What customers would be wrong to work with? Occasionally I’ll encounter a business owner who is rude and hangs up on me. I decided long ago that I would not work with that type of person and I congratulate myself for finding out quickly that I can remove them from my list. If you’re desperate for business you might be tempted to work with anyone who will purchase – be careful to remain true to what you value and the right business will come.
In which markets do you wish to work? How might this expand and when? What industries/clients might open up as opportunities when you do expand? What internal changes will you have to make/invest in to expand your offerings? Can you afford to do so? If not now, when? Might you form a strategic alliance with an existing entity that offers synergies with your product/service? The last thing you want to do is expand into another market and not be prepared to execute.
What are your ideal target’s annual revenues/income parameters? Should they be currently investing a certain amount of money on the products/services you provide? What other parameters are important to you?
Remember, you want to be able to succinctly state, preferably in one sentence, who it is you wish to work with and why. Be clear. Make sure your prospects and those with whom you network understand and can form a clear picture in their mind. Then you’ll be on the right track to get quality introductions and recommendations.