If I had a dollar for every time a consultant said: “Describe your ideal customer to me”, I’d certainly be a rich man. Knowing your target audience, ‘they’ say, is one of the most important aspects to your marketing (don’t ask me who ‘they’ are, but they definitely pop up a lot).
And then ‘they’ would sprout things like:
- Demographics: Income, location, age etc
- Interests: Hobbies, likes, dislikes
- Where/Journey: Blogs, magazines, podcasts etc
Whilst some of the above are certainly characteristics of who your ideal customer is, they actually don’t help you a hell of a lot with the screening process of what sort of customer would be a good fit for your business.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
Yes, that’s right, just because you can take on a customer, it certainly doesn’t mean you should take on a customer. So how do you know?
After 17 years in business I wanted to share my latest epiphany as to what my ideal customer is and how I can screen them to make sure I only work with those I should, rather than those I will later regret.
My ‘Aha’ moment was when I was having a coaching session with Emily Diamon (thanks Emily you’ve been great) and she goes, what do all these customers (the good ones who we worked well with, and were getting great results for) have in common?
After a few minutes of sole searching I replied:
I enjoy having a beer with them!
Whilst half said in jest, after a few more weeks of thinking about it, it was actually the right answer. Every single business we work well with and perform well for, I really enjoy their company and relish the chance to have a beer with them.
And all the problem customers…
… are all people I wouldn’t have a beer with. I’ve tried with a few and it was like pulling out teeth. The ball breakers, the super demanding, those that think more of themselves than they should, and those that just caused you pain and misery all fall into this category
Of course, it’s a “figurative” beer
Feel free to swap the beer for coffee or tea or wine or whatever your poison may be. But I’ve decided I only want to work with people I relate to, have fun with, and can crack a joke with, I assure you it makes for a much more interesting life.
Inbuilt ‘No Arsehole’ Policy
It produces a much needed No Arsehole policy that your team will thrive in!
It’s time to fire some clients
So, think through your client list and tell the ones that you don’t want to have a beer with: “It’s time to go!”
Life is too short to put up with people you don’t like.
No need to be rude to them, but there is no room for people who are going to distract you from reaching your goals and doing what you love to do.