How To Identify Your Perfect Customer

How can you hit the bullseye if you don’t know where the TARGET is?  How can you identify your perfect customer?

This seems like such a basic question, right?  But so many businesses and marketers are trying to do exactly that.  They create a product or a campaign that is designed for everyone.  And if everyone is your customer, no one is your customer.  You just don’t have the time and treasure to reach them all.

But when you dial down, into that specific niche that your product is really designed to serve, you CAN reach them directly.  And every once in a while, they can help you reach the masses.

It all starts with that perfect customer.  Your TARGET.

Now you might be thinking, “Of course.  I already know that.”  I believe you.  But as I have stated hundreds of times before, my favorite quote is:

The greatest distance in the world is the distance between ‘I know’ and ‘I do.’

We all know the things were are supposed to do.  We know it.  That is why it’s so easy to give other people advice on fixing their problems.  We know what to do.  We just don’t do it.

Want to lose weight?  We all know how to address that.  Eat better and work out more.  And yet, there is a $58 Billion industry created to solve that very problem.  You know, the one I just solved with 5 words.

So, before you completely dismiss this out of hand, ask yourself this.  Have we spent the time to create our perfect customer (s)?    Do you really know them?  And are you creating marketing messages directly to them?

If so, kudos!  You are ahead of most in your space.

If you have not spent the time, this is the perfect place to start.  Because once you know your perfect prospect or customer (your T), it can totally change how you go to market.  You can create more effective messages and have less waste.

And maybe more importantly, you can better serve them.  You can create offers that they will not only enjoy, but you know they really need. You can create customers that are not only transactional but are raving fans.

But it all starts with REALLY knowing them.

If you already have a business, you can start looking for your ideal customer inside your current client base.  As Mike Michaelowicz tells us in his amazing book The Pumpkin Plan, you know when you see your customer number pop up on the phone.  There are those customers that pop up and your first response is “ugh.”  These clients are often high maintenance, low profit, and hard to deal with.  They just don’t seem to value your work…and you don’t like working for them.  These are obviously NOT the perfect customer.

Then there are the clients where you have the opposite response.  You love it when they call.  You are more than happy to drop what you are doing to chat with them.  And you enjoy the work you are doing with them.  Now you are getting closer.

The final mix is, they have to have the money to spend.  When you can find the customers that you enjoy serving, AND they have the budget, you might be getting close to (at least one of) your ideal customers.

“Okay,” you might be thinking.  “But what if I don’t have an existing business?”  Or maybe…you just want to start this exercise from scratch.  Maybe your ideal customer is not in your existing customer base…or you want to start a business and are not sure where to start.

Let’s dig into a few questions that you can start with to determine your ideal customer.  These are just a few designed to get your juices flowing.  As you dig in closer to your ideal customer, keep going.  The more specific you are, the more likely you can craft a message (and more products) that can reach and serve them better.

Here are some questions to help you identify your perfect customer.

Is your ideal customer a man or a woman?

How old is your ideal customer?

Where do they live?

What is their lifestyle/marital status?

Do they have children?

What is their favorite social media platform?

Where do they hang out?  Who do they spend (the most) time with?

Do you know what they do for fun?

What conferences do they attend?

What is their job?

As I said, keep going until you have a specific and clear picture of that ideal customer.  Once you have them pictured in your mind, write it down.  Now that you have them on paper, can you see how you can craft a message just for them?  Can you see how you can go to the places they are?

While this exercise might appear simple, it’s foundational.  You will build all of your other activities on top of the T.  And once you have mastered your “one perfect customer,” you can go back to the drawing board and do this again to expand your market and your marketing.

Want to dig deeper into this?  You should check out our TARGET Marketing Playbook here for free.  We break down what makes up a great marketing plan and how you can implement it.  Get your copy here for free.

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.