Finding your ideal client requires a formula for success but you have to know where to look. Once found, you have to understand them, talk with them by joining their conversations as often as possible without attempting to sell them anything. Most importantly, listen to them in their voice. Halloween is over but there still may be a few GHOSTS left.The most important thing NOT to do is to market to people that do not care, may not buy your product or service! Ghosts are people that you send stuff to about your product or service who will never buy-into your product or service. Many people waste advertising dollars and time sending things to ghosts. Instead, find the people who care and share your interest in the benefits of your products or services.
Sometimes your ideal clients do not know that they want your product or service so you have to let them know about it! Ideal clients are interested in you and your service or product. They really care and want to help you tell others—in a sense, they become product advocates. Sometimes they need advice and other times they want to give advice. I once purchased a product on television called Pearl Drops that promised to make people feel young. Once finished with the product, I wanted to repurchase but there was not a search engine available at that time for searching for the product. On the product was an address so I wrote the company a letter and told them that I want to buy the product but cannot find out how to do so. They immediately sent me a product and low and behold the number to reorder was taped on the top from that time on. They listened to me because I cared and they reacted swiftly—it is better to be proactive then reactive, however.
Find your niche and stick with it. Use Customer Relationship Management. I remember my Mom used to call the butcher every week and without saying a word, he would say “Do you want the usual, Ann?” In most cases, she would say “Yes,” unless she needed something special. The butcher was market oriented instead of selling oriented. Selling oriented people say “Would you like to know our specials?” They try to sell people things instead of asking them if they need the product or service first. Use your personal power instead of your position power. For instance, get people to like you and want to buy from you instead of telling them that they need to buy from you.
Finding Your Clients
Look at your heavy users and light users. Find out where they are and what they value most. What is the best way to advertise to them? Find out who the decision-makers are and contact them. Look for new customers that may switch to you if they perceive relative value. Use technology wisely. Figure out how you can differentiate your product or service from the competition. What are your core benefits, and if possible, distinctive core benefits that cannot be trumped.
Talk to Your Clients
Talk to your clients in their language, not yours. Speak on their terms not yours. Talk to them often but not too often. Blog if you see a reason to communicate something that they care about. Zig where they zag. Give away things to build your brand but build a reason into the freebie to them to want the whole enchilada instead of just the free stuff. Provide a free incentive to covert the potential client to buy. Encourage customers to become advocates—word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool available today. If possible, expand your client-base for mass appeal.
Listen to Your Clients
Listening does not mean that you are always quiet, listening means that you are addressing customer needs as they occur. Needs change often and you have to anticipate them and change with them? Go public with as much publicity as possible. Put yourself and your company out there and mix it up and see what you can cook up—-perhaps prosperity for you and your customers. Apple has the Ipad, then the mini-Ipad, then the mini-mini-Ipad. In 2012, Apple products are discontinued and obsolete as they create new ones to replace them. Why does Apple do this? Because they know what their customers desire and attempt to delight them every time.
Your ideal client may be close buy or far away from you. Until you reach out to them, they do not know you exist. Feel good about going into the NEW and embrace your ideal client in 2013.