It can be difficult to know who your ideal client is until they have come to you. The obvious question is then how do we find the ideal client, especially when we aren’t exactly sure who they are. The simple answer is that your ideal client is actually actively searching for you right now.
Let’s examine a way that an ideal client might engage your business. Mark’s construction business is growing and he decides that he needs more help. He really needs to employ a bookkeeping or accountancy service. Good news, that’s what your business does. The next question is how Mark manages to find you.
Well, there’s a number of ways that Mark can find you.
- Brand awareness – Mark has remembered your name from a really successful advertising campaign. How many successful bookkeeping or accounting services advertising campaigns can you recall? Not many. Even if there was one that came to mind for Mark, he’s looking for something small and local.
- Almost pure luck – Mark has saved some form of letter or flyer you sent to his home or business. He did this because he was starting to see the need for your services approaching. The same applies for cold calls, if your call is timed perfectly to his needs then Mark will respond enthusiastically, otherwise the reception will be lukewarm at best.
- Referral from a friend – Mark is looking for your services and asks one of his friends, employees or business colleagues to recommend a good service provider to him. This doesn’t help you much if you are just starting and don’t have good network of referrals in place already, and doesn’t help ever if Mark is completely outside your sphere of influence. Otherwise, it’s extremely powerful.
- Search tools and directories – Mark jumps on the internet or picks up a paper business directory to look for your services.
Let’s look at some of the qualities of Mark, your ideal customer. Firstly, he isn’t much of a shopper. He knows what he wants and when he finds it, he will buy it quickly. Once he finds you and a friendly rapport is established, he wants to hire you. He probably won’t look anywhere else. Secondly, he trusts you (if you don’t know the value of this, try doing business with people who don’t trust you). What this means is that he might pay you to perform different services outside your normal area of expertise. This opens up opportunities for growth. Thirdly, Mark is a great referral source, he’s got a lot of mates in the business but none of them know an available or referral-worthy bookkeeper or accountant. If you keep him happy, he’s going to be an extremely rewarding and potentially business changing client.
Re-visiting the fourth method of search that your clients will use to find you, it’s important to understand the revolutionary changes brought about by the internet, the worldwide web, and search engines on the way people find each other. It goes without saying that there’s a massive amount of material to cover here, and an equally large set of implications, but that goes beyond the scope of this piece. Nevertheless, it’s important to appreciate that these tools are changing the way we communicate, and hence the way we do business.