Defining Your Target Customer To Increase Your Sales
That may sound a little harsh, but it needed to be said. On the flip side, there are people who do want to buy from you and when you find them, life gets a whole lot easier.
The mistake often made by business owners, is trying to appeal to everyone. It is a mistake for two reasons:
The first one is, they are continually morphing their product or service offering. It is when you walk into your local contractor’s and they are selling vacuum cleaners in their front office. When you ask about the vacuums, they tell you it is something they are offering as part of their new house builds. Likely this came around as a result of one client asking about installing a central vacuum system and now there is a belief that everyone will want one.
Of course you want to please your customers, but at the same time, it can bring up a lot of questions. Are you a contractor? Are you a vacuum cleaner distributor? Are you that bad a contractor, you have to sell vacuums? Is this a whim and if the vacuum broke, would I have to find someone else to guarantee it? Is there something I am missing?
All of these questions can prevent people from buying, no matter how many different things your do or offer. Some people will be able to look past these (especially if they know you well), however many won’t.
The second reason, is in never defining your target customer, you really don’t appeal to anyone and you end up spending a lot more money, to get a sale. Your target customer is coming to you for specific reasons. It could be your pricing. It could be the convenience of the service your provide. It could be you specifically. It could be your location or the hours in which you are open. When you try to be everything to everyone, you fade into the crowd. In today’s world there is too much competition and alternatives, so you can’t afford to get lost.
In identifying a target group, you are able to speak their language and you can ensure you are appearing, where they are looking. It allows you to set up your sales channels to align with how they like to buy. For example, if you are trying to appeal to a higher end market, chances are you will not get noticed if you are referring to “bargain bin pricing” and sending out flyers. You want to talk instead about high end finishes and maybe use referrals as your channel for sales.
Confused customers, don’t buy and the more expensive your offering, the clearer you need to be in what you provide. Think about it this way, you wouldn’t buy a Rolex watch from a dollar store, no matter how good they made it sound. Experts earn top dollar, not generalists. The better you define who you are, what type of business you operate and who your target customer is, the more business you will have.
So where to start?
The best place to start is by first looking at your current customers. You and your business “speak” to this group of people and there is something you are doing that appeals to them.
Take you top five to ten customers and write down everything you can about them. Notice where they are similar and how they are different. Identify how and where they found you and your business. Take a look at the products or services they buy most often and how they order them. Even take a look at how they pay you and how long it takes them, to do so. Then if you are really bold, sit down over a coffee and ask them “why” they choose to do business with you.
From there it is a matter of building your systems to really target more of those types of people. The clearer you are, the clearer your potential customers will be in what you can do for them and those are the ones who want to buy from you!
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