Do you offer your product or service to anyone who will listen, and even if they are not listening you offer it anyway?
How can you stop offering to everyone, so that you are just saying yes to the right types of customers? This can sometimes be quite daunting and involve a leap of faith, but it can also be very liberating…..as well as financially rewarding!
So how do you work out which clients are right for you and which are wrong?
Do a Bit of Sorting
As a small business coach I often help my clients to segment their customers into groups – sorted by their attitude and behaviours rather than more traditional demographic means, such as age or where they live. Having done this it is easy for them to create different messages for different groups (as well as decide on the groups they don’t want as customers). This is a strategic marketing tool that all the big brands use very successfully.
Let me show you what I mean from my own business. To begin with my doors were open to all small business owners – Come on in! I can help you! Let’s get started!
However, pretty quickly I created my first ‘segmentation’ and split potential customers into ‘Doers’ and ‘Dreamers or Twiddlers’. As their name implies Doers do. They get on with things and subsequently achieve results. They are fun and rewarding to work with and it is great helping a Doer achieve even more than they could on their own.
The Dreamers or Twiddlers are another kettle of fish – I have nothing against dreaming, in fact it is one of the first things I encourage new clients to do when creating their vision. But once you have dreamt, you have to do.
Dreamers or Twiddlers don’t get on with things, and there is always going to be something that is getting in their way, or something that they are twiddling with rather than making bigger steps. Some coaches work brilliantly with this kind of group – so now when I come across a Dreamer or Twiddler I politely say no, but always have another coach I can recommend they could work with. These other coaches refer back to me in return – so by saying no to the customer I don’t want I get back the sort of customers I do want.
So having worked out who you don’t want, you need to look in more detail at who you do want. Again, to give you an example I will illustrate my further customer groups within my bigger group of Doers:
- They want to enjoy their work, but very importantly they want to have time to enjoy their life – that is one of the main reasons they started their business.
- They usually do not work full time, or may work in fits and bursts or more during school term time and less in the holidays.
- It is important that their business works around the life they want to lead and they are not usually interested in growing the business past a certain size or employing other people.
- They have broken out from the corporate world and feel they are living life on their terms
- They are different from Lifestylers as they work full time / put energy in upfront for later gains, However a good work / life balance is still important
- They are interested in where they could take their business / what the next level might be and in getting to the stage where they could employ one or two staff or begin to outsource certain aspects.
Rule The World
- They want to take their business idea to the max – build an empire or build a business to sell for a great profit
- They like fast action and fast results and recognition of their achievements
- They want a good lifestyle to reflect their hard work, but are happy to wait a while for this
Which one are you?! Do you see that someone from each of these groups could be starting their business from their kitchen table and have a similar turnover? From the outside they may all look the same, but their attitude and motivations are actually all very different. They will respond to different marketing messages and want different things from me as a coach.
So, here are some questions to for you to start looking at the types of customers you do want and those you don’t want.
Who Don’t You Want?
What are the behaviours you don’t want from your customers? What are the phrases you don’t want to hear? What could you call this group? How can you say no to them? (It may be hard at first – but ask yourself, by saying no to this group what could you be saying yes to elsewhere?)
Who Do You Want?
Who are the customers that you just love (or would love) to work with? Those that energise and enliven you. What are the phrases you want to hear? What could you call them? What is their main problem or need you can help them with? Where will you find them? What do you need to do differently to attract more of them?
I hope this has given you some food for thought on your current and future customers – get sorting and grouping and see where it takes you!
Georgina Walsh is an experienced and accredited coach who helps small business owners unleash their business genius through a blend of branding, business psychology and coaching. Find out more at www.Georginawalsh.com