The Difference between Ideal Client and Target Market and How to Use it to Grow Your Business
I get it. For many small business owners, newer ones in particular, anyone willing to write a check made out to you looks like a great customer. And, in the beginning, generating cash flow is important.
But as time passes, you will come to learn that identifying your Target Market and Ideal Client will give you two powerful tools that will maximize your energy and efforts for the greatest amount of value and profit.
There is a difference between your Target Market and your Ideal Client. A fine line, maybe, but a line none the less.
Usually we consider demographics when we talk about Target Market. Gender, age, education, income, marital status, location, family lifestyle, languages or ethnic background are all data and facts that might drive identification of a target market.
You might not market your services or products directly to consumers, but to other businesses. That means that your Target Market demographics might instead be defined by industry, type of business, number of employees, level of annual revenue, number and size of locations, proximity to transportation and utility sources or shipping and logistics operations.
Using the hard data, you can zero in on a pool of prospects to fish around for contacts and leads. But if you take this exercise one step farther and identify your actual Ideal Client, you have a much greater chance of adding clients that might well become long-term relationships that are beneficial to both of you.
To pinpoint your Ideal Client, you need to dig a little deeper and look at the softer side of categorization, into what is called psychographics. Psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, opinions, interests and lifestyles. In other words, you are looking at individuals, not large groups.
One way to approach this process is to look at the clients you really enjoy working with. Who are they and what values, interests, attitudes and lifestyle do they possess? And, if you don’t know, you know what your next assignment is going to be, don’t you?
You want to find and keep more clients like them, so you have to know everything you can about them. Harv Mackay had his MacKay 66 – that multi-page research document that he demanded every salesperson complete on each client. And you know what, that approach worked, for both the sales people and the business.
Make it your business
So take the time to get to know those clients, figure out where they hang out and what they do, because you know, birds of a feather … you know the rest.
Then, build your lead gen and prospecting strategies around the information you find. I get tired of all the “don’t work harder, work smarter,” but I know it’s true. Data, measurement, knowledge will help you build the business you want.
To Your Success!