Knowing who your ideal customer is and how you can position your skills or product to meet their needs is what I call a ‘fundamental of sales’ before you start trying to sell your product you need to have this nailed down.
Understand who you are targeting and you can determine where best to focus your marketing messages, avoiding the ‘scatter gun approach’ where you are simply firing out information and hoping it resonates with someone. This will make you so much more effective at generating leads, saving you time and money…
So ask yourself the following questions and see how much you know, or still need to find out, about your ideal customer...
- What is their age?
- What is their top 3 motivations for using your product?
- How do they make a buying decision (ie search the internet ask friends or colleagues)?
- What information do they need before making a buying decision?
- Who is involved in their decision making process?
- Which complementary brands do they currently use?
- Do they use a competitor?
- If so which competitor?
- Why would they look to move?
- What is their budget / disposable income?
- What key problems are you solving / what needs are you addressing?
- What are their interests?
- What are their (relevant) likes?
- What are their (relevant) dislike?
- How well informed are they about your offering?
- Where can you access them?
- What are their biggest concerns when considering your product?
- What do they think of your product versus your closest competition?
- What name have you given to your ideal customer?
This gives you a great starting point to understand who they are and where they hang out (which is where you then target with your key messages etc) who and what is involved in their decision making process etc.
Try to answer as many as you can and remember to treat this document like a work in progress.
The biggest mistake people make at this stage is to try and go too broad with their targeting, because they don't want to miss out or alienate any potential customers...trust me, you need to niche and be specific...too general and your messaging relates to nobody...and if they don't relate to you then they are much less likely to buy from you.
Think at this stage who is also most accessible to you: it makes sense to focus in on the easiest to access segment of your market (as long as you enjoy working with them).
Once you are in front of them I would look to understand their situation, what their needs are and where you might be able to meet those needs so that you can create an offering that best meets their needs, rather than create something and then have to sell it...start with the customer, what THEY want and figure out if it is feasible to provide at a price point that works for both you and them.
Then and only then do you have a viable business offering.