A lot of service providers stress about this decision. We think that choosing to focus on a specific type of client means we’re limiting our revenue potential. So we decide on the service we really like to provide… then we go try to sell it to everyone.
But the problem is, “everyone” doesn’t want what we have to offer.
Whether you’re selling financial consulting, executive coaching, energy healing, music production, or any other services… think about it:
Does everyone you think needs those services actually believe that they do?
Of course not.
Or, even if they do believe that they need what you’re offering… do they want it?
And not only that, but do they want it right NOW, enough to actually hand over the money or put forth the effort to get it from YOU… today?
Pitching People Who Lack Excitement About Your Services is Costly
You’ve been in business long enough to know what an irritating, waste of time it is to try to convince people who don’t want what you’re selling why they “should” want it.
Time is money.
This strategy creates a lot more work for you, because:
- You have to work twice as hard to “sell” people on what you do. So you’re forced to find extremely creative ways to convince people they need what you offer.
You subject your business to unnecessary competition. Without a solid specialization, all your prospective clients lump you into the same pool as millions of others offering similar services. So you have to work harder to convince them to choose YOU.
- Because you’re trying to attract “everyone”… no one special is paying attention. So when you do finally get clients, they differ in HUGE ways, making it inefficient and extremely time-consuming to both know and meet their needs well enough to keep them loyal.
But there’s a better way.
We can avoid the frustrating time leech of hunting customers down by honing in on a particular type of person or business that needs our services. We call that your “Perfect Client.”
How Do You Identify Your “Perfect Client”?
If you’ve haven’t done so yet, you should create an Ideal Customer Profile for your business to guide your marketing. This post is just a brief overview.
In this post, we define your “Perfect Client” as one that:
- Has been actively looking for the exact service(s) you offer;
- Can afford it, and has the money to buy it;
- Wants to buy it immediately.
Making sure they meet these three criteria helps you avoid wasting time chasing people who aren’t interested (enough) to actually do business with you sooner than later.
Who Is Actively Seeking YOU That’s Ready to Buy TODAY?
There are five questions we can ask that help tell us whether the prospect we’re considering is “ideal.”
1. Have I seen proof that they’re actively looking for what I’m offering?
This is a big one. Just because a person has added you on social media doesn’t indicate an interest in your service. So it’s generally a waste of time to hit each of these people with a pitch for services.
They’re probably just trying to build their numbers.
But are they engaging with articles on your area of expertise? If so, this can be a strong indicator.
2. Are they asking questions that prove an immediate need for my service?
“Interested and engaging” is not the same as actively looking for a solution. Remember, your “ideal” client not only wants what you offer, but wants to acquire it immediately.
With this in mind, brainstorm 3 to 5 questions or problems your Perfect Client would type into a search engine, which you can “resolve” with your service.
For example, in the case of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), some questions his clients may have might be:
- “How to get the most money in a divorce”
- “Should I let my wife’s lawyer divide our assets?”
- “How to keep husband from getting more than 50% in our divorce”
The point is to get an understanding of the exact problem(s) your Perfect Client has, which your service can solve. Then, you can go find them where they are to offer your solution.
3. What goes through their mind right before deciding to contact you?
Among other things, your answer here depends on how they found you (referral? cold contact?), and what the offer is that’s inspiring them to take action (freebie? service sign up?).
Also notice that you’re only able to answer this one if you understand their immediate needs from Question #2.
But understanding the conversation they’re having with themselves before contacting you for the first time helps you focus your attention:
By focusing on their specific thought process, you can be sure you’re customizing your services and your advertisements directly to them.
And with this level of focus, you’re more likely to avoid the trap of trying to cater to “any human who might be loosely thinking about the possibility of hiring a service provider like you.”
4. What goes through their mind right before deciding to hire you?
Basically, what’s the conversation they’re having with themselves when they’re convincing themselves to sign on the dotted line?
For instance, before hiring that example CDFA we talked about above, they might say:
“I can’t complete this process alone. This CDFA seems like I can trust him. He’s been really attentive and compassionate with what I’m going through, and doesn’t just seem like he’s out for money.
He offers a range of services that specifically relate to helping me live the same after my divorce, and to making it as stress-free as possible. I’m not locked into anything anyway, so there’s no risk to give it a shot. I can’t wait for this process to be over!”
Knowing how they’re convincing themselves to do business with you can help you understand, as one example, what objections to address in your sales message to win over that exact type of client.
5. What’s their yearly household income?
Income range can depend on a lot of factors, like the region they live in, profession, marital status, number of children, etc. But we’re still going to at least establish our intention here, because if we’re about to build a Perfect Client Profile, we need this to determine other demographics.
This is valuable to pinpoint to make your client targeting efforts easier today, and to ensure client relationships remain lucrative in future. (The CDFA in our earlier example would be concerned about his ideal clients’ assets or net worth.)
If you don’t know the answer to the above five questions, it’s okay; you just know more work is needed to understand your ideal client. If that’s the case, go learn to create your ideal client profile.
Remember, to be able to classify them as “ideal,” your truly perfect client is actively looking for your service(s), can afford them, and wants to buy them immediately.
We can always target people outside this criteria, but… later.
Why not focus your marketing and attention on the exact group ready to buy from you TODAY? Then, you can build up a good book of business from THIS group before spending excess time, effort, and money on a non-ideal client.