5 Questions you must ask about your ideal client
The secret to attracting your most profitable clients.
When I ask many business owners who their target market is, I often hear: “everybody in this area” or “women between 25 – 60 years old”. Oh oh!
It’s not enough to know where your target market lives, their age and gender. If you truly want to attract, connect and become the preferred choice in your niche, you need to fully understand who you’re talking to, and fine tune your message and media.
Perhaps you do have different offers for a broader market, but in this case, you’ll need to segment your market and tailor your marketing message and channels accordingly.
Today we’ll look at the 5 most important questions (in my view) you should be asking about your ideal client before you communicate with them, so you can attract them, connect with them and convert them into clients.
PS. If you haven’t done an ideal customer profile exercise before, or if you have done one a long time ago, feel free to download mine here. I strongly recommend that you go through this exercise before you even bother to produce any piece of marketing at all.
This is the same exercise I give to my clients when we work on their marketing strategy or sales funnels.
1- What are your ideal client problems?
Seriously, what are their problems? Not only the problems you can solve, but their major life problems and pain points.
What keeps them awake at night? What are their worries and concerns?
I’ll give you a practical example using one of my client’s customer avatar.
She’s a brilliant career coach and knows her target market really well. She told me that one of her client’s main concern is their health, especially if they’ve been through serious health problems in the past.
They worry that it has impacted their ability to perform at their jobs, progress in their careers, and they worry the illness may return in the future, negatively impacting their career and success, so they get stuck. They feel stuck in every aspect of their lives, including their career.
Interestingly, they don’t seek her help to address their worries about their health, but to help them with their career progression.
In her marketing messages she can address their health concern and how she can help them overcome their worries and barriers in order to pursue their professional goals. By doing so, her target market feel deeply connected with her message, and therefore with her.
As you can see in this example, if my client neglected to ask this crucial question, her communications wouldn’t address their REAL pain point. That’s why it’s important to consider all your client’s worries and concerns, because your product or service may not be completely related to them, but it may help them directly or indirectly.
It’s really important to identify the underlying problems, so you can communicate the solution in words your market can relate to.
2- What are your ideal client’s desires?
People don’t just have worries; they also have desires and aspirations, whether short term or long term.
If you know what your ideal client desires are, you can communicate how you can help them achieve them.
As an example I’ll use my own service and target audience. As you know, I’m not a travel agent, not can I help anyone with travel guidance. But one of my audience’s desires is to be able to travel and take their families on holidays without worrying about money or about their business.
How can I help them achieve this desire? Simple, I help them make their business more profitable, automated and systematized, so they can step away from their business while making more money. This means, they have the time and the money to take their families on holidays without worrying or stressing.
If instead, I only told them I can help them improve their marketing results, there wouldn’t be addressing their underlying desire, and therefore wouldn’t have the same appeal.
3- What is their ideal solution?
You can create products and services that you love, or you can create products and services that your customers love and want.
The decision is yours, but I know which one I’d choose.
One of the problems I often see is people trying to sell what they think is a good solution to their customers’ problems, instead of looking at the solution through their eyes.
But how do you offer something your market wants?
There are few ways you can do this, and they’re not mutually exclusive.
You can present your market with an offer, take their feedback, and reiterate your offer before re-introducing it to your market.
You can survey your customers.
You can pay close attention and document customers’ complaints, feedback, and compliments.
I strongly suggest keeping tab of your conversations (and your staff conversations) with your customers. Pay very close attention at what they’re saying, and what they’re not saying to you.
Ok, I see you raising an eye brown and asking me “what they are NOT saying? How can I pay attention at what they are not saying?”
Well, there are certain things you’d expect your customers to say if their needs are being fully met, such as:
What an incredible customer service you have.
We were delighted with…
Question what you are not hearing from them, start asking questions and checking how you can delight your customers.
4- How much are they willing to pay for their ideal solution?
This is an important question. Someone may want something A LOT, and yet, not be prepared to pay above a certain price.
That’s because no matter how much people want that dream holiday, they have a mortgage, bills, problems to solve, maybe their car is falling apart and they need to buy a new one now, and so on.
People have problems, desires and priorities.
If you’re targeting a premium market, it’s ok to charge a premium price. In fact, it’s appropriate to do so. Just make sure all your marketing reflects your premium solution. I’ve seen so many businesses targeting a high end market, yet their brand, website and communications look pretty cheap.
You need to make sure your price matches your brand, your offering and your target market.
In fact, a great option is to start with a low cost offer to give your market a taste of your brand, and continuously invite them to upgrade, all the way to your premium offer.
5- What are their real motivations?
Our final question challenges a little our own beliefs: “what are their real motivations?”
You know their desires, their problems and price sensitivity, but what really motivates your audience to take action and buy?
And in order to answer this question, I will ask a different question.
What will be the cost of NOT taking action (not buying your solution)?
It’s amazing, but people can be more motivated by the prospect of losing something than gaining something.
Indeed, research shows that we are far more willing to pay for something in order to keep the status quo, or basically, not losing something we already have.
That’s because “gaining something” is often associated with more effort or work.
You may find that it’s easier to sell your “solution” if you mention what they will lose if they don’t buy it.
But what can they lose? Well, here’s a list of examples:
Their sense of accomplishment…
You get the drill.
I just want to make sure you get this. I’m not suggesting that you produce all your marketing based on negative messages and what your prospects can lose. But I’m definitely suggesting that you try both, what they have to gain and what they have to lose, and watch the response.
Like everything in marketing, your message should be tested to see what appeals most to your target market, and delivers the results you want.
Just don’t use negative message too often, because people get tired of it too quickly.
Have a some conversations with your clients, buy them a coffee, ask questions, let them talk and listen carefully to what they say. This will definitely help you paint a full picture of your ideal client, what truly appeals to them and how YOU can provide a solution.
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