How To Engineer The Ideal Client

ideal client
Targeting those that make the most ideal clients.

To build a decent marketing foundation, it’s really important to start with your strategy.  And in the Duct Tape Marketing world, strategy includes understanding your ideal client and what sets you apart from your competition.

So to kick off understanding your ideal client, I usually suggest business owners take inventory of their current clients.  The three characteristics you want to look for in your ideal client are as follows:

1. They value you and what you do.  If the work you do doesn’t seem to resonate with your client, they may not understand the value you deliver and what it’s worth.

2. They’re profitable.  I would argue that we all have a few clients who don’t fit the ideal client definition because they’re not profitable.  It’s important to go through your client to ensure that this characteristic is evident across your clients, otherwise it might be time to refer that client to someone else who is a better fit.

3. They refer you to others.  An ideal client values the work that you so much that they’re referring you to other people who have similar values and requirements.  In some cases, you may not yet have received a referral, but you may not have ever asked or educated your clients about this kind of expectation either.

Now that you know what to look for to identify the characteristics of an ideal client, the next step is to look at your client list and see if they fit this model.   This is where a lot many small business owners don’t  invest the time to thoroughly understand who they work best with so they avoid wasting their time with less than ideal customers.

And if you find this process challenging, try a little reverse engineering here.  Identify those past clients who you’d prefer never to work with again and record the reasons why.  Record some of the other details about them that made them less than ideal.  For some, this seems to be an easier process because they can quickly come up with this list of undesirable characteristics.  Once you’ve gone through this process, you should be able to create a checklist of sorts to use when interviewing prospects.

It’s important to record those details you hear that are red flags for you.  This gives you the ability to better qualify prospects before you enter into an arrangement that lacks the qualities to produce a great working relationship to you get future referral business.  Stay tuned for another post next week that provides more detail on qualifying ideal clients.

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