First lets start by defining what ‘ideal client’ actually means…

An ideal client is someone whose need or problem is solved by your product, service or solution. More than that, an ideal client is someone who is profitable for your business and even better than that, an ideal client is someone (or a business) who will have a continual need for your product, service or solution, and this will therefore lead to repeat business and continual profit.

Target Audience Profiling

Whenever we take on a new client at Magnetic Business Development we always take them through what we call the ‘On-boarding Process’. This is a series of steps that helps us to not only get to understand our clients, but to also identify and understand their ideal target audience. We don’t go anywhere near a phone or their prospects until we have this insight firmly recorded and in our minds. This ensures that when we begin prospecting on behalf of our clients, we are far more likely to succeed in securing on target meetings with fruitful, profitable prospects.

As part of our on-boarding process we carry out an element of target audience profiling. This is essential if we are to understand our clients’ ideal client type.

I’ve worked in Sales and Marketing for almost 3 decades and I hold a First Class Honours Degree in Marketing Communications, so trying to shoe-horn 3 decades of learning, insight and strategy into one helpful article will be challenging but here goes…

B2B Vs B2C Prospects

Before I begin, it is worth noting that Magnetic BD operates predominantly in the B2B, or Business to Business space – we help companies attract and secure business from other business. Therefore, this article has been written with this focus. If your business targets ‘Consumers’ rather than businesses, (B2C), you will need to recognise more personal characteristics or ‘demographics’ to identify your ideal client types – things like gender, age, geographical location etc. Communications methods and channels will also be different for B2C targets.

Qualifying Questions

In order to understand who your ideal clients are, you need to start by asking yourself a series of qualifying questions that will help you to profile your ideal client type… here are just a few of these questions to get you started:

1. What industry sector(s) should you be focusing on? (financial services, construction etc) – ask yourself which industries would have a need for your service and importantly why? (I will come back to discuss the importance of knowing this in another article).

2. Company turnover/financial position – there will often be a sweet spot of opportunity that is linked to financial position

3. Years in business – as above. There will usually be a sweet spot that correlates to number of years in business and business life-cycle.

4. Number of Directors – this can often influence the decision making process and timescales

5. Geographical location – can you effectively and profitably service and supply to them?

6. Job roles/titles – who should you be asking for or communicating with – who is most likely to need your product, service or solution and crucially, who are the decision makers?

These are just some of the questions you should be asking when profiling your ideal client type. Next there are a few more exercises you can carry out in order to refine and fine tune your ideal client profile.

Recognise what good looks like

If you’re an established company, who are your most profitable clients? Again apply the questions above to your existing clients and begin to recognise trends and patterns in your most lucrative clients.

Recognise what bad looks like

It is equally important to recognise who your unprofitable clients are. Some might be draining on resources or bad payers and therefore costing your organisation money.

When prospecting for new clients, look to amplify and seek more of the profitable clients, and avoid going after the draining and less profitable client types.

Research your competitors

It’s important for any business to at least have an awareness of its competitors, but you can also learn a lot from them. If you’re a start up you won’t be able to profile your own clients, however you can carry our research and look at your most successful competitors, and try to understand who their ‘best’ clients are, and again look to apply the criteria above where possible.
Understand how best to reach your ideal client type

Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal client type, you then need to understand how best to locate them and how best to communicate with them… and I will save this for another post.

I hope this is helpful. Wishing you a hugely successful and productive day!  – 01323 345000

Magnetic Business Development Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for credit broking activities, Firm Reference Number 826604.