You’ve probably heard of ICP – Ideal Customer Profile and the theory around it. It’s a winning strategy to refine your target audience and fully map out the problems you are solving with your product or service. It also helps focus your lead generation activities and increase conversions.
I’ll be honest, I don’t have one written for my business. At the moment my business is in rapid growth stage and I’m not even going out to find my ideal customers. I fully recognise this is not very smart especially since I’m a marketer by trade, but that’s a topic for another blog.
So my customers find me; all via referral from other business owners. Halfway through an initial meeting with a client, I’ll have a pretty good idea if I’m going to be able to provide value to their business and furthermore if I want to work with them. It is a mix of gut feeling and quick judgment made from observations during that initial meeting. I’m listening for the questions they ask and I also gain insight from the order in which they ask them.
“If I had to use one phrase I’d say an alignment of business values is an Ideal Customer for me”
I had dinner last week with a couple that are definitely my ideal customer. I met them 2 months ago in Clark, Philippines. When we first sat down to talk business, I could tell there was a great fit. They were innovative, energetic, down to earth…great people. I loved that not only were the business owners at that initial meeting, but one of their key staff were on the Philippines trip with them. What a great company to work for – they take their staff on business research trips overseas! That alone speaks volumes about their management style, their leadership and company culture.
The ideal customer for me is not in a particular industry, business, or size. It’s also deeper than first impressions and likeability. For me it’s about:
- What they say when they talk about their people
- Aligned business values
- Similar culture
- Leadership style
- Positive, aspirational communication
- Being open
- Discussing and sharing business strategy
- Asking for recommendations
Value vs Price
- Don’t ask about the price until they fully understand the value and inclusions
- Allow time for this to be communicated
- Reflect on experiences from others (who are our clients), or seek opportunities to speak with our current clients
- Are leaders in their field
- Have a strong network
- Are open to doing business globally or are already doing so
- See the importance of teamwork in the relationship
- Don’t expect a silver bullet to solve their issues
- Patient and will allow sufficient time for it to be done right the first time
I feel blessed that I meet many proprietors of Australian businesses, share experiences with them and help grow their business. For me, the last few months have been the most fun I’ve had in business in the last 7 years. This is because I get to spend time surrounded by innovative business junkies who have honed leadership skills. It’s invigorated my love of entrepreneurship, got me out of the office, off my email, and out of my niche. It has connected me to people who also happen to be highly successful which feeds my motivation and my creative thinking.
As Beepo grows, I can only hope our business is filled with clients as wonderful as the couple I had dinner with last week, who were my inspiration for this blog. Cheers to Julie & Michael.
This article was first posted on Aimee’s blog. You can find the original post here.
About the Author: Aimee Engelmann is Australia’s pre-eminent speaker on Business Growth and the Offshoring industry. She taught University of Queensland’s Business School’s Executive Program on Offshoring. She is the CEO and Founder of Beepo, an Australian-owned Offshoring firm in the Philippines. Aimee is a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute, Certified Practising Marketer, and the winner of the 2015 Young Entrepreneur Trailblazer Award. You can follow her on Facebook & Twitter