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Identifying Your Ideal Customer

If you don’t choose who you want to do business with, then your customers will choose you! And these customers might be less than perfect. Understanding your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) will dictate everything from product features or service offerings to your marketing and prospecting strategy. Here’s what you need to know to make sure everyone in your company from Product to Marketing and Sales understands who you want to do business with.

Let’s start by asking a Simon Sinek question. Why is it so important to attract the right customer for your product or service? Because selling to the wrong customer is a drain on time, resources and emotional health. Customers who shouldn’t have been sold to will be difficult to please, a constant source of frustration for your team, and will probably not speak favorably about your business to others. Selling to your ICP takes discipline, especially when you need revenue or when your pipeline isn’t full, Scarcity mentality sets in quickly and you will tell yourself that the prospect is almost large enough or is in a similar industry to your ICP so they could, probably, maybe benefit from your offering. Right? Resist the urge to step outside your ICP.

So, let’s start to build out your Ideal Customer Profile. Assuming you have won, and lost a few deals already, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who are your best customers today?
  • Why are they a good fit for your product or service?
  • Which customers do you wish you hadn’t sold to?
  • What’s made them so challenging?

After you’ve answered those questions, click here to download a worksheet to help you further identify your ICP. This will help you take an objective look at the characteristics your best customers have in common to help you determine where you should be looking for more customers that will benefit from your offering. If you don’t have that many customers yet, don’t worry, you’re ICP will evolve as you grow, and your offering gets more robust. We just need to be able to focus our energy on who we believe will benefit most from what you have to offer at this stage of the game.

Fully understanding who you should be selling to will help will not only reduce frustration, it will also help you craft your marketing, sales, and product strategies in a way that will draw the right prospects to you. Marketing will write content that speaks to your prospect’s challenges in a way that makes them say, “Hey, that’s me!”. Sales will reach out to a specific subset of the universe that has the exact problem you solve, and Product will build a UI with your customer in mind.

It's much easier to work at attracting the right customer for you than to have to fire the wrong customer after the fact!


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