Quick! Who is your ideal customer? If you have to stumble around for an answer, then you need to take a few moments — perhaps longer — to formulate an answer so that you have it front of mind every time you meet a potential client at a networking event or even when you’re out for a cup of coffee at a local restaurant.
Here are some things to consider when thinking of who, and how to reach, your ideal client:
Reach them with a story. Every business owner has a story. What’s yours? Use your story to connect with potential clients and as a way to tell what you do without being overly salesy
What do you do that can keep the attention of a prospect? Do you have unique goods or services? What sets you apart from the competition? Know this and you can determine your ideal client — it’s the person for whom you can address a pain point with your goods or services
Look at your current client base and analyze it. What are the common characteristics they all — or most — share? This could put you on the path of understanding who your ideal client is
Once you know who your potential ideal client is, you can work toward going where they are and amping up your prospecting!
Is there a secret to success? The beginning entrepreneur would surely hope so, but it’s not quite the case. Actually, a study performed by the Harvard Business School — The Evergreen Project — found it “doesn’t matter what you do.” The study uncovered that successful companies all employed the same management practices.
These practices included (and I paraphrase):
The development and maintenance of flawless operational strategies
Clearly defined strategies and a thorough understanding of your ideal client
Nurturing employees and holding them to high standards of performance
Simplification of the business management levels aka bureaucracy
Hiring talented employees and helping them develop those talents even further
Being innovative and keeping up with trends
Being a great leader
Check this list and see how many of the practices you’re employing in your business.
Business owners wear many hats and one of those hats is “Sales Person.” If you dreamed of becoming a business owner and not having to be involved in sales, chances are you received a rude awakening. In business, we are always selling if we want to grow and thrive.
Here are the steps I believe are involved in the life cycle of a sale:
The all important prospecting. If you’re not out meeting people and working to make connections and grow your business, it will perish. You need to go where your ideal clients gather, build relationships and begin the cycle of prospecting.
Identify the needs of the potential client. Remember, it’s not a one size fits all approach. You need to listen to what your potential client has to say, understand his or her pain points and see if you have a solution to them.
The better you understand the issues facing your client, the better you will be able to tailor a solution. You need to delve deep and understand how your mousetrap will help them and how it’s better than the mousetrap they’re using today.
Once you’ve decided to work together, you will need to make a commitment and that will likely involve a contract of understanding. “You will provide me this and I will provide you that.” Make sure everything is transparent so you will have a good working relationship from the onset.
The next time you put on your Sales Person hat, keep these steps in mind.
You’re known by your logo or brand, right? Perhaps. In some cases (think Nike or Kodak) that is true. In other cases, if you’re just starting out you may still be tweaking your brand or logo and may want to change it from its original form. In other instances, if you’ve been in business for some time and are now taking the business in a new direction or adding new goods, services or products, it might be time to rebrand to reflect the new direction.
What should prompt a rebrand or a new logo? Here are three reasons to consider one:
Your business model has changed and a new logo would reflect that. Also, if the business management team has changed, you may want a new logo to set yourself apart with a new identity.
If you are taking your business in a new direction and targeting a new audience a new logo or brand identification might make sense.
If your old logo simply looks tired or the colors look dated, you might want to freshen it up with new colors. Say, for example when you started out you used a typewriter for your business and have since (hopefully long since) moved to performing your tasks on a computer!
You can also use your new brand relaunch as a way to garner social media traffic!
When you decided to go into business for yourself, you wanted to be a success — everyone begins with that dream, right? Building momentum toward business greatness can be accomplished in any number of ways. Keep in mind that when you build momentum in any area of your business or personal life, you feel like you’re operating at a higher level than you were in the past.
How can you create momentum? Here are three tips:
Be focused on your goal and its outcome. It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of long-term goals, especially if you’re presented with a bright, new product or service or opportunity. If this happens, you need to look at it with a critical eye and see if it fits into your overall business plan and vision.
Be intense in your ability to get things done. Your passion for your business should help your intensity. If you’re not passionate about what you do, why are you doing it?
Give yourself a timeline and a deadline. Having a vague goal of, “I want more customers” will not propel you toward any achievable goal simply because you haven’t given it anything measurable. Consider this, “I want 10 more customers per month than I did the month previous.” This is a measurable and perhaps achievable goal.
Building momentum is crucial to business success as it helps keep you challenged and motivated toward a specific goal!