Finding the perfect match
Your mama was right—you better shop around.
Sure, it’s important for your business to appeal to potential customers, but it’s equally vital for your customers to be a good fit for your business. If you aren’t selective when choosing your clients, then your brand, your profit margin and your business goals will be at risk.
Aim at the right target market
Your company is branded by the clients you do business with. Good customers fortify your brand while less than perfect customers can muddy the intended goals of your business.
In The Discipline of Market Leaders, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema dig into the importance of choosing your customers and narrowing your focus in order to dominate a market.
They write, “No company can succeed today by trying to be all things to all people…Customers today want more of the things they value. If they value low cost, they want it lower. If they value convenience or speed when they buy, they want it faster and easier.”(1)
Let’s say Customer A is your ideal—your perfect client. He brings in work that aligns with the skills of you and your employees, which in turn breeds productivity as well as a happy staff. The type of work you do for this client is what you would like to be known for. To help you differentiate these key clients, ask yourself:
Because your client is likely a good catch, a certain amount of wooing might be necessary to cinch the deal. Consider sending promotional gifts like a Fleury Magnetic Digital Photo Frame or a Harvest Pen and Terra Leather Journal Set. It’s important to make sure A-Customers keep thinking about your business and brand. Provide them with a Terra Leather Business Card Case complete with your own business card.
If A Customers are a hard find, it might be worthwhile to seek out the next best thing. Customer B is a comfortable client—they do provide consistent profit, but not overly creative or stimulating work. They may not be the perfect client, but the revenue they generate is an important facet of your business growth. Let them know you care with a Stainless Bubble Tumbler or an Autumn Pen and Key Ring Set. Then keep your brand on their minds with reminders they can use at their desks like Post-It® Notes and Bic® Clic Stick® Pens.
Customer C offers work you could do, but isn’t an ideal fit. The work you would do for this client might be outside your core service area, so don’t be afraid to turn away or phase out C Customers. Focus your attention on A and B Customers, who will strengthen your brand and help your business grow.
Being selective is worth it
Letting your key customers know they’re valued and focusing on your A-listers is an excellent way to define and further improve your brand while offering the most profitable service possible. Promotional gifts, chosen wisely, can drive home your brand while showcasing your excellent customer service. Good customers breed more good customers—so keep ‘em coming!
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