How to describe your ideal customer

How to describe your ideal customer? You manage a small business and potentially have a huge range of people who could be your customers. However, with limited time and resources how do you go about determining what your focus should be?

Start by asking some broad questions.

Who could be interested in my services?

Who has the problem?

Who needs the benefits?

This can result in a long list of possible options which initially you can hone down by considering broad aspects such as;

  • type of business/activity.
  • demographic.
  • geography.
  • trigger point.

For example, a Sports Physio practice may look to target active sports people, aged 25-35, within 5 miles of the practice who have just sustained an injury, or undergone surgery, who want to get back in action as quickly as possible.

The second phase is to refine this further by considering,

What is the opportunity?

You can identify opportunities within the list, by considering factors such as;

how many of these types of people there are,

  • if they can afford your services,
  • if you have some track record with them,
  • if they need this type of service,
  • if they are in places that you can easily reach and service.

So continuing the Sports Physio practice example;

Are there many active sports people, aged 25-35 in your locality e.g. gyms, clubs such as football, netball, cycling, triathlon, tennis etc.?

Considering the local demographic, is it likely that they have the money to afford your services?

Are they liable to have a need for your services? Is it probable they will suffer injury or undergo surgery, or want to prevent this happening, through participation in sports?

Can you demonstrate you have expertise with these types of sports people?

Do you know how and where to communicate with them?

 The third phase is often omitted but is absolutely vital. Taking all the logical analyses into account think about you.

What makes an ideal customer for me?

Imagine customers that you love working with: customers that you trust and that trust and respect you. Customers that appreciate what you do for them and have realistic expectation: customers that you connect with.

If the way you think, your values and expectations align with those of your customers, then your working life is more comfortable and more enjoyable. Focus on attracting your ideal customer.

Consider these aspects of your ideal customer.

What characteristics and qualities do they have?

What makes them behave the way they do?

What is important to them?

Why do I like working with them?

What do I want them to expect me to deliver or provide?

Think about an individual, perhaps you have an existing customer in mind. Describe them in detail. What is it about them that make them an ideal customer?

Think of another not so ideal customer. What are the opposite of the traits you find difficult to deal with?

What makes me an ideal supplier for them?

So now you know the kind of ideal customer you want, you want to ensure that you are in a position to be their ideal supplier.

What do I need to improve?


Next steps

Here are some action points to help you describe your ideal customer with certainty.

Suggested Action: Write down the answer to these 4 questions.

Who could be interested in my services?

What is the opportunity?

What makes an ideal customer for me?

What makes me an ideal supplier for them?

Now complete a customer profile from the Resources page for each of your ideal customers.

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