Your Perfect Customer


Image Credit: Bruce Berrien

Do you know your perfect customer? When was the last time you talked to her/him? What questions did you ask them? Did you really listen to what they truly thought about you and your business?

So many businesses and business people forget one key element to running a successful business – knowing who their perfect customer really is.

The concept is found in just about every business book you can think of, but I don’t think the message is getting across to business people. Granted, some businesses have harnessed the power of this concept, but it seems to me that the vast majority of them have missed the point. I’ve been guilty of this in the past myself.

When putting together a business plan – no matter how detailed or generic – one of the key elements that is critical to determine is the “target market.” So many entrepreneurs and business people respond with a generic “our target market is men between 25 and 45 with two kids and a household income of $100k to $200k.” On the surface, this sounds pretty focused. When you look closer, though, you should realize that this is still way too broad of a group to go after.

To be truly effective in with your marketing – and with your business in general for that matter – you have to know exactly what your perfect customer is. Blanket approaches simply don’t work anymore.

When you take the time to really focus on who your perfect customer is, you may find out that what you thought of as your target market was dramatically different than your perfect customer. You may think that your target market is men between 25 and 45, etc, but you may learn that the spouse (a woman) is the one actually writing the check. A good example of this is auto insurance.

Before you do anything related to marketing your business, ask yourself these questions to figure out who you think your perfect customer is:

  • Is your perfect customer a man, woman, child, or some combination?
  • Is your perfect customer wealthy, middle class, or living paycheck to paycheck?
  • Does your perfect customer live close to other people that would also be perfect customers for you?
  • What is the daily routine of your perfect customer?
  • What makes your customer decide to buy your product or service?
  • How many people does your perfect customer tell about your business?

These are just some primer questions. If you are really taking the idea of finding your perfect customer seriously, these questions will lead to deeper questions. By the end of working through this, you should have an idea of your perfect customer in your mind – or preferably written down somewhere.

After you’ve done this, and you know exactly who your perfect customer is, deciding how to plan and execute your marketing program will be much easier, more effective, and you’ll make more money (well, you should, anyway).