Who Don’t You Want as a Customer?
Most of us can easily come up with what we don’t want in life vs. what we do want in life, it’s human nature. Same with customers. I personally struggle with this all the time because I wish it was easy to help everyone in need. Honestly, there are some negative people out there that could be a “distracter” or “detractor”.
So, by first categorizing things like the types of customers that don’t fit your scope of expertise, customers you would rather work with for whatever reason or the size or variety of projects that don’t fit, you may be on your way to better understanding more about your ideal customer.
Now, while you are at this exercise you may discover that you are currently working with some of these customers. It’s now ok to admit you don’t want them and this process will help you to move away from them. Do what you can to refer them to someone who can serve them better and begin the process of narrowing your focus to serve only your ideal customer profile.
Fire 10% of Your Customers
I know that sounds harsh and no one is saying yank everything out from underneath them but from the chart on page 5, the “detractors” you may have identified are probably current customers or prospects. They are not profitable, they don’t refer, they are late on payments and perhaps their response rate to your business is poor.
If they are customers who are paying you, yes, it is very tough to let them go, so now you need to make them aware of how you want the communication or relationship to improve to your expectations, help them become your ideal client.
The problem with continuing to keep customers like this is that you are probably not giving them a very good customer experience. In turn, you may be breeding customers that have become a drag on your brand. Maybe they are happy, maybe they aren’t.
Creating a meaningful small business brand takes incredible focus. Your market must understand what you stand for, what you do that is unique and who you can bring the most value to.
This narrowly defined and served ideal customer is crucial. Customers outside your sweet spot just muddy the water; besides the fact they may be better served by someone else. Ending the relationship is likely a win for both.
Be a Proud Business Owner
Be proud of yourself of having the experience a lot of people won’t step forward to do. Running a business takes commitment, confidence, skill, passion, perseverance and patience.
You being in business today and for being in this group says a lot about your passion and your commitment to your success. However you define your success and run your business is up to you. Just make sure you take advice from only those that influence you towards the right direction. It’s your business.