Finding your ideal customers

Finding your ideal customers means asking: “Who are our customers?” and “Are these our ideal customers?” 

By Dr Jana Matthews | 1 min read | Finding your ideal customers

Many companies think “all customers are created equal” – but they’re not!

  • Some customers actually cost you money, because they don’t pay on time, require a lot of customer service, and never seem to be satisfied.
  • Other customers may buy a lot of product but at a price with such a low margin that you don’t make enough to cover your overhead.
  • Or customers treat the sales process as a transaction and are not interested in developing a relationship. They who only intend to buy the low cost solution.

These three types of customers do not care about strategic value. None will provide you visibility into their long-term strategy – if they have one. If you want to grow, you need to begin the process of “disengaging with” or firing the customers who are in these three categories.

Find a strategic partner

Ideal customers are those who see you as a strategic partner. Ideal customers value what you offer. They bring a smile to your face when their names are mentioned. They pay on time and are looking for a long-term relationship.

Spend your time and energy finding customers in this fourth category. These ‘ideal customers’ will help your company grow.

Discover our Assessment Clinic

The ‘finding your ideal customers’ exercise that’s illuminating for CEOs

  1. Make a list of your 20 top customers.
  2. Now categorise them by (revenue) and calculate the percent of revenue each one provides.
  3. Recategorise them in terms of their contribution to the bottom line (profit) and calculate the percent of revenue they provide.
  4. Now list these companies in terms of strategic importance to your growth (and your company to their growth).
  5. Order them in terms of the customers you most like working with.

Now compare your four lists and look at the top ten on each list. In the best of all worlds, you would be finding a high degree of overlap. Meaning the same companies appearing on the top of all four lists. If that’s not the case, you have a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. This is because you cannot grow if you don’t have the right kinds of customers.

Learn more about how to discover the right customers.

Like this article? Try: ‘Five ways to find money for business growth

Explore our business growth programs