When business owners are just starting out, typically any customer that pays is considered a good one. However, as time goes on and you work to further develop the business, those customers may not be your ideal customer anymore. Perhaps they aren’t as profitable as they used to be or have started making unreasonable demands on the business. There comes a time when every small business can use some help, ideally with the help of business coaching, to refine the target market for the business. Defining your target market can help streamline sales and marketing efforts. By making “The List”, a master list of prospects that outlines exactly who your target customers are, your leadership team can work to send out a consistent, compelling message that will win those profile prospects over to becoming long-term customers or clients.
To create a business’s target list, business coaches typically work with leadership teams, helping them to brainstorm what they believe about the following key elements of their target market:
- Geographical characteristics. Where are you ideal customers located?
- What are the demographic characteristics of your ideal customers?
- How do your ideal customers think and what do they value? What are their psychographic characteristics?
Creating the List takes time and dedication from leadership teams, and ultimately involves looking at your current prospect lists, generating referrals from existing clients, reading trade publications, purchasing lists, asking around and coaching sales teams to keep looking for new opportunities. Once the leadership team has compiled the information into a cohesive database, it should then be handed over to your sales and marketing manager, giving them a complete list of all of your prospects, right at their fingertips. Sticking to the List for your business simplifies the process of generating new business. When you have a targeted approach to your sales and marketing efforts, everyone wins.