If you don’t understand your target customer, it can cost you dearly. Sadly, many small business owners never bother to take the time to compile an ideal customer profile.
In the process, they either end up dealing with people they don’t really relate to, or they end up struggling to gain any real traction in the market. Sometimes this relates only to specific products and/or services, and sometimes it relates to their whole business.
Of course, if you feel that you want to sell to “everybody”, that doesn’t work well either – unless you sell ice cream from a van. But even then, your ideal customer is a parent with kids on a hot day.
More about selling to “everybody” in a moment.
Yes, regardless of what you sell (unless you sell high ticket items), different kinds of people will buy what you have to offer. However, some of them are simply more likely to buy than others, and without making life difficult for you.
The idea is to find out what these people have in common, and use this to create “a buyer persona” – as if your ideal customer is an actual person.
Yes, you can keep throwing stuff at the wall and see what sticks – which will eventually lead you to discover your target customer. However, aside from being time consuming it is also costly – partly in wasted marketing costs, and partly in lost revenue.
And here’s the kicker:
If you don’t understand you target customer, technology means very little.
You can set up an epic website, complete with an AI chatbot and a sales funnel, but if you do it for the wrong buyer persona…
The results will be mediocre at best.
Yes, the AI chatbot can try to compensate to some extent, but if the people visiting your website don’t fit your ideal customer profile, it can only do so much.
If you optimize your marketing and your website content for the wrong audience, you will literally have fewer potential customers to choose from – among those who do respond to your ads, or sees your content on Google or social media.
Think of it like this:
You put out an ad in the local paper or on Facebook groups. You didn’t do your homework, so the response is poor. And the people who do respond, find that what you offer is not quote what they had in mind.
On the other hand, if your marketing is aimed at the right person, not only will you have more responses to your ads, those who respond will be more likely to buy.
Now to get back to “everybody” being a potential customer…
In some cases, it happens. But still, you may find that different people buy for different reasons. Let’s say you sell cheap cars:
Young working class people might buy it because it is all they can afford.
Parents might buy it for their teens learning to drive because it’s not that much to lose if it gets damaged.
And elderly person might buy it because they don’t drive much, and it doesn’t make sense to them to spend a lot of money on something they seldom drive.
The bottom line is this:
Figure out who your ideal customer is, and then figure out what they want. Then sell them the outcome of doing business with you, or buying a specific product or service.
If you are willing to put in the time and effort to do this, you will put much more money in your pocket. Period.