Startling Business Revelation: Not Everyone is Your Potential Client

June 13, 2016 1:52 pm Published by

Startling-Business-Revelation-Not-Everyone-is-Your-Potential-ClientThe business world is full of surprises. Sometimes it seems that every time you turn around you’re greeted with yet one more bit of information you hadn’t yet considered.

Oddly enough, many business leaders are surprised to find out who their clients and prospects really are. Leaders and their teams often make assumptions about their client base or target audience that can significantly impact their profitability—and even their survival.

Not knowing who your audience is affects your planning, your pricing, your pricing, and your marketing. Some companies operate under the assumption that everyone is a potential client and that if they can just manage to capture a certain sliver of that market, they’ll be set. You may have run into that kind of thinking that suggests: “It’s a $5 Billion market. If we can just capture 2 percent of that market, we’ll be set!”

The harsh reality is that not everyone is your potential client.

Some “potential” clients simply won’t want to pay the price you ask. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. These clients shop price only and no amount of information will convince them to pay the going price.

Some “prospects” may need more (or less) than your product or service delivers. You can negotiate price all your want, but you’re unlikely to come to an agreement. And even if you do, it’s unlikely to be an ongoing relationship. If you can’t deliver what the client needs, he or she will eventually dump you—even if your price is much lower. If you offer more than what your client needs, he or she will eventually decide the price isn’t worth it if what you provide doesn’t provide enough value for them.

It’s really a matter of being a good fit for one another. So how can you determine that? One of my clients (a professional marketing services company) creates specific “personas” for potential clients. These personas are much more than simple demographic information (size of the company, annual revenues, etc.). A persona digs into questions such as: What are the specific problems, issues, or questions that the prospect faces? Then they ask: How can we solve those problems, address those issues, or answer those questions?

If it’s not a good fit, they don’t pursue that “prospect” because they really aren’t a prospect at all. It’s a waste of time and resources for both parties.

When you do your annual or quarterly planning, make sure you have a clear idea of your specific core strengths and abilities. Then as you map out your strategy for reaching clients, make sure you accurately identify your ideal clients—those companies or individuals who you can truly help, and who will be willing to pay a fair price for your goods or services. Make sure the opportunities you pursue are really opportunities, and not just wishful thinking. Not everyone is your potential client. Pursue the prospects that are a good fit for what you do best.

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This post was written by Chuck Kocher