SCORE

When running your business, you may wonder what is the best way to reach the people who will purchase your products or services. The best way to find your clients is to get to know them. Focus on the customers you already have and do the research to learn how to gain more like them. Learn where you should go to meet them and find out what they want and need. Carol Schiro Greenwald, Ph.D. of Marketing Partners helps us understand how to get to know the customer we truly want and how to reach them.

Follow Pareto’s Rule of 80/20

The Pareto Principle states that 80% of outcomes are the results of 20% of causes. When applied to your business, this means that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your customers, and likewise 20% of your customers will provide 80% of your problems. Focus on that 20%. What do they have in common? What do they buy? What are their habits? Learn as much as possible about the 20% of your customers who bring in most of your sales and try to find new patrons who are like them.  You should also research what products or services they buy from you and what additional items they may be interested in purchasing. This is called the depth of customer (what your customers are purchasing now) and the potential of customer (what they may purchase in the future). “The best way to get new work is to replicate your best customers,” says Carol. “Why? Because you know a lot about them already.”

Go Where Your Market Is

Are there certain organizations that your target clients are a part of? Do they visit certain Facebook groups? Find out where your potential clients are and go visit. Become a part of their community and strike up a conversation. Building relationships with people who may eventually become your customers is your goal in doing this. “Once you have done that, you’re over the hurdle,” says Carol.

Be the Type of Person People Want to Buy From

“People buy from people,” Carol points out. No matter what product you are selling, people do business with people they know, like, and trust. Presenting yourself as the type of person your customers want to do business with will only benefit you. What are your core values and how do your customers benefit from them? What other values do your customers share that you can make as part of your business model? Do you offer hands-on customer service that will personally guide your client? Are your services reasonably priced to cater to the bargain hunter? Think about what principles are important to you and your business that will resonate with your ideal customer.

Don’t Be Interesting. Be Interested

Make sure to not only talk about yourself when engaging potential clients. It’s very tempting to pitch your business to everyone you come across, but what you really want to do is listen to your prospective customers and find out what they want and need. “It’s not about you, it’s about them. Always think that,” says Carol. For instance, when you give your elevator pitch, make a statement that elicits a question from a possible client. If you offer fitness training, instead of talking about the classes your fitness center offers, talk about how you help people live healthier lives and mitigate various health conditions. This may spark a conversation starting with a question about what health conditions have you helped control and how you did it. Listen and be empathetic to their questions and their responses. You want to build a relationship with them by making them feel heard, seen, and understood.

Research, Research, Research

Don’t assume you know what your customers want, always ask. Streamline your research so you may find out exactly what your customers’ needs and pain points are without going too far off-topic. You don’t want to get stuck in analysis paralysis by researching too many tangents. The key is to “look, figure out, strategize, but don’t guess,” Carol advises. Learn what your customers think and avoid assuming you already know what that is.

If you want to learn more about how to reach your ideal customer, check out SCORE Westchester’s webinar “Targeting: Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond” given by Carol Schiro Greenwald, Ph.D.

About the Author(s)

As part of the marketing and writing team, I help SCORE Westchester raise its profile with articles and written communication that help SCORE clients learn what our organization does to help them start and manage their small businesses.

Key Topics

  • Advertising
  • Digital Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Marketing Strategy
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