Throughout my many years consulting and training company owners, executives and employees around the world a frequent complaint has been,
“We don’t get good customers or good sales prospects. Many of our sales prospects are not qualified. And many of our customers are tough to deal with and it’s hard to make any money from them. Some just love to complain or nit-pick whatever we do.”
There is rule:
If you don’t completely define what you want you’ll get what you got.
If you are not getting the customers you want then most likely you never stated the kind of customer you DO want.
Below I have defined the ideal customer for my consulting and training company. Writing this reduced wasted time with unsuitable sales prospects, helped get better results with our clients and made our whole working life far more pleasant and enjoyable. It was easier to make money too! I strongly suggest you write down, in detail, the kind of customer you want. Your life will become much brighter.
“The ideal customer is:
- A company with annual sales of at least $5 million.
- It has more than 20 employees.
- The company produces a real product or service that has exchange value. Companies with a product focus are best such as manufacturing, engineering, and sales. Finance, banking, investment, capital-gain-based or speculative businesses such as stock market traders, mergers and acquisitions businesses, etc. are not usually ideal as they are mostly money focussed.
- The company is privately owned – not listed on the stock market.
- It has a clear leader or small group of easily approachable leaders (no more than 3).
- Is not a “democratic” organisation but is led via inspiration and thorough planning.
- The company is doing well, not struggling.
- It is affluent and has spare cash to spend on our services.
- It is expanding rapidly but has outgrown its systems and organisation.
- The owners or executives are literate enough and educated enough to appreciate the need for a systematised approach to management.
- The owners have a basic idea of organisation, written procedures and planning. They do have a reasonably correct idea of the complete ideal scene for a successful business.
- The owners know that the roles of management and employee are different and can see the need for specialised roles. They do not consider that the ideal is for everybody to be able, willing to and actually doing everything. Multi-skilling is not taken to an extreme.
- The owners do not have a completely fixed-idea about the subject of management, such as a fixed idea that anyone employed should be instantly capable of doing their job and producing with little or no training, or a fixed consideration that spoken orders are all that is needed for perfect compliance.
- The company owners are ethical.
- The company delivers a valuable, ethical product.
- Employees in the company are cared for and considered to be a very valuable part of the company.
- The owners are motivated by purposes other than solely making money.
- The owners are willing to learn and do seek education such as seminars and books and courses.
- The owners are not seminar junkies or book junkies but are methodical and alert to the value of the data they receive. They can differentiate the relative merit of various data.
- The owners are not ”open minded” to new data. They will truly listen, study and duplicate new data and attempt to apply it.
- The owners appreciate help and recognise and reward it when given.
- The owners are not fixed on accepting data only from known authorities. They do not pay too much attention to University degrees or association memberships but place more value on the data presented and on a past record of successful achievement.
- The owners do not expect that any training or consulting delivered is for the employees only but become personally involved in any training delivered.
- The owners do not view the trainer or consultant as an “employee” or servant who will handle their problems for them while they remain uninvolved. Good clients take an active part in the process and drive it. They see the consultant as a peer or advisor, not as a worker or servant.”