How well do you know your target client?

By Michael Major September 01, 2014 Industry news

I don’t know about you, but most of my success in winning new business has been with clients who I got on with the best. The starting point is having something in common and sharing similar values but, most importantly, they know I can help them with the problem, issue or challenge they need to address.

In the previous article I discussed what trends you needed to be aware of if your products or services are to be relevant for your market.

Assuming you’ve looked at market trends and you’re confident your products or services are relevant, the next step is to drill down and get specific about which businesses you are targeting and understand their emotional drivers.

Most businesses will make decisions about who they target based on the prospective business’s turnover, number of staff, years in business etc. Clearly this information is very important, but we know this is not enough.

You also need to have a deep and narrow technical understanding on each and every business you’re targeting. But even this is not enough in itself.

Remember: people do business with people they like and trust. The more insights you have into the key people in the business you are targeting, the better.

Here’s a set of questions you need to answer to help you win new business. The answers will give you a more emphatic understanding of the decision makers and the influencers you are talking to.

 

BUSINESS INSIGHTS: WHAT DOES THE BUSINESS DO?

  • What’s important to the business?
  • What are its goals?
  • What are its aspirations?
  • What are its day-to-day problems?
  • What are its fears?
  • What does the business need to know to hire or buy from you?

What actionable insights have come to light from your answers to these questions?

 

PERSONAL INSIGHTS: WHO ARE THE DECISION MAKERS & INFLUENCERS?

  • What can we do to stand out more from the competition?
  • What do they read?
  • What are their interests?
  • Who do they trust and know?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • How do they like to be sold to?

What actionable insights have come to light from your answers to these questions?

 

PERSONAL INSIGHTS: THE DECISION MAKERS

  • Basic information (Male or female? Married? Kids?)
  • Job title?
  • How did they get their job?
  • What education do they have?
  • Internal behaviours: Long term (retirement, aspirations, make an impact)? Short term (problems, challenges and issues)?
  • External pressures (shareholders, economic, competition, environmental.

Know & feel: What are the big goals and big problems they’re really focusing on? What’s top of mind? Growing sales? Controlling costs? Identify the ones you can solve.

Intangible factors: They need to know you’ve worked with people just like them, or external experience/expertise from outside their field, you’re a nice person to work with,

What fears/worries do they have in working with you or someone like you? What are the risks for them? Will they lose face or lose money and will it take a lot of time and come to nothing?

What actionable insights have come to light from your answers to these questions?

 

PERSONAL INSIGHTS: THE INFLUENCERS

  • Basic information (Male or female? Married? Kids?)
  • Job title?
  • How did they get their job?
  • What education do they have?
  • Internal behaviours: Long term (retirement, promotion, make an impact)? Short term (problems, challenges & issues)?
  • External pressures: KPIs, business targets.

What actionable insights have come to light from your answers to these questions?

Armed with these insights you’ll have a better understanding of the emotional drivers of your prospective client. In particular understanding the personal insights of the Decision Makers and the Influencers will help you plan what needs to be addressed to allay any potential concerns.

Remember: authenticity is critical. You can’t pretend to hold values you don’t honestly hold! Nor is it possible to pretend to share common experiences or likes and dislikes if this is not true. Prospective clients smell inauthenticity a mile off.

People do business primarily with people they like and trust. And finding answers to these questions will give you actionable insights and help you win more business.

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Michael Major can help you unlock and leverage your inherent competitive advantage. Follow his articles over the next 12 issues, answer his questions and email Michael on connect@7degree.net for feedback.

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