Small business marketing continues to evolve to match the needs of your customer, but one thing never changes: the need for leads. To draw prospects in, savvy business owner must take a customer-focused approach through personalized and customized communications and content.
One of the most important elements of a lead generation strategy is the development of an ideal target customer profile. Understanding who makes an ideal customer allows you to build your entire business, message, product, services, sales and support around attracting and serving this narrowly defined customer group.
The secret to attracting the leads you need to grow your business isn’t more marketing—it’s targeting. Don’t squander half your marketing budget and hundreds of hours generating leads that go nowhere. Find your ideal customer from the outset, and everyone wins.
Think about whom your 10 best customers are and what you need to do to attract 10 more just like them!
From your client base of 10 above start looking at the characteristics of these successful accounts or best clients. You’re searching for any common characteristics that are shared by this client base.
You also want to Go Oprah on them … interview them! Some of the things you’re after is the PLACES your customers give their attention (eyes and ears) too, the LANGUAGE your customers use when describing why they buy from you, the WORDS and PHRASES your customers use when explaining what they value about what you do, and the DESCRIPTION of the perfect buying experience. You can’t get that by asking them to rate things from 1 to 10.
Here’s what you are deep diving for:
- Demographics – Business2Business (B2B) demographics could be the type of industry, the job title of that individual, the years that a company has been in business, and/or revenue levels. Business2Consumer (B2C) the demographics could be age, sex, illness, income, and a particular area of town.
- Psychographics – Understand where do they hang out, what do they read, what do they listen to, what do they search online, what makes them tick, what triggers them to go looking for a solution
- Challenges or Problem – Marketing is about solving customer problems, whether those are problems customers are currently facing, or problems they will face as their marketplace evolves and their needs change.
- Real Quotes – Include a few real quotes taken during your interviews that represent your persona well. This will make it easier for employees to relate to and understand your persona.
Clearly define some unique or desirable element in your business, product or service
Until you can clearly define and communicate some unique or desirable element, you wont attract leads. At least not the ones who value what you do and are profitable.
When service businesses solution sell and respond to RFPs they basically make every business look the same and make price the primary issue.
Working with your marketing/sales team or a strategic marketing consultant can help identify what service or product element really nails the buyers pain-point or desire. Working together marketing and sales efforts can communicate a unique way of doing business that will attract more quality leads.
- First Responder Cleaning. There are very few one-of-a-kind commercial cleaning services. They offer a 30 minute response time
- Punctual Plumber. We’re on time —offers to pay commercial customers $5 for every minute they’re late up to $300
- Attorney’s are notorious for not returning phone calls in a timely manner — one attorney offers a Return Call Guarantee. If clients’ calls aren’t returned in one business day, they’ll take $500 off the client’s next invoice
- Contractors frequently overbid projects and rely on the power behind their license as a justification — Guarantee your work to pass Building and Safety inspection or you will fix it for free
- Customer support don’t really care if you find a solution or not — offer a No Hang Up Guarantee “We don’t hang up until you’re happy”
- Marketing agencies and firms known for unclear deliverables, lack of results and using jargon — one marketing firms offers a very detail “proof of concept” with a set project price, clear deliverables, a results review and education process.
Some other things to take into consideration:
- create your own special way to treat customers,
- create an experience that’s unique, or
- create a totally new and convenient way for people to get a result.
For the greatest success, your lead generation strategy must be holistic. Your ideal customer profile, messaging, differentiation, content and communication efforts can’t be just one aspect of your work; they need to be infused into every facet of your business.