You Win The Sale Before You Close
A great deal about marketing has changed over the last few years, but most importantly what’s not changed is the need to narrowly define your ideal customer and that’s what you have to understand in order to thrive in the world today.
Discovering your ideal customer is critical if you want to attract more customers and close more deals. You need to understand their pain points, wants, and needs and be able to address those in your communication and sales efforts.
Below is my step-by-step approach for helping organizations attract more customers with an eye on closing more deals.
Segment Your Customer Base
Begin by segmenting your customer base between normal accounts and your most successful (profitable)accounts. Think about whom your 10 best customers are and what you need to do to attract 10 more just like them! Your best customers or most successful accounts have the following two key characteristics: they are profitable and also refer business to you.
The key here is to understand if there is a certain product, service, program, package, offer or even a problem that is the most profitable.
Dive Deeper for Timing or Buying Triggers
The secret to attracting customers, as opposed to hunting customers, is to get a better understanding of what triggers them to go looking for a service or product like yours?
Closing more deals most naturally happen when there is a problem or change in a buyers life or business. Without knowing exactly what these problems or changes are, you can’t make ANY sale effort work effectively.
In every business something happens that makes buying your product or service a priority on a clients to-do list. Here are some great examples of buying/timing triggers:
Business2Consumer (B2C) Timing Triggers
- car breaks down,
- going on a date
- birth of a child,
- purchase of new house
- moving to another state
- the doctor says to lose weight,
- attending a big event that requires a new outfit,
- someone or something interrupted you and made this product or service a necessity right now (e.g. impulse buy at the cash register or price sensitive deadline).
Business2Business (B2B) Timing Triggers
- hiring first employee
- moving to new office space
- expansion or acquisition
- open new business
- funding (loan, grant, investor, etc.)
- product or service launch
- fire and loss of files
- updated website
- revenue goal
- damaged or malfunctioning equipment/technology
- buying advertising services
I believe any business that seeks real growth will devote time or resources to developing a list of buying/timing triggers that, if heard by employees, vendors, suppliers, referral sources or strategic partners, signal it’s time to talk.
Seek Feedback From Your Customers
Now take your 10 best customers, email or phone them asking for feedback. Customer feedback has always been like a secret cash hideout.
What kind of feedback should you get from customers? There’s no limit — it can be any kind of information that would help you get better and plug sales and marketing gaps. Get started with these 5 questions:
- Why did you decide to hire us or buy from us in the first place?
- What’s one thing we do better than others you do business with?
- What’s one thing we could do to create a better experience for you?
- If you were to refer us what would you say?
- Can you tell me about three other companies that you love?
Remember, asking for feedback is indispensable, but it’s just one step. To truly attract more customers and close more deals, make sure you listen to customers’ responses and find ways to implement their suggestions.
Create an Ideal Customer Profile
With all of this information, develop a detailed profile of your ideal customer. Then, show up in the right places (social media channels, networking events, publications, search engines, mobile) at the right time (when ideal customers are looking to solve a problem or research a solution). You may be featured in fewer publications and meet with fewer people, but you’ll close more deals.