Search and Rescue: finding your ideal customers


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It’s an age-old problem. Companies invest huge amounts of time and money selling products and services to potential customers, but not every potential customer becomes an actual customer. Effort and money are wasted. Of course, it makes much more sense to invest in identifying your ideal customers and promoting your goods in the way that most appeals to them than the more common scatter-gun approach taken by some companies. The question is, how do you do this? Happily, considering the following topics, will clarify who you should target and how best to approach them.

1. Understand your product

Firstly, you need a clear understanding of the products or services you’re promoting. Without this as a foundation, you’ll always flounder.


Clearly, you should start with the basics. You need a detailed understanding of all of the features of your products or services. Without this knowledge, you’ll not be able to understand whether your product is appropriate for the potential customer you’re speaking to.

You’ll also not be able to answer any of the questions that you’ll inevitably be asked by a serious buyer. However, as well as understanding them, you need to be able to learn to describe them effectively. How many times have you been trapped by a sales person speaking incomprehensible babble? This behaviour is more likely to drive interested prospects into the arms of a competitor.


Having mastered the features, you should then focus on the benefits. Contrary to popular opinion, people don’t buy features, they buy benefits. You need to understand the things that most matter to your prospective customer.


If the people designing your products or services have done a good job, you’ll have an important competitive advantage by having some unique selling points. It’s really these USPs that will guide your thinking as to who your ideal customer will be. By carefully considering which of your prospective customers these USPs would most appeal to, you could save many hours of work and your marketing budget.

2. Understand the market place


To help narrow down who your best targets are, it’s useful to understand your competitors. You need to know who they are targeting and how they are doing it. Ideally, you’ll be able to identify the typical customers for your competitors, avoid them and focus your energies on speaking to the ones for whom your products and services are most suited.

Market research

Investing in market research is a good way to confirm your own views. It will more objectively ask questions of all your potential customers. Although this is not cheap, it can save money and effort in the later stages of the sales process.


Armed with this information and research you can draw some conclusions and profile your ideal customers. Create a plan to target them effectively.

Your ideal customers are out there. You just need to find them. Don’t waste your energies doing anything else. In the words of American management consultant, Peter Drucker, “the purpose of a business is to create a customer”.


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