If you want to shorten the time to a buying decision…
- Work with more of the clients you enjoy
- Focus your marketing efforts on the right people
- And save yourself a lot of time and headaches
Identify your ideal client profile and the criteria that allows you to filter who will be ideal.
First, I’ll explain the two types of criteria and then I’ll share an easy and efficient way for you to identify them.
There are two types of criteria important to identify – qualitative and quantitative
Quantitative criteria– data and facts that let you know the prospect is a good fit for what you offer. This could be assets to manage, age group, life stage, credit worthiness, career, specific event, role within a company, profitability of the relationship, etc.
It is easy to clearly know whether a buyer fits this type of criteria or not.
Then there is the tougher criteria: Qualitative… or what the buzz is these days – the psychometrics. These are the subjective or more “intangible” factors that let you know if this person is a good fit. Is this someone you want to work with? Will your styles work well together?
Or are they someone that will debate everything, ask for more and more proof or always be searching for what else is available? Does the philosophy of how you approach your work fit their expectations?
Is it someone who wants to complain, but not take action?
It’s definitely harder to identify these criteria, but worth the time.
How to Filter Clients by Criteria
You can use the criteria to either filter prospects and avoid the pain in the arse or determine, yes, this is someone you’ll take on with an extra percentage in fees or pricing for the extra effort it will take.
Keep this qualitative criteria top of mind and observe what you see and hear throughout all interactions with that buyer. Are they on time? Do they have reasonable or unreasonable time and attention expectations? Do they follow through on their commitments?
These are behavior indicators of what they will be like as a client or customer and will ensure they match the important intangibles.
Creating Your Client Criteria
Now, how do you create your ideal client criteria?
Here’s an easy way for you to identify your quantitative and qualitative criteria.
Identify 6 clients or customers -current or former – whom you really enjoy working with. Think of those who make your heart happy when you know you will talk with them, they’re profitable, and you’d like to duplicate them.
These should be the clients you wish you had a whole lot more of.
Now focus on one of these clients a day and map out the why.
- What is it that you enjoy about the work with and for them?
- What is it about their situation that works for you? Is it a specific expertise you use? The ease of the work, or where they live?
- What is the profitability for the relationship?
- What is it about them – their personalities, working style, or the relationship – that makes them an ideal client for you.
When you have noted these qualities for all 6 clients, put them side by side and look for the commonalities or themes.
Categorize these qualities by quantitative and qualitative.
And there you have your ideal client criteria.
The Benefits of Client Criteria
This criteria will help in all aspects of your business: From describing who you best serve, the messaging for your marketing materials, in your introductions, and in your interactions with buyers.
The right prospects will shorten the time to buying decisions and set the stage for you to work with more of the people you bring the most value to and enjoy working with, increasing your bottom line.
Pretty nice benefits for stepping back to identify the criteria, aren’t they?
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