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September 22 2019.
Who is my ideal customer?

Many times during the discussions with my clients, Senior managers ask, who is an ideal customer ? Frankly, experience suggests, there is no single ideal customer in a real life situation. An ideal customer is the one with whom you identify to help you benchmark your potential customers, with the objective of focusing your limited resources. So how does one go about developing this "ideal customer" profile ?

Lets see how we can develop the "Ideal customer" profile;

Step 1. Identify the best & worst.

Identify the ones who are already your customers. Make two lists the Best & the Worst. The best will have those that have given you the maximum number of success & least problems. Then list those which are the worst. Look at your experience during the entire order execution process (Enquiry-Proposal-Negotiation-Ordering-Payment–after sales).To define the best & worst, you decide the level of best & most forgettable experience.

Step 2. Define the characteristics of these two categories.

Best could be,
* Appreciates quality (& ready to pay for it).
* Recognize"Value addition".
* Honors commitments.
* Size of order.
* Transparent decision making process.

And worst could be:
* Demands unacceptable payment terms.
* Treats you as a commodity supplier.
* Mysterious buying process.
* Outside my industry expertise.
* Always wants the delivery 'yesterday'.

Step 3. Now combine the two lists.

List the positive characteristics, then add the opposite of your negative characteristics. For example, “Demands unacceptable payment terms” becomes “Negotiates payment terms to the mutual satisfaction". You’ve now created a profile of your Ideal Customer. You’re ready to identify the inquiries worth chasing, in the quest of an ideal customer. Apply the ideal profile characteristics each sales inquiry you have.

These simple 3 steps will help you to filter the unwanted potential customer from the large list of sales inquiries. It will also help you to chart out your area to work. Since resources are always limited , the "ideal customer" profile will help you work on these inquiries for a long term relationships.

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