Do you know who your customer is?
I found myself in a conversation with a person who just completed her first year of self employed business. I asked her how it was going and if she had a good year.
“It was a great year! We were busy almost every day and we took care of a lot of people. Yes, it was a good year.”
So I asked her, “Who is your customer?” I received a somewhat confused look as she thought it was a set up question… which it was.
From my years in Radio, Retail, advertising and marketing work, and as a Contractor, I have learned something. Know your customer!
Knowing your customer is not just having their name, address, phone and email. It is developing a demographic profile of everyone you do business with. The amount of information can be taken to the extreme, but for the window washing business of the woman I was talking to I suggested to her to know the following: What part of town is their house, when was the home built, what kind of car(s) did the person drive, who called you, who hired you, who was home when you were there, do they have children, how many, dual incomes, guess their age, decorating style, landscaping quality and details, condition of house, pets… she stopped me there and said “why would I ever need all this?”
I explained. “Out of all the customers you had this year, you enjoyed working for some of them more than others. Out of all the customers you had, some of those jobs were more profitable. Some of your customers were hard to work with, some made you mad, some you wish you had more of, some less. Lets find the ones that you wish you had more of, they have something in common.”
If you can identify in detail who is doing business with you, it makes sense that if there are efforts put into marketing to attract more business, you would want to contact more people that are just like your best or favorite customers.
I told her “If your best customers all are Women, 45-65 years old driving white Toyota SUV’s with two dogs and a two story house built in 1988, you want to find more of these people! Find the marketing tool that will get you more of this person. If the radio station you want to advertise on reaches 18-35 year old men who rent, probably not a good investment. But if the a newspaper reaches that 45-65 year old woman, you might have a winner for your advertising dollars.
Know your best, favorite, most profitable, most enjoyable customers. Those are the ones you want to get more of. Know who will hear, read, or see your marketing. Make sure those two things match you are wasting everybody’s time and money.