Identifying who you want to deal with

It is important to develop your Unique Selling Point – your USP, as it does make the critical difference so vital to business success. If you still have a mental hurdle about selling – and every business is selling something – then change the word to service, but do ensure you develop this important hook.

Your USP is the very nucleus that you build your business success and your professional reputation around, so it has to be able to be both articulated precisely and communicated concisely. Then whenever customers are seeking the type of products or services you offer, your USP brings their attention to your business. Also important to remember is that your USP will not appeal to everyone – that you want it to appeal to those customers of the niche market you are targeting.

And this leads to the next key factor: Who are the ideal buyers of your product or service?

Mistakenly modern day customer service ‘rules’ are based on the minority of difficult customers. Because the small minority of guests will vacate hotel rooms without paying, the majority must have their credit card details recorded upon arrival. There was a time that you were simply welcomed upon arrival, given a key and then paid upon departure. There are still many small hotels that apply this, because they have chosen their customers. Imagine if you could choose your customers? Well you can and the key is that you must clearly develop the profile of who they are. It is a very useful exercise to identify whom you want to deal with. Ask yourself…

Would you prefer to deal with people that you really like?
Would you like the people that you have an affinity with to enjoy the benefit of your service?
Do you enjoy dealing with difficult customers – people you can never please?
Do you know the profile of the customer that you prefer to deal with best of all?

Dealing with a customer involves selling your product or service to them, providing consulting or advice, negotiating or resolving, and mostly just conversing. It may be dealing with them near or far, but the fact is that dealing with ‘wrong’ customers takes up much more of your time and valuable psychic energy than dealing with ‘right’ customers.

I asked a dentist whether he preferred dealing with people with good teeth or bad teeth. He told me that teeth were not the issue, what made the difference was the person in the chair. Dealing with preferred clients with bad teeth was infinitely better than dealing with difficult clients with good teeth. I prefer to deal with people that value me and my service; he told me. I agree 100%.

How do you identify whom you want to deal with? First you take the time to consider your existing customers or clients past and present. Decide which ones you enjoyed dealing with the most and that provided good income (you will see that these factors have a clear relationship – customers and clients you like are good payers, because they in turn like to buy from you). Decide what it is about them that made you like dealing with them. Next, do a small marketing campaign to test customers and clients that fit that profile. When you attract these new customers be aware how you feel when you deal with them. Does it confirm your original profile?

The key factor is that whenever we feel uncomfortable or dislike the person we are interacting with, it doesn’t make for good business. It drains you of energy, absorbs your thinking and even depresses you. To be successful in business you have to feel good about what you do AND whom you deal with. Now clearly it can be argued that any paying customer is a good customer, but my point is that when you take the time to define the profile of your perfect buyer – the ones you prefer to deal with – the question then changes from whom they are to how can you reach them.

When you buy a new car for example, you have a clear idea of what you want. Your focus of attention therefore is how to get it. It follows that when you have a clear identification of whom you want to deal with, your focus of attention moves towards marketing to that audience. Most businesses get bogged down in the production of their product or service. But the really successful ones focus their attention on how they are going to market their product or service. This does not mean not having a good product or service, for that must be an accepted principle. What it means is that when you take the time to identify the profile of whom your customer is, then you move from being production focused to marketing focused. You move from doing business to building a business. The questions can then become more specific:

How can I reach the people I have identified to be my customers? Is it online? Is it offline via Direct Mail or Advertising? Is it attending Networking Events, Trade Fairs? Is it through joint ventures with others that have already assembled the same profile? Is it through associations, media, radio, magazines, searching websites?

Then you can move to questions of measurement: How many of this identified audience would I want to deal with? You can probably deal with more, because they are the ones you have chosen to deal with. Alternatively you may require less, because they perfectly fit your profile, whereas they did not do so before.

And this leads me to a final important point: When you have really identified the person that you want to deal with, something interesting happens. You actually attract them to you: In the same way that once you have finally decided on the car you want to buy, you immediately start to notice the make, model and colour of cars that match your profiling, you will become more aware of noticing what you want, because you know what it is you are looking for. You actually gravitate towards what you want and attract what you want towards you.

The phrase: I will believe it when I see it, is not conducive to build business. The bizarre truth is that when you know what you are looking for, and believe that it is out there to be found, then, and only then, do you actually discover it and finally recognize it for being exactly what you had identified in wanting to attract: Whether it is the right customer, client, employee or relationship.

The growth of Online Dating would not be successful if it did not involve extracting the information relating to identifying what people wanted. Recruitment agencies profile both clients and prospects to develop the right match. Executive Head-Hunters is a business built on identifying the right people to deal with.

Make certain you match your USP with the ideal buyers of your product or service.

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