How to Build A Steady Stream of Customers--Step One

The success of a small business depends upon a steady stream of good customers. To build that stream of customer a business owner must examine five critical points in their business operations. This is the first in a series of five articles that examines those critical points.

Target Your Customers---The Key to Your Success

The heart of every small business is getting a steady stream of good customers. Other things can be less than perfect with your business, but without a steady stream of good customers, your business will eventually die.

If you worry about getting more customers to your business, you are not alone. The stress and worry of getting enough good customers is the number one reason small business owners lose sleep. (As a small business owner, you already feel this!)

The surest way to move your business to the next level is to focus on "who" is your customer. Who is going to open their wallets to buy your product or services?

I know you have heard this before and you may even be tempted to stop reading this article. Do not stop!

If you make a mistake about your target population or if you don't fully understand the critical details about your target population, you are building your business on sand. No amount of product quality; no amount of customer service; no amount of sale skills can overcome the wrong target population for your business. They will not buy because they are the wrong customers.

If you need more evidence, look at large corporations. They spend millions of dollars doing market research, creating focus groups, testing their markets and profiling potential customers. They do this before they begin doing product development or before they roll out a new product or service. They are successful because they understand and know their target customers.

Lack of Money and Time!

If you have at least read this far, I want to tell you there are solutions to the critical area of your target customers. The solutions don't involve the type of money or time the large corporations spend on market research. Time and money are precious resources to the small business owner.

The following is an easy and fun exercise you can use to get a better understanding of the right customers for your business. Complete the exercise. Then each week for a month review and add more details to your results. Then review your results the first day of each of the month to confirm they are still valid.

This will not require a lot of time. It will not require any money. It will require you to put on your thinking cap and be creative. The reward will be a stronger foundation for your future business.

Profiling Exercise

You have heard about racial profiling, criminal profiling, and terrorist profiling. I want you to have some fun and create a customer profile for your business. If you were an FBI agent, how would you profile the typical customer that fits your business? Here are some of the characteristics you must include in your profile:

Demographics

  • Age, sex, location, homeowner, etc

Buying habits

  • How many are there

  • Where do they shop

  • How do they shop

  • When do they shop

Buying motivations

  • What problem do they want solved

  • What benefits do they want from you

  • What features are they looking from your product

  • What do they like and dislike about your industry

  • What special circumstances must be present for them to buy from you

  • What guarantee do they need from you

Follow up services

  • What do they want from you after the sale

  • What do they expect from the relationship to remain loyalty to your business

To help obtain the answers to these questions, think about your last ten customers, or ten of your best customers. If you want to add real depth to your answers, call up five of your best customers and ask them the question directly. Tell them you are trying to improve your business and you need their help. Give them some small token of your appreciation for helping you with this task. Let them help shape your business! They will be honored that you asked for their help.

If you have other employees or sales persons in your business, ask them to complete the same exercise and put together a profile of your typical customer.

There are level and levels of details to these profiling questions. That is why you periodically need to come back to the same questions and add more details.

Conclusion

To move your business forward, you must have a through knowledge of your buying customers. Completing the profiling exercise of your best typical customer is a fun and easy way to establish a solid foundation for the next stage of your business. For a longer, free report on targeting your customers, send an email to [email protected] with the subject "Free Report on Targeting Your Customers."

About The Author

Al Hanzal helps small business owners make more profits by showing them how to create a steady stream of customers.

[email protected]

In The News:

Medline Industries Explores Sale  The Wall Street Journal

Finding a Used Mannequin

Many stores on a budget choose to buy a used... Read More

The Anatomy of a Sales Letter

When Dr. Frankenstein exclaimed "it's alive... it's alive," he thought... Read More

Web Promotion: 10 Amazing Web Promotion Ways To Jump Start Your Sales

Hello, do you have a website and sell something on... Read More

A Simple Truth - Authentic Sales Tip

A Simple TruthDo you have the right stuff?Are you consistent... Read More

How to create your own Unique Selling Proposition

Why would a prospect buy from you rather than from... Read More

Do You Have Enough Prospects To Make Your Numbers?

Several years ago I worked with a CPA who wanted... Read More

Selling Against Goliath

Selling Against Goliath?How to Take on the Big Guys and... Read More

2 ½ Steps to Sales Success

You have just walked out of the office of a... Read More

First, Fast, And Foremost . . .

First - being before all others. Fast - moving or... Read More

7 Ways to Stop Selling & Start Building Relationships

Sometimes we can all use a friendly reminder to keep... Read More

More Cleaning and Janitorial Customers Using Yahoo

We use this method to find new cleaningcustomers, and it... Read More

Sales Training from the Ghostbusters

Picture this scene from the 1984 smash comedy movie from... Read More

Diverting the Flow of Customers to Your Business

I was a lucky kid when I grew up. Lucky,... Read More

Your Proposal Was Rejected... But Why?

When a request for proposal (RFP) comes in, you get... Read More

Buying Mortgage Leads - Three Things to Consider

The time comes for all mortgage brokers and loan officers... Read More

How to Leverage Your Influence

Why do we get into sales? Typically it is two... Read More

Overcoming the Fear of Selling

For many of you the Fear of Selling is a... Read More

The Power of Thank-You

When was the last time you thanked your customers?This often... Read More

Now Is A Great Time To Sell!

Its official. The news just came out. Yes, we are... Read More

Open Your Introduction With A Firecracker Moment

The number one requirement, whether you are a business owner... Read More

Talking To A Prospect As If To A Friend

While working with a new coaching client, I asked to... Read More

Doomed Before You Dial?

Several weeks ago, I conducted a "Mastering the Cold Call"... Read More

The Art Of Cold Calling

I know, don't groan. You have to do them if... Read More

Five Deadly Sales Letter Mistakes

To be effective your sales letter must be opened, read,... Read More

9 Packaging Problems That Lose Sales

You have a great product, but it's not flying off... Read More