Many businesses struggle to find the right customers. The right customer is a person or business that needs your product and is happy to pay a fair price for it. It’s the dream of every business owner to find as many right customers as possible, but many times, we attract the wrong ones and then expend time and energy trying to convince them that our product is right for them. To attract and retain the right customer, we must know who the wrong customer is and how to avoid them. Here are some customers who may not be right for us or our businesses:
- People who need our product but cannot afford them. There are millions who live on less than one dollar daily and probably have aspirations to drive a nice Ford. They cannot afford it and they are not the target market.
- People who can afford our product but don’t need them. There are a lot of people who can afford a nice burger but will never buy one. Perhaps because they don’t like it. Whatever the reason may be, they are not the target market either.
- People who need our product and can afford them but are not able to make a buying decision because of legal restrictions. Twitter is banned in Nigeria (at the time of this publication) so while Nigerians need Twitter’s services, they cannot make traffic plans with Nigerians in context because Nigerians are not legally able to access their product.
- People who need our product, can afford them, but strongly believe they do not need the product. For instance, everyone needs investments but some people believe it’s not worth it. They would rather live for today than entertain any discussion on investing for tomorrow. Spending time with these people is a waste of time; they are not your target market, so move on.
- People with a reputation for scams or unfair practices. There are certain customers who can never be pleased; they always look for ways to frustrate honest business people. Once you find them, politely disassociate yourself from them. They don’t just frustrate the business owner, they frustrate other customers too.
Finding the right customer is one of the secrets to business success. In business, it’s always a beautiful experience when customers keep ordering products you created for them because they love it and know its worth. How can we attract people like these?
Conduct extensive research to know the kind of people who need your product. Don’t limit your research to a google search. Go to the streets (mass market) or boardrooms (corporate clients) to find out what your customers want, and take notes. It’s easy to tell who is not your customer if you take time to listen to people. Your research is not a sales effort, it’s a discovery process – you want to know your customers, you want to ask honest questions in an environment that allows people to tell the truth. To ensure your research has a meaningful focus, it’s important to outline what you do, and start with people who buy similar products. They are the first people to talk to. In business, ample research will save you a lot of money and help you become successful.
Brace up for surprises
You will be amazed at the discoveries you will make in your research. You need to keep an open mind and remain positive. For example, you may find out that people don’t want to buy your lemons but they desperately need lemonades. The goal is to give customers what they want, not what you think they need. Negative feedback about your product may be discouraging but it’s important you see it as an opportunity to create the kind of product customers want so that you can live the dream of every entrepreneur – enjoying more demand than you can meet.
Use the feedback
It’s simply smart to use all the free information customers have generously given you to create the next best product or make improvements in your processes. Sometimes, we have a good product but bad distribution or marketing, but once you get feedback that your product is awesome, you feel empowered to solve other problems limiting your product.