April 19th is a very special day for me. Why? Because on April 19, 2014, this happened:
Once you’re engaged, a big part of wedding planning is determining your wedding venue: where you’re going to get married.
One of our favorite venues was a farm in western Illinois. We called the venue on the phone to ask them a few questions. They shared some information on the phone, but for other information (such as the price, catering information, and other specific details) they asked us to drive up for a meeting to discuss our remaining questions. We agreed, and drove on up for a meeting the following week.
When we arrived at the venue, we were very impressed. The scenery was stunning, and the venue was beautiful. It had tall ceilings, a massive fireplace inside, and overall had good vibes.
However, when we sat down to talk details, things changed. Eventually, we realized that we couldn’t bring our own caterer, and that the price was more than we were wanting to pay – two deal breakers for us.
Our time and energy (and theirs) was wasted, both parties left the meeting feeling disappointed, and the wedding venue didn’t close a potential $10,000+ sale because they were spending time with the wrong prospects.
This wedding venue failed to realize from the beginning (during our initial phone call), that my wife and I were not qualified prospects for their business. They should have asked some questions on the phone when we originally called, in order to have figured this out. Had they been aware of this fact – that we were not qualified prospects – they would not have invited us out to the venue for a tour and a meeting.
You Need to Understand WHO Your Ideal Customers Are In Order To Attract & Convert The Right Prospects
Bottom line: Understanding who your ideal customers are allows you to easily qualify prospects, attract the right customers, and make more sales. When you know and understand your ideal customers, you know what to offer them, how to speak to them, and how to best reach and serve them. (Click here to tweet that!)
There’s also a second advantage. When you understand who your ideal customers are, you automatically understand who you’re business/product/service is NOT for – thus, saving you (and the other person) from wasting time, money, and energy. A business does not serve every single possible market. As the marketing axiom goes, “If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything to anyone.”
For example, had the wedding venue (mentioned above) known who their ideal customer was, they would have realized from the beginning that my wife and I were not qualified prospects, because we wanted to bring our own caterer, and we were looking for a price lower than what they were asking for. With this information, they would not have invited us out to the venue, since we were not ideal customers for their business.
Understanding Your Ideal Customers Informs
Your Marketing Tactics and Messaging
Check out this short commercial by Mercedes-Benz. What do you notice? What type of customer is Mercedes-Benz going after?
Answer: Affluent adults who value luxury.
Does Mercedes Benz want 16 year old kids walking into their dealerships? No, because 16 year old kids can’t afford to buy a $50,000+ car. (Unless their rich parent is buying it for them.) So, Mercedes Benz doesn’t use language or marketing tactics that speak to 16 year olds – they use language and marketing tactics that speak to affluent adults who value luxury cars.
Knowing who your ideal customers are allows you to attract more of the right customers, easily qualify prospects (and not waste time with the wrong ones), and close more sales.
What Kind of Customer Information
To Gather and Collect
So what kind of information do you want to know about your customers? Here’s a good place to start:
- Income range
- Interests and Affinities
- What websites they read, and social networks they use
- Values: what do they care about?
- Problems: what do they need?
- Desires: what do they want?
- One burning question they are trying to answer
- One obstacle they are trying to overcome
With this kind of customer information, you can now make informed marketing decisions. You now know how to speak to your prospects and customers, what to offer them, how to write compelling website copy, what keywords to target in your search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) marketing, what locations to target in your Google AdWords and Facebook advertising, and much more.
How do you get this kind of information? Two main ways:
- Talk to your customers: Ask your customers questions, listen, and collect their responses. Collect the questions they ask, their feedback, and record the wording that they use.
- Quick Survey: Create a quick 60-second (or 2-3 question) survey and ask your customers questions (using TypeForm, HotJar, or SurveyMonkey). Include a reward for 2-3 randomly selected winners who participate, to incentivize more responses.
Action Step: Write down (in a place you can reference again and again) your ideal customer information. Use the information above as a starting point, but gather as much information about your customers as you feel is necessary, in order to make informed marketing decisions and write compelling copy. If you are stuck, start talking to your customers more, and consider sending out a short survey to kickstart your information gathering.
- Understanding who your ideal customers are allows you to easily qualify prospects, attract the right customers, and make more sales. When you know and understand your ideal customers, you know what to offer them, how to speak to them, and how to best reach and serve them. (Click here to tweet that!)
- If you want or need to gather more customer information, talk to your customers, or send out a short survey.
And if you’re wondering what wedding venue my wife and I ended up getting married at, we chose the Ellis House and Equestrian Center. They were exactly the outdoor/indoor venue that we were looking for, and they provided phenomenal service. We highly recommend them if you are planning your wedding in the Chicagoland area.