Finding great customers

For most salesmen, reaching sales targets involves hours of wheeling and dealing, chasing the unlikeliest of leads, and an endless stream of conversations with people who aren’t listening.

Frank Ashworth has taken the opposite approach.

In a recent interview with Fasthosts Sales Manager, Frank Ashworth, we found out how to find customers you enjoy working with, why it pays to be choosy and seeing the common thread that weaves together your best customers.

How do I find great customers?

The first step you need to take is a step back, ask yourself “What do my great customers look like?”

Consider your business strategy and your current customer base. Too often I see salesmen rush into a scatter gun approach, trying to sell any product to anyone they can talk at for five minutes.

A bit of common sense and human intuition can go a long way. You cannot blame someone for not behaving the way you want them to, so learn to accept that your customers will not always react as you expect.

Stop wasting time complaining that your leads are poor and people are cheap. Why keep going back to these same people over and over again, somehow expecting a different result?

 Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Instead, develop a profile of what you would consider is an ideal customer. What industry are they in? What position in the company do they hold? Are they at a certain location? What size of company? What communications channels do they use?

Then look at your current customers to find who fits this profile. Who are my biggest spenders and what is their profile?

Identify what is common to these customers and your ideal customer profile. What connects them?

Then look at your prospects and prioritise the customers who match your ideal customer.

How do I attract the attention of my ideal customer?

Unfortunately there is no rule to say that your ideal customer will buy from you. You need to work for it. You may feel you are the perfect fit but you need to help the customer realise this.

It also pays to be choosy. Turning a soft sales lead into a strong one and closing a deal quickly is easier when you are selling a round peg to a round hole. A well-defined and targeted audience will help you make the most of your time and energy. Talk to customers who actually want to listen to what you have to say. Focus on people you enjoy selling to who enjoy talking to you, you’ll increase the effectiveness of your calls and drive a long-term business relationship.

To attract your ideal customer you need to understand what keeps them awake at night. Identify what makes them hurt and how your product can solve their problem.

Find what works best for you. Whether it’s focusing on a specific geographic area, product specialty, service offering…the possibilities are endless. They key is find customers you enjoy working with and vice versa, determine their needs, and concentrate on selling to them in a manner that fulfils those needs.


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