1. Overview

Forget trying to sell to everyone. Instead you want to sell to people who you know will want your product or service. This section helps you focus on who your ideal customers are likely to be.

2. Know your customer

Knowing exactly who your target customers are is a huge advantage to any business. Instead of having a scatter-gun approach, be very focused. This way, you’ll avoid wasting time and money on people who are never going to buy from you.

You want to focus on people who have already shown an interest in the sort of products and services you offer and who have the money to buy.

It’s a good idea to create a picture of your Ideal Customer – this is the person most likely to buy.

3. My Ideal Customer

Creating a picture of your Ideal Customer is very worthwhile. Start by asking yourself questions and using the answers to build up your knowledge of who this person is.

The questions you need to ask yourself will differ a little depending on whether you’re in the consumer market or selling to other businesses.

In the consumer market, you’re usually selling direct to one person. In the business to business market it can be more complex, often with several people involved and sometimes because there is a formal buying processes. But remember, you are still selling to real people, not an anonymous business.

Here are some of the questions to consider to help you get started.

If you are selling to consumers:

  • who are they? – age range, gender, location, preferred language?
  • what makes them tick, their interests, their hobbies, etc?
  • where do they get information about products and services similar to yours?
  • what are the biggest problems or frustrations they have (that your product or service can help with)?
  • why is this important to them?
  • where do they shop?
  • how much money do they have to spend (on products or services like yours)?

If you are selling to other businesses:

  • what is the type, size, location of the business (you are selling to)?
  • what is the job title/description of the person who makes and/or influences buying decisions?
  • where do they get their information about products and services like yours?
  • how do they make buying decisions? - directly with suppliers, through a buying consortium, through a formal procurement/tendering process, etc
  • who is their current supplier?
  • what is the problem they want to solve (that you can help to fix)?
  • what is the end result they want?

Use this template to create a picture of your Ideal Customer (MS Word 88kb). Be as detailed as possible. 

Take this BOSS course to learn how to find out more about identifying your customers wants and needs.

(BOSS Digital courses created by Business Wales to support starting and running a business. Sign in/Registration is required).

Next: Right Place, Right Time