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Finding Customers That Fit Your Business Targeting your ideal customer requires some homework, but it ultimately leads to long-term, profitable relationships.


In business as in all relationships, fit matters. While you might think that your product or service is great for everyone in the world, the fact is that in order to sell it, you have to know exactly who you're selling to.

"I always emphasize defining your ideal customer," says John Jantsch, marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine, and The Referral Engine. "Your ideal customer is not only who your product or service works for, but also who you want to work with."

Let's have a look at how you can define your ideal customers, and then how to find them.

  • Create a profile. Think of your ideal customer as an actual person (or if your business is B2B, an actual company). To fully understand this customer, put your reporter's hat on and ask who, what, where, when, why, and how:
  • Who is the customer? If your customer is a consumer, what is their income range? Age? Where do they live? What do they do for a living? If a company, what do they sell? To whom? The more specific you can get, the better.
  • What are they looking for? Rather than focusing on your products, consider what problems or "pain points" your customers have that you can solve. In many cases, they may not even be aware of these needs until you articulate them.
  • Where do you find them? Think about where your customers may congregate, whether online or in the real world. "Once you've identified your ideal customer, you should know their research and shopping habits, where they spend the most time, and where they are mostly likely to find information about your company," Jantsch says. "This information is vital to knowing where your company's information should be placed and what messages to use."
  • Why should they consider you? This is similar to the "what" question with a twist: How does your solution beat your competitors'? Do you distinguish yourself with exceptional service? Speedy turnaround? Depth of knowledge? "You want to identify with what a prospect's motivation is for being your customer," Jantsch notes.
  • When do they need you? The best time to win customers is to catch them when they're in the process of seeking solutions. To do this, consider your sales funnel—those stages in which a large number of prospects whittle down to become customers. Marketing and advertising might get a prospect into the wide end of the funnel, but it's your responsibility to guide them toward understanding that you have the solution they're looking for.
  • How do you reach them? This is the big one, but if you've answered all the others, it should be easy. Draw on your understanding of your ideal customer to craft the perfect message.
  • Clone your best customers. If you already have customers, they are likely your best resource when it comes to finding new ones. "Think of your loyal customers and what characteristics define them," Jantsch advises. "But also consider which characteristics you don't want in a customer."

Begin by asking favorite customers how they found your business, what they like about it, and what they tell people about you. This will help you identify what to highlight about your business and where to reach that ideal customer.

  • Build a referral network. There's no better way to gain a new customer's trust than a referral from a happy current customer. That means keeping those customers happy. Once you've gained a customer with a sale, it's up to you to wow them with the kind of service that makes them want to continue working with you and to recommend you to others.

Building a customer-focused company requires the participation of your entire team to exceed customer expectations, address issues promptly and completely, and listen to complaints and suggestions so you can continually improve. Once you've built a strong, lasting relationship with your customers, you can ask them to refer you to others.

Having customers that fit your company means that your capabilities will continue to meet their needs. When managed well, these customers can become true partners, inspiring your company to innovation and growth.

Mercedes-Benz Metris: The Right Fit for Your Business

From customers and team members, to suppliers and other partners, you always seek the right fit for your business. The new, mid-size Mercedes-Benz Metris van, is "right-sized" for your business. Its footprint helps the agile Metris perform in crowded streets, commercial garages, and on virtually any jobsite. Available in Cargo or Passenger Van configurations, the Metris offers maximum cargo capacity and payload in a flexible, manageable platform. Its versatility makes the Metris a fit for all your business needs, which, in turn, helps you better serve your customers.

To learn more about the ways in which the Metris can fit your business, visit