Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet. Everyone also knows it ended in tragedy.
Do you sometimes feel that your new client efforts are destined to a similar sad fate?
If only Romeo (or Juliet) had used a professional matchmaker, or even an online dating service. They may have both found someone more appropriate, and lived to see the age of 20.
Think you don’t have their problems?
Have you ever had a customer that cost you money?
Spent your marketing budget hand over fist without a single new client to show for it?
Or simply wondered where you might find a good customer?
3 Ways to Keep New Customer Efforts from Becoming a Tragedy
As a Profit Coach and expert Numbers Whisperer I’ve seen firsthand the losses that result from failing to attract your target customers, or worse, attracting the ones who will cost you money.
1. Marry for Money
Review your current client base. Which ones deliver the highest profit for you?
This is not mercenary. This is business.
Unless you are operating the Red Cross you are in this to make money. Your business can’t make money if every client you win costs you money. (If you have somehow managed to alter the laws of mathematics and economics quit reading this blog and call me!)
Now that you have a list of your most profitable clients, consider what key characteristics that they share.
Are they all in one industry? Do they service similar types of clients? Perhaps they are the same size, or in a certain geographic location. Create a list of common traits and start building your profitable customer avatar.
2. No Frogs Allowed
I like frogs as much as the next girl. Probably a lot more since I’ve raised some from tadpoles. (And released them back into the wild for the concerned tree huggers in the audience).
But you don’t want to date a frog do you?
I mean it could be a bit awkward if you’re eating out in Louisiana. And that whole hibernate in the winter deal is a real bummer.
Oh you’re planning on turning your frog into a prince? This is real life, not a fairy tale. No matter how many frogs you kiss, or how many times you kiss the frog, you will still have a frog.
In business it can be very tempting to take on (even pursue) customers and clients that aren’t quite right for your business. Common refrains you may tell yourself “I can make this work” or “any client is better than no client”.
Tying to make it work with a client that doesn’t fit is a quick path to losing money. Your profits will get slimed as surely as if you did kiss a frog (even I don’t kiss them).
Revisit the key desirable characteristics we determined above. If they don’t meet at least some of them you need to move on. Your prince (or princess) is out there, but you need to keep looking. Which leads to…
3. Wherefore Art Thou?
Yes I had to go there.
Think of all the possible outcomes if Juliet had a cell phone. Or Twitter account, Facebook profile or page on MySpace.
She would have known where to find Romeo and gotten the 411 rather than killing herself.
If your business can’t find profitable customers it will die too, albeit less dramatically than she does.
Go back to your list of profitable clients. Do they all belong to the same networking group? An industry association? Do most have an active Twitter account? Look beyond how you found them to where they spend their time. Don’t neglect offline venues and events.
Have you had a few tragedies in your past? What did you learn from them? How do you effectively reach your most profitable customers?
Special Note: This post is part of a Monthly Blog Carnival that I just joined. Each month Tea Silvestre (@teasilvestre) will put out a topic that each person in the group must blog about. Visit her site, The Word Chef, to get a complete listing of all the perspectives on this month’s topic.