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Who should you do business with? Your customers have the answer.

Who should you do business with? Your customers have the answer.

May 27, 2009

4 easy steps to determine the types of customers you want -- and which to avoid!

We've been going through a series of strategic meetings here at Brand Launcher and it's been fascinating, exhilarating, inspiring and tiring all at the same time. But it's also been very enlightening because of a process we want through I want to share with you now.

It's been some time since we really analyzed the customers we're serving. So we developed an analysis that could be used in any business that I think you'll find just as valuable.

Using the chart below (sample chart at the bottom), list either all your customers or your top tier customers along the left side. It's important that you're listing names or companies here that you serve. The idea is to get as granular as you can with each one and not segment your customers into groups. Then grade each one on a scale of 1-10 in each column (1 = the lowest grade, 10 = the highest grade) based on the following criteria.

Resonance = This describes how well you and your team resonate with the customer. Do you enjoy working with them as a customer? Do they like working with you? Do you enjoy talking with them and being around them? You don't have to finish each others' sentences, but you should enjoy serving your customers. (Example: a landscaper who enjoys problem solving may resonate well with customers who have chronic flooding issues. The customer would be ranked a 10.)

Hunger = Are your customers really hungry for the products or services you provide? Ideally, you want to be markets in which your prospects have burning need or desire for what you have to offer. Rate each customer on just how hungry they were for your solutions. The more hungry they are, the better. (Example: if you're a real estate investor your customers who are in foreclosure are going to be much more hungry to sell than a homeowner who wants to move into a larger home. The foreclosure customer would probably get a 9 or 10, while the other homeowner may only get 1 or 2.)

Chance of success = What is your chance of success with the customer? Success can be defined a number of ways but it's important to define success as your customer would. Be honest. Was the problem fixed right the first time? Did you deliver what was promised on time and within budget? Did the customer get exactly what he or she needed? (Example: if you're a meeting planner and the customer earned a higher profit and experienced fewer problems because of the service you provided, you would give them a 10.)

Impact = What impact did you have on the customer's life or business? How significant was their experience with you? Again, be brutally honest. (Example: If you're a home remodeler and you doubled the size of a home, reduced the electric bill 10% by making it more energy efficient and the homeowners have referred two more clients to you, then you would probably give that customer a 10.)

Finally, put a box around the 1-3s and circle all the 8-10s and look for a pattern. What makes them 8, 9 or 10s? Why are some only a 1, 2 or 3? For example, at Brand Launcher we found that those we had the best chance of success with those who are willing to act on our guidance.