Today, we’re going to be talking about what it means to establish what your “ideal client” looks like, and how to tell during your sales call whether or not a person is a good fit for your business. A big part of streamlining the sales process and scaling your sales is dialing in on which people you should be offering your services to. I believe that the more narrow your niche is, the easier it is to speak directly to the ideal clients that you want to bring in.
As CEOs, it can be easy to fall into the trap of seeing potential in everyone we speak to during the sales process—because very often, everyone we speak to does have great potential! But when we let ourselves take on just any client simply because they have potential, it can end up being a disservice to both you and the client. Just because they show promise or their idea is cool, or they’re truly wonderful people, that doesn’t mean your offer is the best thing for them. If you take on a client who isn’t a good fit, you’re not only creating more work for yourself—you’re locking a client into an offer that won’t ultimately give them the results they’re looking for.
But who is your ideal client? How do you identify them? Let’s chat about how to identify good-fit clients, and why this will help streamline the sales process for you.
Step 1: Get Crystal Clear About Who Your Ideal Client Is
Who are you looking for during the sales process? Who is the perfect fit for each one of your offers? This is the first step to identifying your ideal client. Before going into a sales call, you need to know that you know that you know what you’re looking for. Anytime I’m having a conversation with a potential client, I ask myself: do I like these people? Are they in a place with their business where it makes sense to invest at this level to really scale their business? Are they soul-aligned with the values and culture of our business? Will they get results with our program? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera?
Step one of streamlining your sales process is knowing what it looks like to say “yes” to all these questions. You want to have a list of things to look for in an ideal client so that when you hop on that sales call and begin the sales process, you have a set of boxes you can tick off that will tell you whether or not this client will be a good fit for your offer. Sit down and think long and hard about what you want to see in your ideal clients, and you’ll have completed your first step toward narrowing down your niche!
Step 2: Get Crystal Clear About Who Your Ideal Client Is NOT
Naturally, if you’re prioritizing identifying what your ideal client looks like, you’ll also want to sit down and make a list of “red flags” to watch out for during the sales process. You want to have an idea of what a bad-fit client looks like to help you quickly identify when someone isn’t going to be a fit; this way, you won’t waste their or your time by going further into the sales process than you should. As uncomfortable as it can feel sometimes to say no to new business, trust me…in the long run, refusing to pour your efforts into a bad-fit client is going to be the best choice for both you and that client.
Step 3: Don’t Leave Bad-Fit Clients Hanging
Even if you eventually come to the conclusion during the sales process that the client you’re assessing isn’t going to be a good fit for your business, that doesn’t mean you should leave them hanging! I believe you should always leave people in a better place than they were in when you found them. Cutting them off and leaving them out to dry can only harm your business; even if you don’t take that person on as a client, leaving a bad taste in their mouth during the sales process will end up poisoning the things they say about you to business associates of theirs. Word of mouth is one of your most powerful tools for gaining more clients. If you’re kind to the clients you choose not to take on and help them get a leg up by giving them recommendations for where else they can go, they’ll remember you as someone that helped them when you didn’t have to, and that’s huge for building trust. They may be talking to someone they know one day and say, “Well, this wasn’t a fit for me, but you have the qualities they’re looking for—they’re great people, and I know they’ll take care of you, because they took care of me even when I didn’t become a client of theirs.” Rather than burning bridges, add some extra support to that bridge’s pillars.
Step 4: Assess Language, Personality, and Potential for Success During the Sales Process
Like I mentioned at the beginning, pay attention to the way your potential client is speaking throughout the sales process. Are they using victimizing language, like I talked about in Episode 30, or are they confident and ready to collaborate as equals rather than wanting to be rescued? Is their personality meshing well with the personalities of you and your team, or are they clashing and causing issues from the beginning? Do they have the potential to see great success with your program through the usual process, or would you have to invest an immense amount of time and effort to help them see the same results previous clients have seen?
If their language is setting them up as the victim and you as the rescuer throughout the sales process, if their personality isn’t quite clicking with the personalities of you and your team, or they aren’t likely to see the same level of success in your program that most of your clients have managed to achieve, then save both yourself and them the pain of a mismatched partnership and kindly tell them that this won’t be a good fit for either of you.
Step 5: Make a List of Dream Clients…and Clients Who Aren’t a Fit
Think of this as a client “style guide” of sorts. By making a list of dream clients, you set up a tangible “ideal client” that your sales team can look to when assessing potential clients for suitability, which streamlines the sales process exponentially. By offering them someone whose work, tone, and personality they can examine, they’re better able to hold a potential client up to that example. This will either reveal glaring differences that show the client would be a bad fit in the long run, or it will cast a light on similarities that show this client’s promising potential to be a good fit. Adding a dream client profile to your team’s resources will speed up the sales process and create potential for more scalable sales, because it will make it clear much faster whether someone is a good fit or a bad fit. Pitching to bad-fit clients is an exercise in futility; either they’ll realize that this isn’t the right process for them and end up refusing your offer, or they’ll accept and end up disappointed and frustrated when they don’t achieve the results they were hoping for.
You’re All Set to Streamline!
Now that you have the tools you need to narrow down your niche, identify your right-fit and bad-fit clients, and leave the bad-fit clients better of than when you found them, you’re ready to start streamlining the sales process for your business. Never be afraid to get crystal clear about what you’re looking for and who you want to do business with…it may feel like you’re limiting yourself, but in reality, you’re freeing yourself from the obligation to work with clients who aren’t a fit for your offer.
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Are you wondering if you’re ready to take the next step in your business? Curious about whether you’re a good fit for our services? Take the free business assessment quiz to find out! And if you want to learn more, you can visit my website or schedule a call with me today. I can’t wait to hear from you!