Businesspeople know that they need to get more customers to grow their business and reach their company goals. One of the best ways to gain new clients is through referrals from the people in your networks. I have found that an effective way to receive referrals is to be the go-to problem-solver for your desired target market.
I’m going to share a mini course on how to attract your ideal customer from the book, The Connector Effect, which I co-authored with Graham Weihmiller and Robert Skrob.
Let’s get started. There are three parts to this exercise and all three need to be completed for best results. Within two minutes or less, write a response to each of these questions or requests. Don’t overthink your answers and know that the more you treat this as a lightning-round type of exercise, the more you’ll get out of it.
- Describe Your Ideal Customer
Many would-be marketers fail because they never define a target client. Instead, they use words like “everybody” or “anybody.” Defining a target market gives your referral partners a mental picture of the best customer to refer to you.
Answer the following if your clients are consumers:
- Think of a person who is already a great customer for you: what area do they live in?
- What is their family status and profession?
- How does their household income compare with the average?
- What are they planning, bragging or complaining about?
If your clients are other businesses, answer these questions:
- Think of a company that is already a great customer for you: What line of business is that customer in?
- What’s the approximate size?
- Who makes the buying decisions for your product or service?
- What’s the problem they are trying to solve when buying your product?
When you are specific, you are serving your fellow members in your networking group by giving them a clear idea of your ideal patron. The more detailed you are, the more effective they will be in finding those referrals for you.
- What problems are you solving for them?
Too many businesspeople talk about their products and services. This sounds self-serving, however, talking about the problems you solve makes you into a giver who attracts customers.
- List at least three problems your good customer has that makes them ideal for your business.
- What is the worst thing that could possibly happen to your clients if their problems aren’t solved?
- What is the best thing that can happen once their problems are solved?
- Do you have success stories to illustrate how you help your customers? (Client testimonials are a great way to give your network a clearer idea of what exactly you deliver, and they demonstrate that your group members can trust you to deliver what you promise.)
- Perfect Your Presentation
Now that you’ve identified examples of your experience as a problem-solver, let’s pull the above information into a brief presentation that you can share during business networking meetings, industry events, and business mixers.
Here are the three elements of the perfect business introduction:
- State your professional classification.
- Tell a brief story about a problem you solved for a customer.
- Request a referral – “who do you know who is [insert target customer] who suffers [from the issue you corrected in the brief story].” Be specific!
It’s important to remember that each presentation is only about ONE particular problem that you solved for your client. Avoid the laundry list – if you overshare by telling everything you do, it will dilute the effectiveness of your presentation, resulting in few, if any, referral opportunities.
These three steps will help you develop presentations that attract the customers you want from your referral partners.
Once you learn how to create these presentations for your business, you can also use this skill for any club, charity, or campaign that you lead to develop an easy and memorable way to talk about those activities, too.
I’d like to hear your feedback and results from doing this exercise. Share your story in the comments section.