There are 7 potential customer types you could have — Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Lead, Concrete, and RAW (Radio Active Waste). But you should have only the best, the Platinum Customer. They give you money and a lot more.
If you aren’t satisfied with the value of your current customers, make better choices by setting up a Platinum Customer Profile™ identification system. This is more than just “target” or “niche” marketing. The four parts of a Platinum Customer Profile™ are demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and geography.
The right profiling system will give you a way to improve your sales process and avoid those radioactive waste prospect/customers who are out there. It will also give you a metric to judge how well your message is working: if it attracts the right prospects great; if not, fix it asap. That makes the effort to set up this system a money maker and mind saver.
The hardest part is coming up with the profile in the first place. Demographics are facts. Psychographics are attitudes, interests, opinions, value, and lifestyle. Behaviors include decision-making style, sense of humor, and approach to problems, opportunities, and threats. Geography is location and also the effects of history and culture related to geography. You can put the results into most sales programs (ACT!, Salesforce.com, etc.). You can use the profile to be more specific with your salespeople about who to focus on. An added advantage is that it also makes it easier to communicate who you really want to work with to your strategic allies and other people in your networks.
In addition to setting up the profile, it’s critical to understand how a customer buys. There are 7 steps no matter what the purchase. Some are longer; some are shorter. Some are more important, some less depending on many factors.
I recommend using 7 steps in your sales cycle as well. These do not have an absolute one-to-one correlation with the customer’s buying cycle. But each must happen for the best kind of sale, a platinum sale, to take place. No matter what, the customer has to go through their version of the buying cycle in order for any sale to take place. What happens when they don’t? They DIY it, Do-It-Themselves, or DNAAs, Do Nothing At Alls, two ever present competitors. (More on this at my previous post on Ghost Competitors.).
I have done presentations on this subject for several business groups. I thought I would share the slides. If you need help or have questions, email me at T-R-I-P-L-E-T-T@ ownersview [dot]com.