Who is your ideal client? If you answered this question with “everyone” or “anyone”, stop what you are doing right now. Well…keep reading, but then take a few minutes to figure it out. Why is it important to know your ideal client? I’m glad you asked. Usually, when given an opportunity to introduce yourself and what you do to a group or another business person in a networking situation the uninformed networker will say, for example, I am Suzie Q, with XYZ Skin Care, and my ideal client is “anyone” who wants to take good care of their skin. I believe the “everyone/anyone” response is what we say when we don’t know exactly what to say. We don’t know exactly what to say because we have never taken the time to define our ideal client.
While attending a networking event a few years ago, I was getting ready to leave the event. As I was making my way to the door I came across a woman standing in the middle of the room who appeared a bit lost. I had never seen her before, so I stopped to talk with her. When I asked her what she did I found out that she was with a Foster Care Agency in town. She began telling me all the fantastic things about being a Foster Parent. Since she was obviously out looking for people interested in becoming Foster Parents, my question to her was, What makes a good Foster Parent? She couldn’t answer the question. She stated, that is a great question and I feel I should know the answer, but I don’t. We exchanged cards and I went home.
The next morning I planned on reaching out to her once I got to the office. On my way to the office I stopped off to grab a coffee. While I was waiting in line, guess who was calling me? Yes, you got it, the Foster Care Agency rep I met the night before. She said she got to her office this morning and asked the CEO who their Ideal Client/Foster Care Parent is? She couldn’t answer the question either. The CEO asked her to reach out to me and set a meeting for us to meet for lunch. Cha-Ching!! My husband and I refer to this situation as “A Call-In”, meaning, we didn’t have to initiate the meeting or sale, but that someone simply “called in” and said, I want to do business with you.
The reason it is important to know your “ideal” client is that when you are in a networking situation, you may only have a few minutes to make an impression, as well as draw upon the person you are meeting to understand exactly what you do and who you do it with. In the case of the Foster Care Agency, if they were able to define their Ideal Foster Care Parent, there is a good chance I would know someone that might be a good fit. If the answer is “anyone” then it is not so easy to sort through my mental contact list.
In future posts we will delve into key questions and processes that will maximize the time you spend networking and turn those “chance” meetings into profits.
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