Iconically successful companies share several things, and one of them is simple: they have an excellent understanding of their ideal client base, and they stay committed to them. This understanding fuels their pricing, marketing, product development, sales model, and even the way they hire. The mastery of their client’s needs and wants allows them a larger market share and retains their client base at higher rates.
So how do these star-performance companies understand their clients so well? First, they make their ideal client real through a quality persona addressing critical points to their needs, buying habits, and expectations.
Let’s dive into a few critical viewpoints to help you understand your ideal client and then tie into how that informs your value proposition, sales method, marketing efforts, and more.
What Creates a High-impact Value Proposition?
A value proposition is often confused with mission statements, taglines, and slogans, but they serve an important and unique function. While taglines and slogans help to catch attention and increase brand recognition, a value proposition is a simple statement that tells a client why your business, product, or service is the solution they need.
Let’s use Apple as an example. Their company slogan is “Think Different.” It creates high brand recognition and shows some sense of value. But let’s compare that to their value proposition to the new iMac: “Light. Years Ahead.”
The value proposition of the iMac easily connects to the company slogan, but in just three words, Apple captures why their desktop computer is different from others.
Five Views of Your Ideal B2B Client
Here is a breakdown of five lenses to help you define and understand your ideal client. Once you know the answers to these questions, you can create a nuanced and impactful value proposition.
What do they expect from your sales experience?
Expectations tend to have a higher impact on your client’s opinion of you over your concrete deliverables. So if you don’t understand (and guide) your client’s expectations, you leave your perceived success to chance.
The sales journey is a critical experience to nail for your clients. Ensure you have a detailed map including marketing efforts, lead cultivation, implementation, and follow-up tailored to client expectations.
For example, how long is your sales journey compared to your competitors? If you sell financial software, how long does it take for their firm to run smoothly from the time they reach out to you?
Whether you have a streamlined or expanded sales journey isn’t the point– it’s how you position your value against their expectations.
What do their past experiences tell you about their unmet needs?
A natural next lens is understanding your ideal client’s past experiences– including a clear picture of their unmet needs. This will help you to position your product as a solution to their problems. Every industry is flushed with competitors, so you aren’t selling the core solution. Instead, you are selling why yours is less painful and more profitable.
So understanding what your ideal customer has already used to solve their problem is essential to how you create your value proposition. Back to the iMac value proposition– those three words help their client base identify that they are getting sleek, cutting-edge technology that will last. It’s also different from the bulky, slow computers they’re used to working with.
What qualifications do they want you to have?
Let’s discuss what your client needs to know to trust you as a reliable solution. This is a two-part problem:
- One, what do they need to see to know you’re qualified?
- And two, how will they recognize your qualifications?
The first question depends on your industry. B2B clients need to understand your experience level, research or design behind your offerings, and past client successes.
The second question may include educating your clients on your qualifications. While everyone wants to know your approval ratings, they may not understand why those are important to your trustworthiness.
For example, sometimes sellers will use ratings provided by third parties as a sign of their success. However, if those third parties are largely unknown to your client base, it won’t mean very much that you have their endorsement. So you may need to educate your clients on endorsements beyond simply listing them on your website.
How do they communicate?
Proper communication is critical to building a trusting and lasting business relationship. The few words you select for your value propositions must resonate with your ideal client. The language will vary by industry, product, and even demographics like age and gender.
For example, four distinct generations are active in today’s workforce. Baby Boomers have very different language expectations than Gen Zs, but you may have both as contacts within the same company. So, it’s critical to use language that engages your target demographic.
What is their typical cash flow?
Insufficient cash flow is the number one reason why new businesses fail. So when trying to pinpoint your ideal client, it’s critical to understand the average cash constraints of your client base. This information will help you determine your price point and how to describe your deliverables to prove value.
Ready to Dive Deep into Your Ideal Client?
While many blogs and business coaching content describe guiding principles like these, it’s often challenging to implement.
- How do you get reliable information to inform your answers?
- How do you know if you’re coming up with the correct answers?
- If things aren’t going well, what part of your ideal client are you missing?
That’s where we come in. Think of us as a third-party partner committed to supporting you from start to finish. That includes discovery, implementing changes, and sticking around to see your business recover and grow. And we’ll still be there in a year or two to help you adapt to new needs and growth!
Contact us today for a consultation!
- How to Write a Great Value Proposition [5 Top Examples + Template]
- How to Create a Compelling Value Proposition That Converts
- Everyone Is Not Your Customer: That’s OK
- 10 Key Principles For Truly Understanding Your Clients
- How high-performing companies approach their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) strategy