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Business owners and sales reps who try to sell to everyone will struggle to succeed until they decide to focus their efforts on the ideal customer.
Today, Dr. Frances Richards, whose company helps people reclaim their wealth by transforming their health, talks about the journey of finding her ideal customer. Sales From The Street allows us to connect with a sales professional and hear about the biggest professional struggles that person faced. Dr. Frances is the host of a podcast called Black Entrepreneur Experience, where she interviews CEOs, innovative thinkers, thought leaders, and black entrepreneurs across the globe.
Finding a tribe
Her biggest struggle was finding her ideal customer, and connecting with the people that her message would resonate with. When you're building an internet business, there are so many different ways to connect with people that it can sometimes be overwhelming for businesses that are trying to find their tribe. She points to the fact that there are plenty of people telling you what you should do to connect with your ideal client, so it's tough to know what to do. She said that people told her, "It's all in the email list," or "It's all in social media," or "It's all in Facebook advertising," or "It's all in the messaging."
Changing landscape
The hardest part, she said, is trying to determine what's really relevant. And with the internet constantly changing things, the way you build a company in 2019 is different than the steps you might have taken in 2014. The steps to find your ideal customer have changed. And when you talk about sales, certain steps are appropriate whether you're online or offline. Building rapport, and building quality relationships, matters in every situation.
Authenticity
Dr. Frances said that in order to find her ideal customer, she had to block out all the noise and focus on authenticity. She started by deprogramming herself from the idea of working for someone else. She said she had to adjust to the idea of working for herself and to lose all of the things she was accustomed to, like listening to the bosses tell her what she needed to do. Because she had done many different kinds of sales, she was able to change her mindset from employee mode to employer mode. Then she had to be true to who she really wanted to serve. When she was an employee, she had to serve anyone. Once she started to define who to serve, then she started to attract her ideal customer as opposed to just doing cold calling.
To-do lists
She had an extensive to-do list of doing 10 posts a day, doing a Facebook live, doing a Periscope, posting on LinkedIn, and all of those other things. She was busy working on the business instead of in the business, which actually brings in income. Once she prioritized how she would get sales and how she would bring value, she got out of the mode of being desperate. She was listening to her clients' pain points and she set out to serve them. She went into the mode of serving and helping her clients, her fan base, her tribe. Dr. Frances has turned down consulting contracts because she wanted to make it a win-win for all parties involved. She operates from a position of making sure both parties are a good fit.
Qualified clients
The shift to serving her clients resulted in more qualified clients. Previously she connected with clients who really couldn't afford her service so it would have been a disservice to try to work together. She started asking her prospects what they hoped to accomplish and if someone said, "I want to lose 50 pounds in 5 days," she wouldn't even try to convince the person to work with her since the goals were unrealistic. She has found that when she gets qualified, bonafide clients, the two enjoy working together. The clients are getting results and she is building testimonies. [Tweet "Avoid the temptation to work with everyone because everyone is not your ideal client. #IdealCustomer"]
Ideal client
Just serve the people who really need what you have to offer. Be who you authentically are. There will be plenty of voices telling you what you should do. Instead of following them, dig deep into yourself and discover what you're really passionate about. What makes you sing? What makes you get out of bed every morning? That's half the battle because your attitude dictates your altitude. If you love what you do, you'll do what you love. Dr. Frances uses the acronym DANCE to remind her to be authentic: Determine Action Now Creates Energy. Dancers dance because they want to, not because someone forces them to. Instead of doing things you don't like, do the things you authentically enjoy. Find your passion.
"Ideal Customer" episode resources
You can connect with Frances at drfrancesrichards.com and you can find her on Facebook and Instagram as Dr. Frances Richards. You can also find her podcast at Black Entrepreneur Experience. If you haven't connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I'm sharing there.
You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.
You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.
If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.
This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.
I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.
Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1099.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A sudden influx of new leads seems like a dream come true, but you often have to determine which type of customers are the best in order to assess whether it's really a good thing.

If you haven't yet grabbed a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results by Todd Caponi, get it before he joins us on the podcast in the near future.

In the book, he discusses the three types of buyers.

The active buyer

The active buyer is looking for a solution. He understands the problem and he wants to solve it. These are your inbound leads.

They understand their problem well enough to initiate research to try to find a solution to the problem. They may seek a quote for your product or service, and they are proof that your marketing is working.

These buyers are finding your website.

These buyers are also more than likely going to commoditize you. They are likely considering three to five different vendors and because they don't have all the details about your company, they are going to try to differentiate you based on price as well as features.

Although they know they have issues that they must solve, they don't care about the intricacies of your company. They simply need to solve a problem and get the best deal possible.

The passive buyer

The passive buyers recognize that a problem likely exists but they aren't prioritizing it.

In his book, Todd compares it to the small problems at your house that need to be addressed eventually but that aren't a priority right now. Maybe the handle on your door is broken or the blinds need to be repaired. It isn't the end of the world if you fail to complete them.

Passive buyers will eventually get around to solving the problem.

The status quo buyers

These status quo buyers are happy with things as they are. They aren't thinking about the future; they've learned to operate just fine the way things are. Imagine the guy who has a flip phone and doesn't see the need for a smartphone.

He doesn't want to change, perhaps because he doesn't recognize that better options exist. Or maybe he's worried that the smartphone will be too complicated and he won't be able to learn it well. Change feels too complex, so he decides to stay with the status quo.

But what if someone could educate him and teach him to use the cell phone?

Challenging buyers

In my own experience, many of my most challenging leads were the active buyers. You might be thinking that these are the kinds of buyers we'd most like to have, and that would be the case if they were always perfectly ready to buy.

If my company was always the front-runner, that would be a great situation for us. But we're not always the front-runner, and sometimes we're simply an after-thought.

The buyer is likely considering several companies before making a decision because that's how the buying department has structured its purchases.

The question becomes can we persuade them to buy once we're having a conversation?

Best customers

From my coaching and training experience, and based upon Todd's recommendations, we've discovered that the status quo buyers are often the best ones.

[Tweet "The customers who don't know that better options exist are ripe for you to educate them. #EducateCustomers"]

Your job is to teach them and help them to recognize unconsidered need.

Consider the book The Challenger Sale. When we can open the prospect's mind to something he doesn't know about, we can create the possibility of change. If you can reveal the problem, you can be the front-runner.

Also check out the book Three Value Conversations to help you understand the education process that sellers must adopt.

Managing customers

You'll ultimately discover that you have all three kinds of customers in your pipeline and you must learn to manage them. The perfect buyers that are the perfect size who reach out to you? Those are the unicorns.

You must prepare for all three kinds of buyers. You may even find that you're better equipped to interact with one kind of customer over another.

I'd love to hear your insights about each of these kinds of customers and which you like best.

"Which Type Of Customers Are The Best" episode resources

Grab a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results.

Also grab a copy of the book The Challenger Sale and the book Three Value Conversations

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1077.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 9:49am EDT

Selling a product or service that expands across multiple industries is possible when we realize that selling to everyone takes a team effort.

Phil Sweeney worked in sales while in college because he enjoyed talking with people and problem-solving. Now, just two years after graduating, Phil is still working for Negotiatus, a fast-growing tech start-up business he first joined while in school.

There were only a handful of employees when Phil first signed on. Now they are at 60 employees and Phil is loving every minute of it.

SELLING TO EVERYONE

It was exciting, as a salesperson, to have totally green fields ahead in terms of being able to work with, and sell to, any company. Phil had to quickly learn how not overextend himself.

He had to learn how to hone in on the ideal customer profile. He had to understand who had the biggest need for the platforms he offers.

When Phil first joined the sales team in its infancy, the company really could sell to everyone. It was a huge undertaking. They were also faced with the challenge of being a new company with little success to promote.

They were shooting from all cylinders to determine where the biggest impact was in terms of the types of companies that they were attracting. From there, they were able to focus more and more on those types of clients.

Phil dedicated blocks of time to the task. For 2-3 hours each day, he would not take any calls, schedule meetings, or go anywhere.

Ideally, using blocks of time outside of selling hours, Phil would focus solely on who he was going to call the next day. He used many of the brilliant resources now available such as Sales Navigator, to find the people he needed to find and to learn more about them prior to the call.

SHARING THE IDEAL CUSTOMER PROFILE

Now that he is part of a larger sales team, he is having conversations not only within sales but also with success teams and operating teams to understand, in their opinion, which clients have been the most successful and easiest to work with.

When selling to everyone is possible, it is easy to find yourself going nowhere fast. It is hard to know the correct verbiage for each industry. Selling in the medical industry, for example, is much different than selling in the automotive industry. It can be hard to land a good appointment until you narrow your focus to the industries that work best for your company.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Success begins when the teams can focus and then specialize across multiple industries. Phil believes it is important to identify as an expert in whichever field or department you are selling to. It is massively beneficial when you can speak the same language as the people you are selling to and when you can understand their struggles.

Only then can you hone in on the pain points in order to solve those problems.

Phil is closing sales now within 1-2 weeks of his first meetings because he has established himself as the expert in the field with the ideal solution/product. The need for his product is real and he is positioned to offer the main solution to satisfy that need.

First and foremost, Phil recommends setting goals and dedicating time to the task. Most salespeople work in teams, so use that to your advantage. In Phil’s team, they announce the number of new contacts, for example, that they hope to reach in the next two hours; it is written on a whiteboard for all to see – and then they get to it.

At the end of the time period, they check in on each other. Did they get it done? Or do they need to work longer? They hold each other accountable.

Get familiar with the industry. Share tips and resources. Google Alerts, for example, is an excellent tool to stay on top of specific topics in a particular industry which can help you at every stage of your pipeline.

Put in the time at the top of the funnel and it will pay off when it comes time to close the deal.

In this manner, Phil’s sales team is leading the pack with a 115-150% quota attainment on a month-to-month basis. As a company, they have seen month-to-month revenue growth between 15-30%.

STAY HUNGRY, STAY HUMBLE

Everything is measured by the week or the month; even the hourly way of team progress is measured. It all resets to zero at the end of each period, so don’t hang your hat on a certain closed deal or a really good day of selling; stay humble.

You’ve got to start each day mentally fresh and hungry again.

“SELLING TO EVERYONE” EPISODE RESOURCES

Reach out to Phil via email at PSweeney37@gmail.com, or give him a call at 631-901-2685.  He is also active on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as PhillipSweeney.

Additionally, Phil is part of The Sales Evangelist Facebook group and would love to connect with you there.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1024.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode of The Sales Evangelist, I talk to Phil Newton about how we can work smart and accomplish more by doing less. It all began with a “sob story of events” when Phil was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, an intestinal disorder with an array of symptoms that prevent him from doing business the […]

The post TSE 963: How To Help Business Owners And High Performers Hone In On Their Zone Of Genius, Work Smart And Make More Money appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_963.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

The political and dating industries share a common goal: to narrow your choices down to the one candidate that makes the most sense for what you want. Particularly in the political arena, the ads target those people who would be most likely to support a particular cause or candidate. On today’s episode of The Sales […]

The post TSE 962: What Salespeople Can Learn From The “Political and Dating” Industries appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_962.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 8:59am EDT

Bringing a revolutionary new product to market can be difficult, especially if you don’t yet have a community of supporters. Apple did it in 2007 with the iPhone, solving a problem that people weren’t even aware that they had. How can you capture people’s attention if you don’t already have that community? Today on The […]

The post TSE 947: How Do You Help Sell or Bring a Brand New Product to Market? appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_947.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 8:46am EDT

As you know, TSE Hustler’s League is where we can learn from each other, get accountability among ourselves and see the performance and improvement of each member.   In today’s episode, I discuss the importance of knowing your ideal customer and how you can find them. DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS List 3 industries you can focus on […]

The post TSE 780: TSE Hustler’s League – “Where to Find Your Ideal Customers” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_780.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Today’s episode on the TSE Hustler’s League is all about finding your ideal customers and how you can actually find them by asking yourself these series of questions. And in so doing, you will have sufficient information that will help you get to those customers who will give you the most success and who will, […]

The post TSE 710: TSE Hustler’s League – “Who Are Your Ideal Customers?” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_710.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 7:44am EDT

Today’s episode is another snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League. Quick Hacks to Find Ideal Customers: Customer Support Best customers are the ones paying for products or services. This is an often overlooked area. If you’re new to an organization, go to customer support and ask which customers […]

The post TSE 695: TSE Hustler’s League-“Defining The Ideal Customer” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_695.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 2:06pm EDT

Do you find yourself all over the place? You could be putting your efforts into selling to so many customers right now when all you should be focusing on are zebras. In this episode, find out who are the zebras, why the zebras, and how you can be effective in sales through this approach. Jeff […]

The post TSE 646: Sell To Zebras, Close More Deals! appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_646.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 8:15am EDT

We all need profitable customers, but you have to speak to their needs. Much less, how do you even find them?  Today’s guest is John Dwyer, an Australian marketing genius, sales professional and entrepreneur. He will teach us some simple concepts on how  to get those profitable customers that no one would want to get […]

The post TSE 488: How To Get Better Clients By Identifying Most Profitable Customer And Find More People Who Look Just Like Him or Her appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_488.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 9:36am EDT

As a sales representative one of your key roles is to sell. I know that sounds very obvious, but I promise there is a point to all of this. I just want to make sure you all understand the premise and outcome of this episode, which simply put is to improve your selling. The problems […]

The post TSE 282: Your 100 Most Ideal Customers appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_282.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

Our guest today is Giulia Guerrero. She is an experienced marketer and sales professional. She has worked with large organizations and small businesses alike. Her mission is to help small and mid-sized businesses learn the one thing which is going to maximize their sales growth. Her biggest sales challenge was trying to get into the minds of […]

The post TSE 195: Sales From The Street- “Get To Know Your Audience” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_195.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 9:27pm EDT

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