Identify your ideal customers

One of the greatest lies ever told in the practice of selling is that everyone is your customer.

You may have bought this lie, especially if you’re selling some commodity that has public or mass appeal—like food, education programs, you name it.

So here’s the truth, everyone is not and cannot be your customer.

Everyone does not possess the core characteristics of your ideal customers even when they at times succeed in buying from you.

Here are three characteristics of an ideal customer. You should not waste your time trying to sell to people who don’t have these three characteristics.  

  1. An ideal customer must want or have need for what you are selling. If they need it they must have been looking for it by now. They may have already been using your competitor.


Since they need it, they are clear on the benefits so all they need is just a little motivation to take the buying decision.


The only challenge such people may have is price, accessibility and of course having to leave the product of your competitor who they’re already used to. People hate trying new things, and that’s okay. New things come with mixed feelings and uncertainties that we normally don’t like to deal with.

  1. An ideal customer can afford the money and is willing to buy.

If someone cannot afford your products or services they are not your ideal customers. If they can afford but are not willing to take the offer, well you’ve got a job to do.


When people with the economic potential to buy your products become your prospect your major concern becomes “How can I make them buy? Since they already have money to buy.”


Persuading people to buy what they do not have the financial capacity to buy is a waste of skill and time.


So also is spending your time trying to convince someone in an organization who does not have the permission or power to make purchase on behalf of the organization to buy from you.


What I personally do sometimes when I have high-end training programs is that I target people with a certain level of income or salary.


Anyone who is earning like N150,000 (about $500) per month is more likely going to enroll into a training that costs around N200,000-N350,000 than someone else who’s earning N20,000 (unless they will have to borrow)


I am not insinuating that all unemployed people for instance cannot afford to pay for something they want. But your focus should be on the audience or people that have high probability of buying what you sell i.e. people who can afford what you’re selling.


  1. Your ideal customer must represent the fundamental ideologies held, promoted or preached by your product and company.

What ideologies does your bank hold that readily attracts you to them?


Is it speed, durability, professionalism, smart tools or what?


Every product just like your bank possesses certain fundamental ideologies that quickly define its prospective customers.


Most MLM products (companies) for instance focus on people looking for freedom, opportunity to grow their income without doing the work alone and sometimes—desperate people thrown against the wall by life and willing to work to make ends meet.


But some are more or less about impacting lives, doing good and being a blessing to the world while making money from it.


Happy World Meal Gate recently launched a company that focuses on providing food incentives instead of just cash incentives.


In Nigeria since 2015, food became so expensive that many students unlike before were forced to cook their own meals. I know this because my younger sister has a fast food joint.


But just recently we noticed that the number of people coming to buy food greatly reduced and when we inquired, we learned that they were forced to cook their own meal as they can no longer afford to eat out three times in a day.


The coming of Happy World Meal Gate provided an opportunity for people to work for food stuffs first and then make money over time and all of this in an MLM system. 


Trying hard to sell to everyone can be frustrating.


But by getting clear on who your ideal customer is, you greatly increase your chances of selling very quickly and most times with greater joy and happiness because such people are always excited to meet you.

Do you worry about how to know if someone is an ideal customer?

Well, it’s something you can do by trying out different strategies. The first strategy is of course to begin by defining your ideal customers—mapping out the qualities and characteristics that make up your idea customer.  

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