Questions-CoverA few weeks ago I gave you a list of tough questions your sales people should be asking potential clients. Today, I am going to turn the table on you and share some of the tough questions you should be asking yourself about your marketing.

What do you want your business to look like a year from now?

It will take more than just wishing to get there. You need a marketing plan, budget and calendar which will help you decide when to invest, how much to spend and what type of activities are the best fit for your business. To develop your marketing plan, you need to answer some tough questions about your customers.

What is your target market?

No, it isn’t everyone. There are people or companies that are more likely to need what you do. The better you are at describing the characteristics which define your ideal client, the less time you will spend chasing people who can’t or won’t buy from you. Don’t just focus on the obvious characteristics like age and income for consumer products or business size, really get specific.

  • What neighborhoods or types of homes do your customers live in?
  • What industries do you love? Which ones would you prefer to avoid?

Who is your ideal client?

This is more specific than your target and more specific than your target client. This is about the client you love to work with. Let’s face it, if you have more than one customer, you probably liked one more than the other. Why? What makes someone a good fit for you? Sometimes it is the kind of project or the personality of the people you worked with. When you know what makes someone great to work with, you can begin ranking prospects as acceptable, typical or ideal. The more time you spend with ideal clients, the happier you will be.

What is a customer worth.

To answer this, you need to know the lifetime value of a customer. How much will they spend annually? How many years will they typically remain a customer?

Is the market large enough to support your business?

How many prospective customers are there? Hundreds? Thousands? To decide if the market is large enough, think about how many are using a comparable product from one of your competitors vs how many are not currently using a product or service like yours. While it would be wonderful if everyone in a market segment bought from you, that is probably unrealistic. So can you make a living if 10 or 20% of your market buys from you?

What is your capacity?

How many customers do you want? If all your marketing is working, how many leads can you handle? If you are generating more leads than you can handle, it is time to be selective, work with only your ideal clients, or simply raise your prices so you can focus on the people who really want to work with you.

When you are done answering these questions, you are ready to start building your marketing campaign to drive more ideal clients to  your door.

Want to see if  you have all the right marketing pieces in place? Take our marketing quiz to find out.