Now Targeting: Your Sweet-Spot Customers

Do you ever wish you could clone your favorite client? You know the one that I mean…the one who allows enough time for their projects… who understands that the laws of physics don’t make exceptions... who pays their bills on time and in full… who says “please” and “thank you”…

Although we can’t replicate our favorite clients, we can do a better job of finding more of these sweet-spot customers.

Sweet-spot customers are the ones who are right-sized for our organization now, and on track to grow at a pace similar to ours. Those target customers are a good fit for the goods and services we offer now: they discern a value in what we provide, while also helping us know where to refine our offerings.

A relationship with a sweet-spot customer is often symbiotic, with both you and your customer offering what the other needs… they get access to high-quality goods and services at an affordable cost, and they give you the chance to build a long-term relationship with a satisfied client. Your business can then grow organically to help fill their needs… which makes you more valuable to them. When it works, voila! Both you and your customer flourish.

A word of warning: your sweet-spot client may not be the big-box retailer with the household name.

For instance, if you own a two-person shop manufacturing reusable coffee cup cozies, it’s unlikely that your sweet-spot customer will be QVC. Sure, that’d be an amazing customer to secure, but could you actually service them at your current capacity? (As an aside, QVC requires that a minimum of $30,000-$35,000 {{wholesale}} worth of goods be available in their warehouse before a product goes on the air…that’s a LOT of cozies!)

Maybe your sweet-spot customer is Susan’s Coffee Shop, which has two stores in your area. You love their coffee, they love your cozies, and the owner writes for a blog that caters to other independent coffee shops in your city. Because she’s a happy client, she starts spreading the word online touting the quality of your products, the great original design you did for them, and your always-on-time delivery.

Before you know it, Joe’s Java Spot reaches out requesting their own design… and Joe’s has four locations. So, you hire a part-time person to help you make more cozies, buzz starts to build, and you’re off and running!

While this example is a bit simplified, it does illustrate some basic concepts to keep in mind as you define and seek out your sweet-spot customers:

  1. How much of our product or service can my current staff generate? It’s a good rule of thumb to always have a bit more work than time because that pressure motivates people to keep moving forward. (Remember the saying: if you want something to get done, give it to a busy person.) After all, you don’t want to have a surplus of products sitting around idle waiting for a buyer.
  2. Are the customers I’m targeting active, growing enterprises or are they in the later phases of their lives? There’s a marketing principle regarding the lifecycle of a product which states that, left unchanged, the sales curve for almost every product will level out and eventually decline. The same can be said for businesses, so look for a company whose owners are actively thinking, growing, connecting, innovating… who have their feet on the ground and their eyes on the horizon.
  3. Am I ready for the ride? While there’s never a guarantee about how big or how quickly your business will grow, it’s helpful to plan ahead. If you land a client next week whose business will increase your sales by 25%, do you have a plan to increase your production accordingly? Part of every business owner’s job is to keep your ear to the ground searching for the next new talent you’ll need. When you have a need, you want to be ready to move quickly.

Finding the right sweet-spot customers who are poised to grow apace with you helps both you and your clients. Your customer will have the benefit of your top-notch goods and services, which grows their reputation and adds to their bottom line. As a result of which, you can expand your service to them, build warm referrals, and grow your own business.

Heck, before you know it, your custom cup cozies will be Today’s Special Value on QVC.

How do you find your sweet-spot customers? Email me at adamatgladworks.com to tell me about your experiences.