Photo Credit: – CC0 License – Tirachard Kumtanom

Regardless of the business you’re in, your customer is never super-easy to find. And worse, if you don’t have a clear definition of who your customers are, your sales and marketing teams will spend lots of time and money trying to connect with the wrong people who are not likely to buy. Yes, without a clear definition, these teams could be going after different people for different reasons. Yikes. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all made this mistake.



A thriving business has both sales and marketing teams working together with a unified customer focus. Yes, there may be varying types of customers, and even sub-sets of those customers. But, unless your business has clearly defined them, you’ve set yourself up for a colossal waste of time. That’s what I call a serious business distraction, and your competition wants you to have this distraction and focus on the wrong people so they can grab all the good people and steal the ones you’re losing.

Sales Professional Perspective

If you’re in sales, you are probably thinking, “there’s no way I am limiting my focus on just a small niche people group.” What we’re saying here is for you to spend some time clearly defining the group of people that are most likely to buy, and then you will be able to adjust your communication delivery methods to target those people specifically based on their personal and professional traits. A smaller group of people can force you to be more efficient and ultimately, more profitable.

As you know, sales people are always profiling. They are like a professional radar constantly going around and around – their profile radar never stops. But it does get frustrated because it is constantly looking and profiling people that most likely won’t become customers. Sales is not always a numbers game. It’s also a psychological game of defining pain points, need, motivation and what they consider to be of value. Customers do have a value proposition much like your business does, you just need to find it. That’s a hint to include those in your profile description.

Marketing Professional Perspective

If you’re in marketing like me, you’re also thinking and saying to yourself, “there’s no way I am limiting my focus on just a small niche people group.” This is just like sales. What we’re saying to you is for you to take a hard look at who you are marketing to so that your marketing reaches them perfectly with content, advertising, and everything else you are doing to attract and convert.

Here’s an example of why you need to know your customer. Let’s say you are looking for women’s shoes online because you’re going to an upscale gala in a few weeks. You need styling black stilettos –nothing else.

As a shoe marketer, if I start serving you digital ads for men’s loafers, kid’s sneakers, work boots or running shoes you are most likely not going to click on the ad or even pay much attention to it regardless of where you see it. But if I know my audience are women who want up-scale shoes, more importantly, stilettos, then at least I am really close to understanding what you want and why you want them. My marketing becomes far more effective.

Less Time and Money = Positive ROI

Everyone likes it when ROI is headed in the right direction and time and money is not wasted. Well, once you’ve clearly defined your customer profiles, both your sales and marketing teams will be focused on the same people. That means they will not be wasting time trying to convince non-buyers to buy. Enough said.

What Makes a Good Customer Profile?

Every company is different, however, there are some common questions and topics you need to make sure you have covered when you create your bullet list defining your customer profile. Here are a few.

  • Male/female, age, income, behavioral traits, location, reasons and motivations for buying, previous customer or new customer, business owner, manager or employee, types of common questions they ask during the buying process, digital and social behaviors, what are their pain points they are trying to solve once they purchase? Is this an emotional or personal purchase, frivolous purchase, or business purchase, why would they come to your business instead of the competition?

Naturally, there are a lot of “why” questions to ask your prospective customer to get a good understanding of their behaviors. The answers to these will help round-out your profile and provide a clear understanding of your customer.

Scott MacFarland is a lifelong marketer with a passion for content, marketing, digital, social, web, video, analytics, and all things that lead to successful conversions. Scott is currently the Marketing Director for HMY Yachts in Jupiter, Florida.

Follow Scott on LinkedIn or Twitter



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