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Defining the ideal customer profile to optimize negotiations

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ideal customer profile - customer is king

This article was written by the partner of LUZ Juracy Abbondanza, specialist in complex sales, responsible for Abbondanza Business Solutions.

Let's combine ... It's hard to resist the temptation and not make some sales, give up certain negotiations, "throw up" a request. For some sellers this attitude is even inconceivable because after all the sale is welcome, the customer is always right and the real is always worth the same.

Is that so? We will see!

All complex sale is more likely to be successful if it is supported by a strategy.

Customer Prospecting Worksheet

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The strategy seller to get a good order, the client will have their needs met, the negotiation will establish a relationship long term. This will generate new orders and will be a market benchmark for your product.

A good one sales strategy passes by ideal customer definition, which you will accomplish by utilizing some historical-based techniques that you have in your customer portfolio. This definition allows the vendor to identify which customers are most likely to produce win-win results and which are potential sources of problems.

buyer's dayWhen you can define your ideal client, you eliminate a prospects at the top of the sales funnel and can focus on those who are most likely to close a good deal.

The formation of Ideal Customer Profile is a dynamic process and its use allows us to identify obstacles and risk situations in a negotiation in order to anticipate the solutions to achieve the objective.

But how do you define the ideal client's profile?

What we are going to analyze to define our ideal client profile are behaviors in a business relationship and not commercial or market aspects.

5 Steps to reach the Ideal Customer Profile - PCI

(sometimes we will find ICP - Ideal Customer Profile)

These steps can be done in isolation or in a group, bringing together marketing and sales professionals. Accomplish brainstorms usually leads to better results.

1 - Relate which are the BEST customers

We will only list customers who are in the portfolio and not the ones we would like them to be. We must be careful and include only the top.

The related ones should only be the ones that have brought the best results with the least problems.

ideal customer profile

2 - Identify key features of BEST customers

Write to each of them what behavior was perceived during the negotiation. This assessment should not be done hastily, it is important to reflect on each behavior and highlight its influence on the final outcome.

Thus, for example:

  • does not prioritize price
  • perceives the added value of the product / service;
  • requires quality
  • looks for ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper - in that order;
  • relies on the arguments put forward by the seller and acts ethically in comparison with competitors;
  • decisions are taken swiftly;
  • make decisions based on technical criteria;
  • managers take risks when faced with innovative alternatives.

Customer Prospecting Worksheet

3 - Relate those who are WORST clients.

The same procedure is applied to the best ones.

At this point should be related the customers who brought more problems than gains from the negotiation.

ideal customer profile - worst customers

4 - Identify the main characteristics of WORST customers.

In the same way as in the case of the best, write together with each one what behaviors were perceived during the negotiation. There should be no hurry to finish here either.

Characteristics type:

  • makes an auction with suppliers;
  • does not perceive - or do not want to perceive - the added value of the product / service;
  • wants to always take advantage;
  • always thinks that you are mistaken;
  • afraid to make decisions that will require change;
  • decisions are made slowly and centrally;
  • personal aspects are taken into account;
  • does not assume its responsibility in the negotiation.

5 - Defining the Ideal Customer Profile

From the identified behaviors, make an IDEAL LIST with those you deem most significant, from the best to the worst. If you want to include everyone feel at ease!

The best behaviors will simply be transcribed while the worst behaviors will be written with what would be the opposite.

Then, on a separate sheet write "PROFILE OF THE IDEAL CUSTOMER" and list the 7 behaviors chosen by the listener (individually or collectively) as the most important.

Ready now you have your Ideal Customer Profile.

Customer Prospecting Worksheet

Let's apply the method in practice!

Following with the examples, imagine that we selected 3's best customers and 3's worst customers.

Best Customers

  • Ind e Com de Máquinas Ltda.
  • Moinhos Silva S / A
  • Financial Dollar S / A

Worst Customers

  • Ind. Bebidas Ressaca Ltda.
  • Pneus de Borracha S / A
  • Ind. Alimentos Mahuz Ltda.

Once the evaluation was made, the following behaviors were highlighted:

Ind. And Com, of Maquinas Ltda.

  • does not prioritize price;
  • perceives the added value of the product / service.

Moinhos Silva S / A

  • looks for ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper - in that order;
  • relies on arguments put forward by the seller;
  • acts with ethics;
  • does not prioritize price.

Financial Dollar S / A

  • decisions are taken swiftly;
  • make decisions based on technical criteria;
  • managers take risks when faced with innovative alternatives;
  • perceives the value added of the proposal;
  • does not prioritize price.

Ind. Bebidas Ressaca Ltda.

  • makes an auction with suppliers;
  • does not perceive - or do not want to perceive - the added value of the product / service;
  • wants to always take advantage.

Pneus de Borracha S / A

  • wants to always take advantage;
  • decisions are made slowly and centrally;
  • personal aspects are taken into account;
  • does not assume its responsibility in the negotiation.

Ind.Alimentos Mahuz Ltda.

  • wants to always take advantage;
  • always thinks that you are mistaken;
  • afraid to make decisions that will require change;
  • decisions are made slowly and centrally.

Now let's list all the behaviors found, relating the opposite of the bad behavior you identified:

  • does not prioritize price;
  • perceives the added value of the product / service;
  • demands quality;
  • looks for ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper - in that order;
  • relies on arguments put forward by the seller;
  • acts with ethics;
  • decisions are taken swiftly;
  • make decisions based on technical criteria;
  • managers take risks when faced with innovative alternatives;
  • does not auction with suppliers;
  • perceives the added value of the product / service;
  • does not want to take advantage;
  • seeks a win-win relationship;
  • does not think he is being deceived, trusts the professional and his arguments;
  • not afraid to make decisions that will require change, take risks;
  • decisions are taken swiftly with delegation of authority;
  • personal aspects are discarded;
  • every decision maker assumes responsibility for negotiation.

Of all these, what are the behaviors of the clients that are the most important for us to walk more assertively towards a good result?

Customer Prospecting Worksheet

The Ideal Customer Profile

After a very careful analysis, we conclude (individually or collectively) that the following behaviors are the most significant:

  • does not prioritize price
  • perceives the added value of the product / service;
  • acts with ethics;
  • make decisions based on technical criteria;
  • managers take risks when faced with innovative alternatives;
  • decisions are taken swiftly with delegation of authority;
  • every decision maker assumes responsibility for negotiation.

This is, in our case, the ideal customer profile.

Look for customers who have as much adherence to this standard as possible your probability of success will be greater!

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