Are You Focusing On The Wrong Customer?

 customer segmentation

Ever feel like you’re wasting a HUGE amount of time?

Ever get in front of someone and you right away know – JUST KNOW – that you’re not going to make a sale? Frustrating, isn’t it? Trying to sell to everyone doesn’t work.

How many potential customers have you wasted time upon like this?

Hours, days, weeks, MONTHS? How much in gas, emotional drain, time away from paying customers? Probably a lot. We all make this mistake, including myself. It’s not that the customers did anything wrong, it’s that your customers were not, well, customers. But the wisdom of my mentors is not far away for you…  it’s called, and it’s important!

You can’t sell to everyone.

Nor should you. The bottom line is that your services are only available and useful to some. So how do you separate between your real customers, and ones that are merely interested, with marketing?

Marketing is finding customers, sales is selling to them.

Maybe it’s a marketing solution, not a sales solution.

I want to make a note here between sales and marketing. Marketers identify who to talk to. You’re trying to separate who to go after as opposed to how to sell. Sales close those targeted customers. In some companies (perhaps like yours) someone wears both hats. Nothing wrong with that – as long as you understand the difference.

Let me show you an example: my customers.

Let me give you an example – I’ll show you how I segment my potential customers. This could be directly (shaking their hands, networking) or remotely (how I write articles and where I send them online to be picked up.) The principles of segmentation are the same whether or not I am in front of them; you have to speak the right message to the right “type” of customer.

The right type of customer has hurdles.

Customers have hurdles.

Customers have hurdles.

Customers could have a variety of problems they want to solve. Perhaps more importantly, customers can have a variety of hurdles in choosing me to solve their problem.

It could be that they’ve been burned before by someone that claimed to know how do Internet marketing, but didn’t. The customer might not have enough money, or don’t understand the value because they don’t understand Internet marketing.

I need to know what their specific hurdle is before I can shape a message that triggers them to talk more with me as a solutions provider.

For my business, it’s really 2 hurdles.

  1. Knowledge. They have to know what I do so they understand value. Most don’t – Internet marketing is pretty complex.
  2. Money. They have to have enough money to employ me. Internet marketing is not cheap.

How do I know these 2 hurdles are key? They tell me all the time.

  • “That’s REALLY expensive.” (knowledge)
  • “I just don’t see why this is so important.” (knowledge)
  • “I tried that already; it doesn’t work.” (knowledge)
  • “I’m doing alright – I don’t need you.” (knowledge and probably some money issues)
  • “I heard that someone can do this for like $500 (money and knowledge – ahem.)
  • “God, I KNOW it’s important, but I’m strapped right now.” (money)

Objections are then translated into marketing strategies.

It’s important to note that the objections above STARTED with a sales meeting or open-ended discussion with interested clients, but what I do with that information is powerful – it ENDS UP AS marketing messages. That’s a form of segmentation.

So what do I do with that information above?

I turn it into a client segmentation quadrant, like the one below.

Using a client segmentation quadrant makes for easy identification of the type of customer and how to sell to them. That means you spend more time on the good targets and less time wondering why you're not selling.

Using a client segmentation quadrant makes for easy identification of the type of customer and how to sell to them. That means you spend more time on the good targets and less time wondering why you're not selling.

What’s next?

Tomorrow: It’s Do-Your-Own-Customer-Quadrant Time!

Yep, moving right into my Tactical Mondays article, where I’ll show you how to create your own customer segmentation quadrant! Stay tuned!

Greg Cox

Analytics Geek. Gregory likes Motorcycles, Cooking, and Sciencey stuff.