The Coach's Corner

Strategic Selling: Ideal Customers

September 28th, 2015 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Later this year, I plan to post a series of suggestions related to the best practices for obtaining new customers/clients. As part of the preparation for that series, I recently finished reading The New Strategic Selling, by Miller, Heiman, Tuleja and Marriott. I would recommend this book, especially if your job responsibilities include business development. The authors touch on several of my favorite subjects, which I will comment on in the next several blogs.

What is an ideal customer/client? (Honestly, is that something you’ve ever thought about?) The authors offer the following list of “best customer” characteristics:

  1. They trust my company’s performance.
  2. They have innovative, progressive management.
  3. They’re loyal to the vendors selected.
  4. They’re committed to quality control.
  5. They’re willing to pay for “value-added” aspects of my product.
  6. They demonstrate the highest business ethics and integrity.
  7. They want a win-win relationship on every sale.

The authors follow that up with a list of “worst customer” characteristics:

  1. They’re inflexible on price.
  2. They’re slow in making buying decisions.
  3. They have no loyalty to my company or to me.
  4. They have an authoritarian management system.
  5. They’re secretive and unwilling to cooperate.
  6. They want me to lose so they can win.

I would highly recommend evaluating your customers/clients with the above criteria, plus anything else that’s important to you. And then take action. With the generally strong economy, now is a great time to separate from your worst customer/client. It’s scary, but you’ll be glad you did it — and so will your team!

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