Does that sound like a bad idea? (Fishing in a swimming pool). The answer is – Yes, of course, that’s a bad idea. I’d venture to say that there are no fish in any swimming pool. So, the chances of catching one are slim to none. In effect, that’s what you or your salespeople are doing when they don’t segment their customers and fill a need/want for a segment. Over the years, I have seen so much time, money, and resources wasted by salespeople chasing customers who either weren’t qualified buyers or worse yet – WEREN’T even customers at all. By segmenting your customers in the market, you add a clear vision around who you want to go after, what they want/need from you, and how big/profitable that market is. An added benefit is that it gives you the confidence that you truly have a product or service that this customer needs.
Have you ever worked really hard to track down a large customer or someone you “thought” would be a large customer, only to find out that this customer doesn’t even buy your product?
Are you chasing a lot of small-time customers that actually do buy from you, but you struggle to meet your sales goals because they aren’t adding up?
Or worse yet, have you ever created a new product or service, and launched into the world with it only to find out that there was no market for it?
If you answered yes to any of the above, Customer Segmentation is a great place to start before heading out the door tomorrow morning with the product manual and price list under your arm.
The great part about customer segmentation is that it’s easy to do and – best of all, the customer wants to be segmented. It’s easy because if you are in the business and know your customers, you will easily be able to identify stereotypes, profiles, common threads, lifestyles, attitudes, behaviors, or buying behaviors of several different segments of customers. You have the information already in your head. You may even subconsciously profile or stereotype your customers already. This is just the process of putting it down on paper and organizing it.
As I said, the beauty of this process is the customer actually wants to be segmented. It tells the customer – “This salesperson gets me”. From the start, it looks like a bad thing or maybe something that is manipulative. It’s the farthest from either. Think about yourself. What hobby or interest are you really into? Fishing, Fitness, Outdoors maybe. If you are a fisherman, you probably love all kinds of fishing but you participate in only one or a couple of types of fishing. Let’s say you are a large-mouth bass fisherman. Do you want to see ads or be sold on deep-sea marlin products? Of course not. You want to see ads and talk with people that are selling to the bass fishing market. Fitness is your thing? Specifically, do you like long-distance running? Someone trying to sell you a $3,000 racing bike might as well be fishing in a swimming pool. Do you love the outdoors? Specifically, you love to kayak. How much time or consideration are you going to give the local canoe salesman? The answer is zero. You are an elite kayaker. A canoe is a completely different outdoor activity.
Next week, we’ll take a few steps toward segmenting customers. Getting you out of the swimming pool and closer to fisherman’s paradise.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]