We’ve all been to business trainings, worked with coaches, or read business books about identifying our “target market”, our “dream client” or our “ideal client”. I have done great exercises with a coach to look at my client base and find industries in which I have clusters of clients. In this process, I identified the industries I enjoyed working with, the demographics of the decision makers and the size of these businesses. BUT, it wasn’t until sitting in a StacyK Academy webinar that it really sunk in that there is more to a dream client than just that. Stacy pushed me even further to determine how culture and personality fits were important too.
I considered questions such as:
- Does the client respect our time?
- Is the client a jerk?
- Do they show up without an appointment and expect immediate service?
- Do they bring us a bottle of vodka on April 15th?
I was able to finally consider and identify which cultural and personality traits in a client work well with my firm’s style, and which are not a good fit. Once that message really sunk in, I took the definition of my dream client beyond the industry category and really focused on which personalities and business styles I enjoy working with – and you can too.
After you have identified an ideal client, it’s important to determine the best way to serve that client’s needs. I recommend the following steps to really identify what your dream client needs:
- Identify some clients already in your client base that fit into that dream client category.
- Ask them what their accounting software doesn’t do for them that they wish it would.
- Ask them what information they want from you that they aren’t getting.
- Ask them what work they would love to offload to you so they can focus on growing their bottom line.
- Research the industry to find out what key performance indicators are crucial to their success and determine what you can help them track.
- Evaluate software and apps to help deliver the services and information your client needs. Test them out and identify what you believe will best meet your clients’ needs.
- Once you have a solution identified, select one or two clients that you know enjoy trying new things and ask them to help you field test that solution.
Once you have a strong service line offering for that dream client and have started delivering those services to existing and new clients, StacyK Academy also teaches us to reevaluate our client base on a regular basis. Using the Client Scoring model from StacyK Academy, it’s easy to see if you are still working with your dream clients. From your original work about what your ideal client really is, you develop a grading scale and review your client list with your whole team and grade your clients on all the factors that makes a client a dream client for your firm. This enables you to keep working in what we all strive for – enjoyable work and clients, along with a business that produces great work and makes some money for you while you’re at it!