My topic? Building your business by providing relevant and valuable outcomes to appropriate target customers.
Are you targeting the right customers? It all starts by grading your customers.
I had the same situation going on that these seminar attendees did. About 10 years ago, I developed a process of grading my own customers: quarterly, annually and strategically. The Worksheet changed my business life. I shared this Worksheet with the seminar attendees.
As our roundtable discussion progressed, including role play, everyone began to get that deer-in-headlights-look. That’s when I asked:
Who are you working so very hard to please? The end-users of your deliverables or your management’s KPIs?
Your real customers don’t care whether or not you are meeting your sales quotas. Your real customers don’t care whether you are fulfilling your billable hours quota.
Your real small to midsize business customers care about whether you are helping their own businesses become sustainable, profitable and enduring.
Your own focus is on making your numbers or billing clients so your manager gets off your back. That tack leads to your doing business with anyone who will buy.
There’s no customer-focus or strategy involved at all. There’s no leadership, either.
Some of your “deals” will default on their loans. Some of these loans shouldn’t have been negotiated in the first place. Some of your contracts won’t renew next year, so you’ll have to replace lost business before you can grow your customer base…. Again.
Are you focusing on pleasing the wrong customer?
Chasing KPIs – without identifying appropriate target customers – turns you into that greyhound who is chasing that fake rabbit in circles around that racetrack.
You are better than that. I know it. You know it.
Pleasing your company’s portfolio performance goals or your manager’s goals helps everyone else retain their job and sustain their business. These habits don’t help you develop a loyal and retained customer base and establish yourself as a business person of worth.
Determine your real target customers. Focus on providing relevant value in the business outcomes you provide. As you build their businesses, your real customers will reward you with their loyalty and retention.
Yes, you’ll meet your performance KPIs in the process. Except you won’t get up every day chasing them around anymore.
Your true horizon becomes your true customers. That’s the way it should be when you are a leader and a businessperson of worth.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She coaches the coaches and works with small to midsized businesses and startups, creating revenue-producing business development strategies.