5 Infallible Steps B2B Experts Use to Define a Customer Profile
Bringing on board new business clients presents a huge opportunity for B2B experts to increase their income without spending more time working. The trouble is that they often fail to be specific enough when it comes to defining a customer profile.
They fail to express the outcomes of their work in enough detail (in 3 ways) so they struggle to land the corporate clients they truly want to work with.
When defining a B2C ideal customer profile or one for a small business
(>10 employees) you simply have to ask 5 questions:
- WHO do I want to work with?
- WHAT type of person or entrepreneur is best placed to get great results?
- WHY do they want those results?
- HOW can I help them best?
- And WHERE are they are on their journey?
The above is a VERY high-level summary. (To dig deeper read this post)
Whereas, in the world of big business, you have to go a lot further.
#1: For a start, you have to identify a specific vertical in a specific industry
All industries believe they are special and that their challenges are unique so they want to work with an expert who knows THEIR industry...
Offering your services to "C-suite executives" or "senior directors" is not good enough. You have to nail down the industry these people work in (manufacturing, financial services, or retail)... And the vertical (Food Processing, Foodservice, Food Technology).
The problem you solve shows up in different ways in different verticals so it's important to do the research on what’s going on in that vertical and in the companies, you’re reaching out to so you have an educated understanding of the pressures they are facing.
Describing those pressures and how they impact your ideal customer's daily life is an essential part of a communication strategy that is going to engage them.
#2: Then, you need to be specific about the roles your ideal customer may occupy
The way you describe the problem you solve to someone in HR will be different from how you describe it to someone in sales, marketing, or production, for instance.
Tailoring the outcome to the role makes your bid relevant to the problem that person is facing. People in HR have different outcomes from those in sales so they look for solutions that deliver them.
Just explaining that executive burnout in a big advertising agency is much the same as that experienced by a senior banker does not cut it. You have to acknowledge each particular vertical comes with its own distinct set of challenges.
... And adjust your offer, the results you promise, and the words you use to describe them accordingly.
#3: Let's go deeper...
Another aspect of the role you initially target is that they face challenges on different levels. In a nutshell, that could mean they cannot complete a new project because one team is burnt-out.
This has a knock-on effect on other teams in the organization who cannot reach their individual goals... Leaving our ideal customer hamstrung on multiple levels.
To be successful in selling to corporate clients, it is vital to understand ALL the problems they are facing... And incorporate these into your customer profile so you can target your communications to their needs.
#4: Then there is a 3-dimensional aspect
Expert service providers might assume that if they are selling anything related to improving employees' lives they should be speaking with HR... And in some organizations that's true.
It is possible that the head of an operational department, a VP, or a director is the person to target because they are closer to the issue so the impetus to get it fixed is stronger... And anyway, they will have a say in the buying decision.
So it is important to understand the various levels in an organization... And therefore who to target.
#5: Which brings me to why your offer misfires...
Simply put the words you use to express the result you promise are not tailored to your ideal customer's role so they fail to see the value you are offering.
The only solution is to go back to the customer profile you have developed and rework your outcomes so they are tightly focused. Picking the right words is the difference between success and failure.
You see, when a coach works 1:1 with individuals or small business clients, there are only 4 possible outcomes:
- Wealth = increasing sales, generating leads, creating programs, saving cost
- Health = nutrition, fitness, better sleep, more energy
- Relationships = setting boundaries, connecting with teenage kids, finding love
- Personal Development = improving confidence, feeling empowered, finding your purpose
A high-value client has one specific outcome in mind when they take on a coach. That outcome can, of course, have an impact on other areas of their lives. For example, an entrepreneur who sleeps better is often more productive, can make more money, and may also be more present when it comes to communicating with loved ones.
So when you describe how you enable your ideal customers to sleep better, how long it takes to learn the process, how much it costs, and how they will recognize success, they are likely to hire you.
That is the one outcome they are looking for.
It's different for corporate clients...
Their focus is wider. Their outcomes ALWAYS include a strong "wealth" element for the company.
This is because, in a big business organization, more than one person normally signs off the purchase order... So even if a leader cares about the well-being of their people, hiring an expert to improve one team's well-being has to make financial sense too.
This means that whatever the promised result, the wealth outcome has to be explicit part to all those involved in the decision.
Take this example of a relationship coach
In any large organization, relationships are crucial. An expert in this field might share how they help teams develop healthy working relationships or how they help stressed-out leaders set better boundaries.
But they cannot stop there.
Just sharing the relationship angle in their offer does not go far enough. They have to mention the financial impact the result will have on the organization too...
Without those numbers, your target customer will have a hard time getting a buying decision approved. Even if the financial benefits are obvious, not spelling them out in detail (using specific numbers and time scales) makes it likely they will reject your offer.
When you are specific, corporate decision-makers will sit up and listen (and hire you) but there's one more step to take ...
You have to dial in the benefits to each decision-maker in the chain
When you highlight the benefits of your work (method) on internal team relationships you need to...
... Talk about productivity improvements meaning fewer delivery deadlines missed to the operations executive.
... Highlight how effective teams can respond faster to changing market demands when addressing the strategy director concerned about market share.
... Point out how great team cultures make for attractive employer brands when you speak with the HR director, focused on hiring/retaining, high-caliber employees.
Each benefit is relevant to at least one of the three decision-makers.
To sum up
There are three common mistakes made by B2B experts in their customer profiles...
- First Mistake: They only express a narrow outcome (improved relationships).
- Second Mistake: The financial benefit is not specific enough.
- Third Mistake: The language they use to express the benefits is not tailored to each decision-maker's goal.
Understanding these nuances when creating a customer profile is paramount. They set coaches/consultants up to win business from big corporates and therefore add a few 4, 5, or 6-figure clients to their income streams.
I personally use this process to consistently get one strong lead per day in my inbox and enroll an average of 3 clients per month to my high-ticket offer.
Help in defining a customer profile
In my 1:1 mentoring program, I guide you through this maze - and that's just one of the things we do together.
- We distill the impact of the results you bring to large businesses and define their value so you can command multiple 4, 5, or 6-figure fees.
- We refine your corporate program for maximum scalability and repeat work to ensure that 60-80% of your corporate work comes from repeat clients.
- I work with you on defining your marketing message so that you attract the high-level prospects you love to work with...
- Guide you through leveraging your network without feeling sales-y or sounding desperate so that your diary is always filled with exciting prospects.
- And finally, I teach you how to write 500-word offer proposals that convert 80% of the time.
If you want to refocus your expertise on getting results in the corporate sector, I can help you develop a strategic approach that identifies levers that lift your business to the next-digit income level.
As an example, following my approach the right candidate should be able to generate 2-3 conversations with prospects every week, typically starting in email/LinkedIn messenger, then moving to discovery calls.
The right candidate will close 1-2 new clients per month @$5k-$15k while delivering repeat work at $8k-$25k+.
Here's who this is for
The right candidates have truly mastered their craft and have at least 10 years of experience working with entrepreneurs and small businesses doing low 6 figures annually.
They have an existing high-value offer or could have ( say 3k++ for 60/90 days of 1:1 support) which they have sold before.
They love to share their expertise by writing illuminating posts that amplify their folks' understanding of how to overcome the challenge they face and take actions that will move them towards their goal and are really good writers already.
Their previous clients ( most of them ) have achieved good results from the method they use.
They are tired of pain-driven selling on long discovery calls and want to drastically free up their time by having their social media posts do 95% of the selling so they can either reduce the time spent on their calls or eliminate calls altogether and just sell via chat/messenger.
The investment and next steps...
Expect to invest $7.5k in this 90-day 1:1 program with weekly calls on zoom. My goal is to develop a playbook for each client to refer to after our time together is over.
You will be expected to hold yourself accountable and deliver the necessary homework on time.
As this is an 'intensive', I can only work with 5 clients at a time.
If this sounds what you need, the first thing to do is ping me on Messenger and we’ll have a chat.
If you and your business are a good fit, you could get started almost immediately.