Choose Your Clients Carefully

in Business

How many times have you heard that you must have a specific, ideal target audience when marketing your business?

The importance of a very specific, and almost customized, target audience is a crucial step in the marketing process. Why? Because it literally saves you from unwanted headaches.

Being clear on whom you will market requires putting yourself in that customer’s shoes, and when you do that, something magical happens – that prospect is now positioned to be a bonafide client or customer.

The basic who, where, what, and why of selecting your target audience begins to address these simple facts: age, education, income, geographic location, hobbies, preferences, and lifestyle.

For example, my target audience is female, ages 25-50, earned a bachelor’s degree, makes at least $50,000 per year, lives at least one hour away from a major metropolitan, reads “In Style” magazine, works out rigorously at least 3 times per week, has a healthy social life, enjoys shopping, is stylish, and is goal-oriented and willing to learn and grow as a leader in her organization/ business, and as a whole person. She is the picture of a go-getter, and successful in her business and personal life, and continues to strive for excellence.

When you are clear and specific on these facts, you create a sort of “client attraction”, which is taught so well by Fabienne Fredrickson, that this ideal client will almost automatically become your client because you have identified her very clearly and succinctly, so that she “sees” herself in your marketing materials and outreach. When someone “sees” herself in the offerings of your business (and remember, you have not yet “sold” her anything), she inevitably wants to check you out and find out more about how you can solve her particular problem.

When you are very clear on who your ideal target audience is (putting yourself in her shoes), you have essentially “screened out” the pool of people who are only curious, shopping around, seeing what is out there, and most especially those who end up being “pissy” people.

“Pissy” people are those who are unhappy with everything. They go beyond “tire-kicking” and “sampling”. They are customers who will find everything and anything wrong with your business – no matter how savvy and well-defined your products and services. “Pissy” people are complainers and essentially want your business free of charge. These types of people will always look for a bargain when there is none to be had, or even after you have given (and they have taken) your complimentary offer or “enticement”. They have an economic mind-set of “lack”, and therefore can never afford anything and will always think everything that your business or company offers is too expensive!

I recently experienced this first-hand. After purchasing and not liking a product, a recent customer requested an exchange. I gladly and expeditiously processed the return, emailed her screen shots of the online process, and outlined step-by-step what to expect in the exchange process, going above-and-beyond for the customer. (My counterparts in this business do not do this). Even though I emailed this customer the entire return process, she continued to question the exchange, and informed me that the shipping fee was WAY too much (ummmm – $5.95 flat rate for all shipments in the continental U.S., regardless of volume or amount of products purchased), and gave me a litany of reasons why she would never purchase from me again! Essentially it was a negative dump of all things “wrong” with my business!

Though this unhappy and “pissy” customer was a random order, it clearly demonstrates the importance of the ideal and customized target customer. Though this particular customer was clear that I had “lost” a customer, I am not taken aback, as she is not my ideal customer in the first place, and definitely not the type of customer my business wants anyway!

The ideal client is almost like match-making. In order for a mutually-beneficial relationship, both client and business must like, want and need each other. I mean, if we purposely do not look for negative and pissy people to date, we most definitely should carry that mind-set over into our marketing and business plans.


Eliminate the nay-sayers from the onset, and you will find yourself with clients and customers who want your business and are thrilled to have discovered you!

That is client nirvana!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

onhighheelsprez August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

@closetwriter@Red Kathy@Tia Peterson Hey ladies! Thanks for the feedback. We offer something worthwhile to people in our respective businesses. If they don’t “get it”, then they don’t get it (our product and service). LOL! When I first heard about narrowing and target your audience, I thought that was very limited – but I now see how wise it is to pick and choose.

BingoBabeUk August 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Donna i have to agree with you. Thanks for writing this awesome post.

College Stress June 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm


closetwriter June 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Donina, this was so spot on! My business is very targeted to mompreneurs so that helps a lot. I loved your qualification of “pissy”. Boy, we have seen those come across our path. Hello? We are all in business for business, to make money. It’s give and take. You give me money, I help you make more money. Seems pretty simple but it is amazing how some think they should receive services for free. A great reminder and reality check, thanks!

Red Kathy June 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Oh my gosh I’m dealing with one of these “pissy people” right now. The current and future work loaded or should I say the lack thereof make it very hard to be choosy in our business. Bigger problem is were only half way through the job and already everything is our fault! OMG I can’t wait until it is finally done. Given the option, we would not for this contractor again. Only time will tell if we will have that luxury!

Tia Peterson June 3, 2011 at 3:29 am

Hi Donina – I agree that finding your ideal client is like match making! There will be hits, and then there will be misses. It’s so important to treat every client as valuable, but to begin to make the necessary changes to not let everyone past the “red velvet rope.”

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