Accounting & Auditing | BLI Leadership | Leadership / Management

Five steps to choosing the right customers

Sailors Your customers = your future.

One of the hardest things for CPA firms and small businesses to do is target and carefully select customers. Add to this the current challenges of the recession and it gets even worse.

Successful firms and organizations are taking time to develop "ideal customer profiles" and crafting a strategy to target and acquire them.

Seth Godin is one of my favorite author/bloggers, especially in the area of marketing. He reinforces this in his post, Choose your customers, choose your future.

As Seth says, "Marketers rarely think about choosing customers ... a sailor on shore leave, we're not so picky. Huge mistake."

He continues: "Sell to angry cheapskates and your business will reflect that. On the other hand, when you find great customers, they will eagerly co-create with you. They will engage and invent and spread the word."

Resist the temptation to take any customer in this challenging time as they may consume your ability to get those "A" clients when you come across one.

Here are my five steps to choose the right customers:

  1. Make sure your sales and marketing team understand your core strategy. (Do you have a strategy?)
  2. Develop the criteria for ideal clients for each business line or segment in which you operate.
  3. Create a customer acceptance process to ensure future customers match the criteria.
  4. Rank existing clients A, B, C, D, etc., and discuss with your team(s).
  5. Develop a plan to move C and D clients up or out.

Check out these related resources:

Is your organization guilty of not choosing the right customers?