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Do One Thing . . . Define the Customer You Want Next

By March 9, 2011January 4th, 2016No Comments
Lindsay Bayuk

Lindsay Bayuk

My colleague Lindsay Bayuk recently introduced me to the website Real Simple and the “Keep It Together” emails that they deliver.  The subject line is “If You Do Just One Thing . . . [fill in the blank].  Actually, the first one I saw was “If you do just one thing . . . clean out your pantry.”  Well, that’s not going to happen any time soon, but I like the concept of checklists and toolkits and instructions–recommendations from people I trust that say–have you thought about doing this next?

So here’s the first official Whale Hunters checklist:  If you do just ONE thing . . . get your Target Filter right!  A great target filter will accelerate your sales and revenue by clarifying your goals, focusing your energy, and boosting your efficiency.  Sort of like cleaning out your pantry.  Here’s how:

  1. Make a list of categories that matter to you (i.e. industry verticals, company size and/or revenue, location, reputation)
  2. Put metrics next to each category: “A” metric = ideal; “B” metric = Good; “C” metric = “Lowest we would go if other criteria are good.”
  3. Use that list and those metrics to conduct a business database search for companies that meet the criteria.  For free data, start with  For better data, access Hoover’s or LexisNexis or a comparable database through your local university or public library.
  4. Identify the most promising 25 (more or less depending on your company size) of the Target Filter prospects.
  5. Conduct a deeper-dive research into those top prospects and make it available to your marketing, sales, and operations teams.

Of course there’s more–once you have a list, you need to strategize about how and when to introduce yourself.  But . . . if you do one thing today, define your ideal customer!

What does your ideal customer look like?  Do you know?  Do your referral sources know exactly who you are targeting?  We’d love to see some examples.