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The Picture of a Perfect Customer

If you’ve been the game for any period of time, you quickly learn that not all business is good business. They may have boatloads of budget, sure, but there’s just something that makes things unnecessarily difficult. Some try to struggle through the relationship; but in the end, no one on either side is happy.

I’ve been pretty lucky to have the clients we’ve worked with – and continue to work with. Every now and then, however, there’s just not a fit. Something just doesn’t work – some may pass the blame to “bad chemistry”, but what the hell does that mean? That idea don’t offer any insight into how you can find the customers that are actually good for your business. So, I spent a good deal of time trying to put some solid backing behind it, and here’s what I came up with. Behold, the four metrics of the perfect customer.

Revenue (bet you didn’t see that one coming). This is usually the first indicator of whether you’re off to a good start. The customer wants exactly what you have to offer, sees the value of it, and is willing to pay appropriately for it. A customer that wants to bargain over budget is your first red flag – they clearly don’t think what you’re offering is worth what you charge.

Rapport. This is the only intangible part. A client with good rapport usually shares the same way of looking at business. They get jokes, they respect your work and the time it takes to do it, and the experience is often stress-free. If you start to see personality clashes, that’s fine if it’s on occasion. Serious differences or unpleasant encounters when you meet them will taint the relationship for both of you. Get past differences if you can. If not, none of this will make much of a difference.

Results. If you have a customer that’s willing to pay top dollar for your best work, you damn well better deliver. If you’re a restaurant selling $5 tacos on foodora, they’d better taste so good, that they take that customer to the moon and back. If you’re an attorney and charge $400 an hour, there had better be something to show for it.

But let’s be honest: there are some customers that either you can’t help, or that just won’t see the value in what you’re doing. In those hopefully rare cases, you need to be respectful and fall on your sword. Not getting what you paid for is one thing; not being given the respect of acknowledgement from someone you’ve paid is far worse.

Referrals. If you’ve worked the metrics up to this point, you should have a happy customer. This is where most companies call it a day, which is sadly short-sighted. Those with a longer vision take things a step further, and work to make sure that one customer’s elation means more customers like them. This can be done in a number of ways, through Yelp or Google reviews, talking you up on Facebook, or by you simply asking them. This can be tough, so we created a guide to help in getting the ask done while also managing your brand.

So there it is, a four-step measuring process to get you the perfect customers for your business. Try it out, and let me know how it worked for your business!

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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