What Makes a Good Customer?

If you are a sales professional or a Sales Manager, then the start of the year is the time to refocus your selling efforts. So do you know who you should be targeting as possible new customers?

Sales people need to train themselves so they understand the customer types who make good potential customers and those who they should not waste their time targeting.

By analysing your existing best customers you can gain a clearer picture of the characteristics of a good customer for your business. Ask yourself what it is exactly that makes them your best customers?

If they are retail or wholesale customers: Is it because of their size? Their geographical situation? The range of products which they regularly buy from you? Their image with consumers? Their advertising? Their in-store layout and promotion? Their pricing policy? The type of outlets they operate? Or the quality of their staff?

If they are industrial customers: Is it because of the nature of the industry in which they operate? Their products? The production process? The equipment used in the production, assembly and packaging processes? Their organisation? Their distribution and warehousing? The strength of their sales organisation? The service they provide to their customers? The size of their customers? The export markets they sell to? The nature of the buyer? Or other personal influences?

Now consider two other important questions that will help you to a better understanding of customer types:

1. Which among your current customers operate in the same industry or, in some other way, are similar to your best customers? Why do these particular customers not rank among your best customers? What makes them different from your best customers? Are you competitors too strongly entrenched? Or is it because you have not yet managed to make them aware of how they could benefit from your products?

2. Which prospective customers are similar to your best customers? Go and look at them in detail and see what makes them different! Are they really in the same situation, operating under the same conditions as your best customers?

Understanding which customer types are a good fit to your best customers allows you to create a sales plan to improve the range of your current customer base.

The start of the year is also a great time to book your sales training to ensure that once identified you can turn your sales prospects into customers.