Identifying Your Ideal Customer: A Checklist

customer checklist

You’ve heard the saying, “20 percent of all your customers will generate 80 percent of your income.” This is probably because the other 80% aren’t always your ideal customer. But what if you better knew who your ideal customer was?

It doesn’t seem like rocket science that you could then better target those people. Think about it, 20% of 100 is 20 customers, but 20% of 1000 is 200 customers. If you can increase the base of ideal customers – you can hope to garner more sales. The challenge is identifying the ideal customer — but it is then that you can better target them.

The Ideal Customer Checklist:


If you stop and think about the content on your website, social media, email marketing, etc., are you constantly talking about yourself, the products and services? Or, are you hyper-focused on bringing the customer benefits to the forefront? Making a list of all the benefits your products and services truly offer will give you a better vantage point for selling the ‘value’. People always want to know, “What’s in it for me?”


If you can pinpoint the problems or pain points that your most common customer has, you can then better position yourself as being the solution. This model works for most anything. Think about Gatorade and sports. People want to perform better and the benefits of Gatorade solve that problem. Gatorade sells a lot of liquid solutions every day.


Try to make a list of all potential segments of an audience who can use your product, its benefits, and solutions. Gatorade was originally developed for college athletes. But if you’ve ever turned on a NASCAR race, you’ll Gatorade’s sponsorships all over the place. It went from college athletes to almost any sport. That came from the next item, most likely.


Make a list of common characteristics that your pain-point/benefit-needing customers share. In Gatorade’s case, they realized that active 18-24 year old males was their target because they buy and buy into many different sports and sporting equipment. So instead of being a recovery drink for football players, the ideal audience expanded — we’re still not sure why NASCAR drivers would stump for Gatorade; a drink made to help recover after extreme active playing and exertion.


At this point, you have a pretty good idea who your target is. But what price point can he/she afford, fairly for your products and services? How does this price point align with your competitors? Are they competing with you so strongly that you can’t possibly meet that price point? If so, rethink your benefits and pain points and create a sense of urgency and need, ‘at any cost’.


Find some influencers in your target list of ideal customers and ask them to try your products and services. Ask for feedback.

Sitting down with pen and paper and creating a roadmap to your ideal customer is better than guessing or basing your marketing decisions based on the past 10 years – people change, competitors change, new products beat your old ones. This practice of identifying your ideal customer isn’t a one-time effort. It needs to be reviewed, monitored and tweaked! When you find and retain the right type of customers, that high level of customer satisfaction will certainly take you places you might not have otherwise thought!

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