How to Identify Your Best Prospects to Target

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When we start working with new clients, on average only about 25% of them know exactly who they want to be working with already. The rest prefer to brainstorm with us, so we can decide on the best possible target market for them, both in terms of the types of people they want to work with, and the the types of people likely to want to work with them.

The good news here is that on LinkedIn, the world is your oyster. Literally every type of client type you would want to work with is represented on LinkedIn in some capacity, and it’s highly likely that almost all of the exact companies you want to work with are present on there.

The Golden Rule of Picking a Target on LinkedIn

This might sound fairly obvious, but whoever you choose as a target on LinkedIn is all up to you. If you’re not receiving good results on your campaigns in terms of interested replies and eads generated, it’s likely due to something you've done.

The good news is, that means you can change things in an instant to better reflect who you want to be working with. There’s zero reason on LinkedIn to be reaching to the type of people who won’t make a good fit as a client. You have all the filters at your disposal to find these people, so you might as well focus your time on trying to find the right ones.

We generally like to start with asking the following questions to our clients:

Question 1 - What industry or industries do you have experience working with?

There’s two major parts to a successful lead generation process - capturing their attention before they become a lead, and keeping their attention after they become a lead and you start selling to them.

One of the best ways to do both, is to make it immediately apparent that you already have experience helping clients with similar issues as the people you’re reaching out to.

It’s no secret that people like working with others who know how to help them - and also no secret you can charge more for a specialized solution.

If you’ve identified an industry you have experience working with, write it down and move on to the next question.

Question 2 - Do you want to continue working with people in that/those industries?

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Have you ever had a client that made you so frustrated, you decided you never wanted to work with that kind of client ever again, if you had the choice?

Well, you do have the choice. Just because you have experience, doesn’t mean you need to end up pulling your hair out for the wrong kind of client.

If for whatever reason there’s something about working with these kinds of clients that keeps you up at night or causes you to question your sanity, head back to question #1 and think of another industry you have experience working in.

Question 3 - Is this industry known to spend money or marketing or better known for being frugal?

It’s a simple thing, but it's amazing how often we have talks with our clients who keep trying to work with companies in industries who are known not to spend on marketing. Why would a marketing agency want to work with people who don’t value their services enough to pay what they are worth?

While some industries are notorious for being extremely financially conservative, others are known for valuing the time and expertise of professionals enough to pay them what they’re worth.

Since by this point, you should have an industry in mind that you have experience working with, think back to how people in that industry treat invoices and payments.

Are they constantly paying late, making excuses and trying to bargain for additional discounts? Or does payment time tend to go smoothly with them?

Of course some of these things are company-specific, but if you’ve noticed any trends about the industry being too difficult to collect payments from, you might want to return to question #1 and start over again.

Question 4 - Do you have relevant case studies that would make those people excited to work with you?

It’s not enough to just make it apparent that you have experience working with people from their industry before, you need to be able to put your money where your mouth is. A case study is often something prospects will ask for during the sales process anyways, so having one you can send them pre-emptively during your campaigns will help to enhance your trust level.

Our golden rule for case studies is that if it doesn’t include a % sign as part of the main takeaway, it’s not strong enough. The best case studies show where a client was before the work began, and where they ended up after the work was completed.

We often see companies writing case studies simply describing the work that was done, but not even mentioning the outcome the client experienced after the work was finished. We see this quite often from web development agencies who don’t know what to show off besides the flashy websites they’ve created for clients.

Our solution is to have them get in touch with some of their clients to see how certain metrics like sales, conversions or traffic improved since the new website was implemented. Most of our clients are already selling more results-oriented solutions, but that’s a great way of framing a case study around a service that’s not necessarily sold with a marketing result in mind.

If you don’t have  case study yet, don’t worry - I'm not going to send you back to question #1 again. Just focus on creating a good one that can be used within your campaigns.

Question 5 - Does your service solve a problem that this industry is aware of and needs solved?

Finally, is your service even needed by the people you’re trying to sell it to? Targeting people you have experience working with, who are willing to spend money isn’t enough if those people aren’t convinced your service is something they actually need.

We see lots of marketers trying to sell solutions to problems their client’s aren’t sure actually exist - or they aren’t sure are big enough problems to put their focus on.

If you need to convince them that they have this problem and need to solve it, before you convince them to hire you to do it, then you’re going to need to a do whole lot more convincing than either party will truly appreciate.

One of our best metrics for this, is to identify 2-3 companies who are offering a similar solution, to a similar target market, at a price higher than you’re already charging.

Why higher? Because you want to be sure you have room to increase your prices down the road, and proof of concept at a price much higher than yours, often is more reliable that a company selling something similar at the same price. It indicates that your ideal customers see the inherent value in the service, and are willing to vote with their wallets.

We’ve created this flow chart below for you to save to help you if you ever need to go back and quickly brainstorm a target market all over again.

Still feeling stuck? Need some help getting your campaigns set up or just want us to run them for you entirely? Set up a free 30 minute consultation and let’s discuss what your best options are.