If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed with where to begin regarding sales, you’re not alone.
Here’s where to start: identifying your target customer. How do they like to shop for and purchase goods or services? What are other factors that influence their decision to purchase?
In this post, we’re going to break down what to consider when identifying your ideal client and creating an ideal client profile (ICP), what it is, and why it’s important to have one.
What is an ideal client profile (ICP)?
The ideal client profile helps you understand your target audience, their needs, pain points, and preferences, so you can tailor your messaging and services to them. Demographics, psychographics, and firmographics are just some of the important elements of an ICP. Sometimes confused with a buyer persona, an ICP is used to find the target customer, whereas a buyer persona is a fictional character who fits the description of your ideal client. Demographic information like age, gender, income, education, and location as well as psychographic information like behaviors, beliefs, biases will help you better understand what content will resonate with them.
To begin building your ICP you first need to know why it’s important to have one.
Why is an ICP important when prospecting?
Having an ICP helps you understand your prospective customer better; what motivates their decision to purchase, possible objections, and how to overcome them. An ICP gives essential insight into retaining clients, gaining repeat customers, and referral business. The real estate and insurance industries are both highly competitive and finding new clients can be challenging. However, by creating an ideal client profile, you can narrow your focus and target the clients who are most likely to be a good fit for your business. Here are a few reasons why creating an ideal client profile is crucial for real estate and insurance agents:
- Save time and resources by avoiding customers who may be an ill fit and focus on targeting clients more likely to do business with you.
- Foster better relationships with clients, when you know who your ideal client is, you can provide better service by understanding their needs, creating brand loyalty and referral business.
- Target your marketing by knowing how your clients like to receive information and how they make purchasing decisions.
- Convert more prospects into buyers! An ICP targets prospects who fit the profile of someone who is likely to do business with you, helping you generate more and better leads.
Things to consider when building an ICP:
Define your business niche
Start by defining your business niche: the target market you serve. The more narrowly defined and specific, the better. What type of real estate or insurance services do you specialize in? Are you a real estate agent who works with families, investors, luxury home buyers, first-time home buyers, or commercial real estate buyers? What type of clients do you enjoy working with; families, single buyers, men, or women? What sets you apart from your competitors? Answering these questions will help you understand the type of client you want to work with, down to the most specific details!
Identify Demographic Information
Once you know what niche you serve, identify the demographic information that is relevant to your business. This includes factors such as age, income, education, occupation, location, and family status. Real estate and insurance agents should also consider the type of property or insurance policies they specialize in. For example, a real estate agent who specializes in luxury homes will likely target clients with higher incomes and different needs than an agent who specializes in first-time homebuyers.
Research your existing clients
Look at your existing client base and identify and segment your top clients. Who are they? What type of services do they use? What are their needs and pain points? What motivates them to buy or sell a property or purchase an insurance policy, how they prefer to communicate, and what questions they typically ask. Understanding how your top clients make purchasing decisions will help you identify the patterns and characteristics of your ideal client.
Understand your ideal client’s goals
In addition to behavior, it’s important to understand the goals and challenges that your ideal clients may be facing. For real estate agents, this may include goals such as finding a home in a particular school district or neighborhood or challenges such as navigating the home-buying process for the first time or buying with the intention of renting the property for a profit. For insurance agents, this may include goals such as protecting their family or business, or challenges such as understanding complex policy language.
Conduct market research
Conduct market research to understand your target audience. Look at demographic data such as age, gender, income, education, and location. Also, look at psychographic data such as values, beliefs, interests, and behavior. This information will help you create a detailed profile of your ideal client.
Create a buyer persona
Use the information you have gathered to create a client persona. A client persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client. It includes demographic and psychographic information and other details such as their name, job title, and hobbies. The persona should be detailed and include information about their goals, challenges, and pain points. It’s ideal to have multiple buyer personas, but if you end up with too many (more than 8) it’s wise to revisit the niche your fill and the target client. Click here for more about how to create a buyer persona as part of your sales process and to see our example of a buyer persona for a real estate agent targeting soon-to-be retirees.
Test your persona:
Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal client’s demographic information, behavior, goals, and challenges, the final step is to develop marketing strategies that will effectively reach and engage them. Test it by creating marketing messages, content, and services that resonate with your target client. See how well it resonates with your target audience and adjust it as needed. This may include tactics such as targeted advertising, personalized messaging, social media campaigns, or content marketing. For example, a real estate agent targeting first-time homebuyers may create a blog post or video series that explains the home buying process in simple terms, while an insurance agent targeting small business owners may offer free consultations or webinars on how to protect their business.
An ICP helps agents save time and resources by avoiding clients who may be an ill fit and focus on targeting clients more likely to do business with them. It also fosters better relationships with clients, targets marketing efforts, and converts more prospects into buyers. By using the information gathered to create a client persona, agents can tailor their messaging and services to their ideal client, ultimately leading to greater success in their sales efforts.
That’s where Cole Information comes in.
With Cole’s customizable lead lists, you can select attributes unique to your target audience, and create a marketing strategy that resonates with them.
Get started prospecting smarter.