A few years ago I got a serious reality check when a recruiter asked me what my ideal job was and I couldn’t answer him; he was way too professional to hang up me but he may as well of as I “felt” his brain click “off”, it was palpable.
I came to realise I had been struggling to understand what exactly I was looking for which made it virtually impossible to explain to someone else.
After much personal reflection and professional development, I was able to articulate it into 5 very succinct characteristics:
- I wanted to work in a big organisation (not huge) but knowing deep within myself that size and scale of the company would challenge me and sustain my interest.
- I know the best value I can add is in sales or business management as I didn’t have any technical skill or qualification and had reasonable entrepreneurial flair.
- I wanted to lead a team, I love developing people, always have, always will.
- I am relationship driven which mostly lends itself in business to business working teams and customers (internally and externally) to grow ourselves and create opportunities over the longer term – I am not transactional nor short term.
- I am a bricks, steel, concrete or timber sort of a person – structural or earthy as I call it. I think this is because I shoot straight, like the simple things in life and can’t keep up with technology….
It’s been many years since THAT phone call but the lessons have stayed with me forever, this thread guiding me as I changed companies and careers over the last 20 years. My path became SO much clearer and easier after all the reflection/introspection to that helped me appreciate exactly what I had to offer the world.
Knowing your Ideal Customer is the same for any business and some of the most powerful work that any organisation can do in terms of marketing. It can be somewhat of a theoretical exercise but that doesn’t mean it’s not a hugely valuable with some of THE most successful companies pouring millions of dollars into it – there are lessons for the rest of us here too important to ignore.
As Professor Frank Alpert suggests:
“The biggest driver of change in purchase intentions was feeling targeted.”
Spending the time, effort and money helps you to understand what your customers need most from you and ensure your position as a market leader by continuing to challenge the status quo and build healthy relationships based on value rather than price.
The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.
The easy thing to do is leaves you in the most vulnerable of positions of being product peddlers and price discounting, which only ends in eroding margins and self-esteem.