During almost all my presentations, and during many client coaching sessions the subject of Ideal Client (Customer, Patient) often comes up. Who is your ideal, not your only, client? How old are they? Where do they live? Work? What industry are they in? What is their revenue? How many team members do they employ? And many, many other factors figure into an organization’s ideal client. Studies and experience show that the clearer your definition of your ideal client is, the more of them show up.
This ideal client definition rarely includes a look at their value proposition, rather than the value proposition of the organization seeking them as clients. There is often a gap, sometimes big, between the value proposition of your company, and consequently your product or service offering and your ideal client’s values. For example, my hospital client was delivering health care. However, many of their potential patients and their families did not return after one visit because:
- The parking situation was awful
- They were made to wait in the waiting room
- They were made to wait in the exam room
- The cafeteria or coffee shop had limited menu selections, or the food was not well prepared
- Booking follow up appointments was difficult
Just to name a few. This relates to my December 31, 2020 re-post of my Blog “What is Your Product or Service?“
about the total definition of your product or service, not just the obvious definition.
This brings me to the realization that simply delivering your ideal client’s total value proposition, their expectations of your business, may not optimize your profit or might not be profitable at all! In their book Blue Ocean Strategy authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne propose using your prospective client’s value proposition to first establish your product or service pricing and then design how the product or service will be produced or delivered at a profit with that pricing. This is 180 degrees from the usual cost-plus method of pricing. This works very well for startups or when launching a new product or service.
However, in your on-going business, the reality is that you must strike a balance between satisfying as much of your ideal client’s value expectations as you can and offering your most profitable product or service mix. For example, a CPA firm with an ideal client of medium sized privately owned companies might offer services that include very profitable tax advisory consultations, profitable corporate tax return preparation, and slightly profitable personal tax returns for the company owners. To put this another way, you must optimize both your offering and your ideal client definition to maximize client acquisition and retention, along with a balanced, profitable product or service offering.
Striking this balance is not easy but worth the effort. My colleagues and I are trained to assist you with defining your ideal client and designing your offerings. Just give us a call.