In the business of sales/marketing it is, or should be, the highest interest of the marketers and sales people alike to find the perfect customer (PC).
But what is the perfect customer?
1. They need and want your product.
The most important thing in sales and marketing is to find people who need or want what you are providing. Not all of them will be the perfect customer.
To select your perfect customer you must look for the demographic that they reside in. Once found you then study what things that they most have in common with your product or service, and be attentive to where crossover connections occur (were people of different demographics tend to like some of the same things) these will be use full when expanding your market.
2. It is very important that they use/display your product often and with success.
If they do not use/display, your product, then you will be hard pressed to explode in selling your product to enough people to make a profit from it.
If they are not good at using or representing the product/service, then you should try and teach them how.
If a product dose not get usage, or display time by the customer, it is not getting any “word of mouth” or showing it's usefulness, there fore dose you no good.
3. A perfect customer is cultivated.
These perfect customers are not by chance, they are selected, and cultivated over time.
You need to pick people that are very out spoken, and very active in the community, they are the perfect advertising tool.
A perfect customer tends to be mouthy, and eccentric at times... that's OK they are also saying your name, or product name every time they talk to people about using/having it.
When selecting a perfect customer, keep in mind, that it is like making a fake friendship, you may not like them, but they are your tool to succeed.
You need to remember that this is business, trust me once they catch on (and they will) they will start to take advantage of your arrangement.
Your selected customer will continually give you free advertising, and we all know there is no better advertising than “word of mouth” with that said, you will also need to give them perk's every now and then to, build the relationship, or good advice on other services that an associate might offer (and yes networking is a very important part of this as well) usually they will offer a finders fee to you as well, make sure you return in kind, but don't be too greedy with your fees, it will come back to haunt you.
The best way to make use of a perfect customer is to pick someone that, as said, is “very active” (public servant, activist, community volunteer, business owners, ext, ext, ext) this will insure that you start getting people contacting you (everyone knows that it is much easier to sell someone that comes to you).
I think it goes without saying that you need to make sure that your PC (perfect customer) has plenty of your business cards.
If your product is a service;
Study your potential PC's home, this will tell you a lot about them. If it is not well kept, lacks display of pride in it's look, or too elaborate decorations... leave it alone.
Positive signs are things such as a simple, but very neat landscaping, clean, and functional porch, and a nicely kept older car is also a good sign too. A lot of your profile hits will come from studying your potential PC, for instance if your selling robotic operated lawnmowers, then you would probably look for a nasty lawn with a nice, newer car, so this is why studying your potential PC, and researching the demographic is important to your success.
A short list of examples;
Things that are A+
A painted house, uniform shape to lawn, limited lawn ornaments, few or no trees, central location in the neighborhood, neighborhood/local club membership sticker on vehicle, possibly older couple/widow, or younger couple/new family.
Signs that signal a rating of an A -
Multiple cars in the driveway, dead spots, fruit trees, elaborate landscaping, over all UN-kept appearance of home, neighbors that have a lot of the negative qualities.
Signs that signal a rating of A+
The house is kept properly, nice landscaping, no broken windows, make sure that the house is located in a good location to get the most traffic of on lookers from the neighborhood, signs that they have tried to do it themselves and given up, organization tags on the vehicles, person in business for themselves, association presidents, basically anyone who is active in an extra-curricular group, or community project.
Signs that signal a rating of A-
Older damaged vehicles, cluttered yard, old damage to the house, signs that there is only one car to the household, signs that there are multiple kids in the household, has a construction type work truck in the drive way, too many trees/shrubs obstructing your work for others to see, and most of all... argumentative people.
A lot of these are my personal preferences, and the things that you will look for will be very different depending on the specific needs of the individual in your demographic, you also need to learn for yourself what type of person it is that you can deal with best.
If your product is an item;
To me an item is the easiest to sell, but hardest to find a good PC.
To find a good PC in this area you have to represent several items to be able to make full use of a PC, so it is best to select your products along a demographic, and then find your PC that fits every one of your products demographic for the most success.
But you can do it the other way around, find the perfect PC, and then select products based on their specific interest, this will result in your need to make friends of their friends to network, and depending on the amount of items you have to offer you will have to keep a good record of the new customers that come in, for PC's, that you can continue to branch off of in the future.
My suggestion for items;
Find businesses that sells similar products, or products that are in the same demographic, as the items you wish to sell.
1. Let a PC have a trial use of one of the items (this is risky so choose the PC well).
2. Be very handy with the item you wish to sell, and make sure the PC knows how to use it almost as well as you.
3. Make sure that it is a item the has a large demographic to sell to, or you might be out of a job before you even get started.
4. It is nearly impossible to sell an item that you do not use yourself, so be an example of your item as well.
5. Take the time to research the items you choose to sell as well, it will only help you to find different avenues in which to distribute your item.
6. Build your PC up, tell them that the only reason that you are giving them such an item, for so little of a price, is that you know that they will be good at showing it off to others, and improving your over all number of sales... even offer them discounts for referrals.
A perfect customer is someone that loves your work (because you put more time in to making sure that they are very happy), has a lot of contacts in the area of your demographic (if done right it is because you selected them for that purpose), is very verbal about your business (because you went the extra mile to keep them satisfied), people respect their opinion because they know that your PC has experience in having people do work for them, or a reputation of getting good deals, and gets along with their neighbors (because you have made sure of it if you followed my advice).