Letting Go Of Customers

I always tell entrepreneurs to first identify their ideal customers.

In my business running a reputation management platform, I first wanted to offer my services to every company out there.

This was a big misstep. Not every prospect I pitched was in love with my offering, but some were. This then became the group of people that I wanted to focus on serving and doing everything I could to attract more to my business.

I actually let go of all the clients that were no longer part of this new “ideal customer” definition.

Making these moves was a huge driver for my business. Now my marketing was more effective and my client turnover had gone down to almost zero.

When you focus on your ideal client literally everything begins to get better.

I was able to give them more attention and solve their problems on an even deeper level. What ended up happening is I changed my business model to better serve my customer base.

This wouldn’t have been possible if I tried to be all things to all people.

Think of it this way, everyone needs to eat, but some eaters are meat eaters and some are vegans. You can’t serve them both at the same restaurant right? Well not in a way that would “thrill” either.

Once you decide who’s your ideal customer you’re putting out a massive beacon to the world of who you are the right fit for.
 


 

When you’re starting your company you need to find this ideal customer as early as you can.

Once you’ve found them all your product messaging becomes so much more clear because you’ll be able to base it around that customer’s wants and needs.

Likewise this will crystalize your product offering so you’ll be a strong fit for them.

Then comes the testing phase. You need to get a minimally viable product out there into the marketplace as quickly as you can.

I’ve never seen anyone be successful here in the first shot, but it’s that process of launching and iterating that produces truly stellar products over time.

This is no different for big companies, if anything, the larger the company the more testing they need to do.

Engaging this group consistently to gauge advice and feedback will give you tons of value on how to move your MVP to the next level.

Even if you’re only able to roll out your product with a limited number of features, you still should do it as early on in the process as possible.
 
Your first group of customers are your innovators and early adopters, these are the people who are the most excited about what you’re doing so they’ll be forgiving of road bumps along the way. They’re also the group most likely to give you feedback to help you continue to tweak and develop your offering.

Remember, not everything you launch will ultimately succeed. But if you have to fail, fail quickly and fail cheaply so you can get back out there and try again.
 

Action Steps

  1. Find your ideal customer based on who loves your product the most.
  2. Let go of customers who don’t fit into this ideal group.
  3. Launch your MVP into the market as early as you can, even if it’s just a patchwork of features.
  4. Solicit feedback from your early adopters and continue to develop the product.

Bonus: Scrap your product if you’re well off your targets and start again.

 

Result You Will Achieve

An MVP with early adopters to provide you feedback on the next development steps.
 

Mentor: Ajay Prasad

Founder of RepuGen. Ajay spent his first 15 years working at senior positions with several firms. He now owns several profitable businesses.

 
This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.