The ability to create more top clients and find more clients like them will significantly increase your business. The following ideas will get you started with replicating your top clients and improving your productivity.
If you want to increase the amount of business you do, you have to start by identifying which clients you want to replicate. In order to do that, you need to create a segmentation process that clearly illustrates who your best clients are.
You may think, “I already know who my best clients are”, and that is very likely the case. You probably know which clients account for most of your business. But approaching this process in a more structured way can be very helpful toward visualizing how your clients are grouped together and how to prioritize them.
Having a mathematical process for segmenting your clients is an objective way to identify what clients are most important to your business and to whom you should spend time and financial resources on.
At Sequoia System, we have our own methodology for segmentation. Here are the first few steps of our 7-Step process:
- Multiply your gross sales for the past 12 months by 80%.
This works on sales, profit, total business, or any other metric of success.
- Start with your largest client and then, working down, determine how many clients are required to reach 80% of your sales.
How many clients does it take to make up that 80%? Once you’ve determined that, you’ll know which clients are your Above the Line clients, the few clients that account for the majority of your business. In our methodology, these are your A and B clients or your ATLs.
- Repeat step 2 for the bottom 20% of your business.
These are your Below the Line clients, or BTLs
The Ideal Client Profile
If you’re going to start replicating your best clients (your ATLs), you need to figure out what you’re looking for first.
Think about the last time you purchased a car… When you drove the car off the lot were you surprised to see how many people on the road have that exact same car?
We call that visual attenuation. The idea is the same with finding new ATL clients. When you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be spotting that thing left and right; if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it could be right in front of your face and you may still miss it.
To get started building an Ideal Client Profile, compile 12 specific data points that identify your ATL clients. These can be either quantitative or qualitative (ideally, you’ll have some of each on the list).
Ask yourself, what characteristics do all my ATL clients share? What characteristics differentiate them from the BTL clients? What type of client do I have the most success with, and why?
Now you have a profile that will help you find your next ATL client. From there, you can either interview prospects, or you can go through your BTL clients to see if any of them may fit the Ideal Client Profile and therefore have the “right” potential.
Identifying High Potential Clients
In the end, your objective is to differentiate between High Potential Clients and the multitude of prospects who will take time to develop but won’t necessarily turn out to be significantly profitable for your business.
One of the best ways to get started with replicating your top clients is to create a High Potential List from your existing Below the Line client pool. Find 50 high potentials among your BTL clients and focus your energy on developing these clients in the next year instead of trying to follow up on unqualified leads.