3 Types of Customers You Should Be Focused On

May 26, 2015

Grow your business by connecting with these three types of customers.

Many company owners come to me for advice on ways to grow their businesses massively. I start off by telling most that if you have big growth objectives, you better have big marketing vision. In order to achieve incredible growth, you must change the context of how the market sees what you offer, and in doing so, make your competition irrelevant.

To achieve this, you can create a groundbreaking product or innovate an entire industry, but this isn’t possible for everyone. It is much easier to improve your understanding of the market you are trying to serve and move your business into the position of leadership.

You do this by imagining where your market is headed, even before your market knows it is headed there. Most businesses try to focus all of their attention on where their market is today. They create and sell products and services that fulfill an existing demand. There is nothing wrong with that; there is money to be made there, but that’s where your competition is, too.

If you want to make the competition irrelevant, you have to start having conversations with the market about the things no one else is telling them they need to consider.

Now, having said that, it doesn’t mean drop everything and bet the farm on a future trend. You need to break your market into three kinds of customers - I’ll call them Hunters, Catalysts, and Trailblazers.

Hunters are probably your customers today. They had a quantifiable need and found you and your solution through some sort of search.

Catalysts offer the greatest near-term growth, as these are businesses and individuals that will have a need triggered soon by some type of life cycle change, calendar event, budget refresh, office relocation, etc. Identifying and focusing on that trigger can cause rapid growth.

Trailblazers are those passionate about all things related to where your industry is headed. They buy early, evangelize, and go to great lengths to have things before others. It’s easy to call these folks early adopters. Okay, now that we have the labels, let me tell you how to use this information.

In simplest terms, you need to practically give away what the hunters want in order to gain market share, and understand and sell to the triggers that turn hunters into rabid catalyst buyers.

Then, move your content, brand, positioning, and thought leadership towards helping the trailblazers flock to your community. It doesn’t matter that you’re not seen in this light currently. That’s the point: you must move away from your competition by being and communicating the things they are not. The key lies in understanding how to move your brand where the trailblazers reside. You want to attract opportunities for innovation and leadership that don’t currently seem available.

Nobody said this was going to be easy. What I’m suggesting is a business strategy as much as a marketing play, but bold growth only comes from equally bold thinking.

This article was originally published on Inc.

Grow your business by connecting with these three types of customers.

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