Six Steps to Redefine Your Target Market

Who is Your New “Best” Customer?

What to do when your current customers are negatively impacted by the economic state and they no longer need or can afford your services

Between oil prices and the pandemic, some businesses have been turned upside down.  Our best customers are no longer our best customers, they have been greatly impacted by either or both of these major economic bombs.  For our businesses to survive, we now have to figure out how to identify a new target market, also known as our best prospects and customers.

We will be discussing in detail the six steps to redefine your target market. Those steps consist of identifying second and third tier prospects and customers, creating your list, researching industry classifications, identifying patterns, researching similar companies that match patterns, and building a list based on research findings.

Let’s start by thinking about who our second or third best customer was prior to the drop in oil prices or the pandemic.  In doing this, focus on who these customers are by identifying what industries they might be in. For example, many of our customers are in different industries and are B2B with us as we perform marketing research services for them.  This exercise is not impactful if all of your best customers are inside the same industry.  Think in terms of “best customers” by different industry types.

My suggestion is to look into your current customer list and flag those second and third tier customers, ideally less impacted by our current state of the economy.  Once flagged, create a list of these accounts and include their address, city, and state.  With this information you are able to research their industry classification.  Document industry classification for each and you might start seeing a pattern of industry segments.  It is helpful but not critical to see patterns.

If you’re starting to see a pattern that you trust; next, think about refining your new target market.  Most common ways to refine include adding annual revenue and/or employee counts into the equation.  Geography might also be helpful.  Once you have captured all the necessary data, your final step will be to match other companies that mirror the final product of your research.

If you do not immediately see a pattern, consider adding more customers to your research list.  Or, you might find that you have a broader profile of customers.  When this is the case, often it becomes helpful to tighten up your requirements by making sure other elements are included in the search.  Often these include annual revenue, number of employees and geography, the same as above.  These elements are important in broad profiles because they allow you to make best efforts at zeroing in on your potential customer a bit more.

The final step is to build a new list of potential prospects based on the research work just done.  There are several list tools available to do this or Dunlap Marketing will be happy to do it for you.  The result is you have a spreadsheet of new prospect companies.  Now its time to reach out and promote the message of who you are and why these prospects should consider your products or services.  At this point you have adjusted your business based on world events, and you are on your way to making new “best” customers.

Applying Salesmanship 101 Principles

An international oil and gas company, a two-year Dunlap Marketing client, has proven when it comes to selling, salesmanship 101 principals still remain. Dunlap Marketing provides an integral function of making prospecting telephone calls into business around the US that have large and medium fleets of vehicles. The objective is to schedule phone or face-to-face appointments with interested prospects and our client’s regional sales managers.

“You guys are on fire in my area! Two proposals went out this week from your leads.” – Mid-states region

Process:

  • Before calling began, Dunlap researched and built a national database consisting of our client’s target prospects, based on industry-type and fleet size
  • Once the database was built, Dunlap called to identify the person responsible for decisions relating to fuel card programs
  • Through tactful persistence, Dunlap makes ongoing telephone calls to communicate with this person – the goal being to learn how their company’s current fuel card program works and identifying potential interest in meeting with our client’s regional sales managers
  • Upon request of the prospect, the Dunlap team will email additional information about the program to prospects who want to learn more before scheduling an appointment
  • Throughout the course of calling, Dunlap adds additional database records to the master list. New records can come from either our client’s CRM or through additional research
  • The ultimate goal continues to be scheduling appointments, with a major focus on new business development

“Thanks for the leads Mike.  I sang your company’s praises last week at our national sales meeting.  I think your staff does a great job.” – Southeast region

Additional Value-Adds:

  • Maintaining CRM application to properly track / manage appointments we set
  • Blitz programs isolating certain events or markets that include a targeted initiative around selling more fleet fuel card programs
  • Internal, weekly product training for continuous education of the Dunlap staff

“Our sales manager was able to speak with all of the calls scheduled! AND one of them is likely to close a deal with us! Nice job!” – Marketing Manager

The success of this campaign is based on applying basic salesmanship 101 tactics. Proper planning, messaging, cold calling, strategic follow up calls, and use of email correspondence are the building blocks of selling.

For questions or inquires, contact Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 140 or Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas at kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 180.