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Who Do You Sell To Anyway?

You want your coaching or consulting offer to… ya know… make MONEY, right?

Nobody starts an expert business because they dream about being poor, or making roughly the same as they were already making at their full-time job.

Constructing a profitable consulting offer, whether it’s a low ticket front end offer or a high ticket mastermind, starts with nailing 3 components:

  • Market
  • Solution
  • Method

Your Market is your “who” – the demographic and psychographic makeup of the exact person your offer is designed to help.

The Solution is the “outcome” your offer delivers for your market.

The Method is how your offer delivers that outcome.

There’s a lot of nuance in the construction of these things, but we don’t have time to dive into all of the minutiae right now. (We have a book coming out in a few weeks on offer craft that goes a little bit deeper on each of these three components).

Let’s look critically at the first component – your Market.

Selling to the wrong person can be a death sentence for your business (we did an entire article on this, which you can find here). There are both hard costs and opportunity costs linked to marketing to and enrolling people who are not the right fit for your offer.

But how do you tune your marketing and sales processes to attract the right people, and filter out the wrong people?

You can start by creating what we call Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs).

Breaking Down Your ICPs

Ideal Client Profiles are detailed descriptions of a specific “person” (or avatar) that you market and sell your products to. When done correctly, ICPs form a “model” that automates some of your marketing and sales decision making.

Let us explain – there are 4 ICPs in total.

  • ICP 1: Highest Quality Clients
  • ICP 2: Bread and Butter Clients
  • ICP 3: Lowest Quality Clients
  • ICP 4: Do Not Sell To These People

ICP 1 – Highest Quality Clients

These are your dream clients – the people who you absolutely LOVE to serve.

Not only do their needs and desires match up perfectly with what your offer delivers, but they are also financially qualified, and are excellent demographic/psychographic fits for your business.

  • Why They’re Valuable: These are fun (and seemingly effortless) clients to work with, because they usually make decisions from a “low need” state. We track a metric inside of our business call time-to-value (TTV), which lets us know who is getting what they paid for and how long it is taking them to get it. The beauty of ICP 1 people is that they tend to have a very fast TTV. Their high excitement for what you do leads them to dive in quickly and start getting wins and momentum.

ICP 2 – Bread & Butter Clients

ICP 2 clients usually form the largest portion of your client base. They are not as far along in their journey as ICP 1’s and also may not be as financially qualified.

But they are usually good “culture fits” for your community, and have problems that you excel at (and enjoy) solving. They want results, but are not desperate to get them – they also tend to be doing a million things, as they lack the absolute clarity of your highest level ICP clients. Getting them to focus and commit to following through on a process will sometimes be their biggest challenge.

  • Why They’re Valuable: If ICP 1s are fastest on the TTV scale and ICP 3s (who we will get to in a moment) are the slowest, ICP 2 clients are smack in the middle. As we mentioned, they are usually busy “trying” a million things and not dialing in on any single one of them well. If you can give them a clear path to follow and a little accountability, they will go a long way (and wind up loving you and your team in the process).

ICP 3 – Lowest Quality Clients

Beware the labeling here – “lowest quality client” does not mean they are bad people, or toxic, or that you should absolutely never sell to them. However, you do need to be extra careful when considering how many ICP 3 clients you take on inside of your offer.

An ICP 3 is usually the hardest type of client to convert because they are fearful, and are often the least financially qualified (meaning they’re highly skeptical about what they invest their money into).  They also take the longest to feel like they have momentum. After all, momentum takes time to build – and time is the one thing they feel like they never have enough of. They’re smart and they’re capable, and often DO get results from your offer. But they will also be some of your “highest touch” clients (as in, they will need more frequent attention from you and your team to keep them from coming off the rails).

Much like ICP 2s, they tend to be a bit scattered and busy. They have a higher need to get results out of what you do… and they want those results as quickly as you can deliver them.

  • Why They’re Valuable: It may sound like we’ve been pretty negative about ICP 3 clients here, but the reality is that you can still serve these clients WELL and get results for them if they actually show up and put in the work. Just be careful – you do NOT want the largest portion of your client base to be ICP 3s. If that happens you will wind up hating your business. Trust us on this.

ICP 4 – Do Not Sell to These People

Let’s keep this short.

These people are not demographically, psychographically, or financially a good fit for your offer. At all. This does not make them bad people – just not right for your offer. If a person doesn’t fit into how you’ve defined your ICP 1, 2, or 3 – they are automatically an ICP 4.

You do not market to these people. You do not sell to these people.

If you do, you will regret it. Period. End of story.

Turning ICPs Into a Model

So, how does this help steer and manage your marketing and sales processes?

We’ll give you an example. Here are our ICPs in The Wealthy Consultant:

  • ICP 1: Our very best clients – Established consulting business selling information, expertise, or customized skill. These clients are “B2B” service providers who help other businesses exceed in key business functions. These are the folks we love to serve the most and who tend to get the most enjoyment out of being a part of our community.
  • ICP 2: Bread and butter clients – Established consulting business selling information, expertise, or customized skill. These clients also fall into “B2B” category but their pain points and resources are different, and they typically require more attention than an ICP 1 client. These make up the largest portion of our client base.
  • ICP 3: Lowest quality clients – Established consulting business selling information, expertise, or customized skill. These clients are either B2C (meaning different regulatory issues) or B2B with low income and low business experience. We can absolutely help them and crush it for them, but it requires much more of our team’s time and bandwidth.
  • ICP 4: Anyone who doesn’t fit into the ICP 1, 2 or 3 categories.

On the marketing side, any time we sit down to write a piece of content, develop an ad, create a front end funnel, etc… we start by asking, “Which ICP are we writing this for?” Each ICP has different pain points. Different desires. Different outlooks on business, money, power, fear… So, how we craft our messaging has to be in line with WHO we are talking to.

On the sales side, the moment that we enter into a sales conversation with any prospect, we evaluate them against our ICPs. Where do they fit? Do they fit at all?

If they are ICP 1 or 2, we know exactly how to approach the conversation. If they are an ICP 3, we first decide whether or not it makes sense for the business for us to pursue them right now, or if we should put them in the pipeline and wait.

So, having well-defined profiles leads to us being able to “outsource” certain decisions to the model.

Which is also why the one thing you must put before anything else when outlining these is clarity. The more clear and specific you can make your ICPs, the more effective the model is at making sure the right people are drawn to you and the wrong people are filtered out before you ever speak to them.

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