Attracting the wrong kind of clients to your business is like dumping trash into your sales funnel. Soon, it gets so clogged that you can’t move the right kind of clients through it.

There’s so much wrong with the traditional sales funnel, and it’s gotten worse in Sales 2.0. In the past, we were schooled to throw as much stuff into the funnel as we could find—including so-called “leads” from mailings, trade shows, advertising, networking events, and newsletters. Now we add even more low-quality sales leads from blogging, videos, ebooks, free reports, social networks, affiliate traffic, and marketing automation.

Problem is, these leads are ice-cold and almost never pan out.

Quality Trumps Quantity

Filling your funnel with cold leads is just a lot of busywork and wasted time. While sales velocity is important, I’m a big believer in working smarter, not harder. And I happen to know it’s possible to generate more customers with fewer, heartier leads.

What really drives sales is getting the “right people” into the funnel, nurturing those prospects, and increasing their velocity through the sales process. These “right people” are our Ideal Clients.

Working with our Ideal Clients dramatically decreases our sales cycles and increases profits, because they:

  • Spend more,
  • Don’t quibble on price,
  • Collaborate for results, and
  • Refer us to other Ideal Clients.

Even better, working with them is actually enjoyable. They value what we offer, communicate well, are forward-thinking and reasonable, have a good sense of humor, and commit the time, money, and resources to make our projects successful.

Perhaps more importantly, we understand their businesses and the way they buy, and we can deliver exactly what they need to accelerate their sales cycles.

Why would you clog up your sales funnel with anyone else?

Who’s Your Ideal Client?

Create a clear, succinct profile of your Ideal Client. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your referral sources to send the right people your way.

Consider the following:

  • Industry: In what industries do you have expertise? Where do you have a track record? In what vertical do you want to expand?
  • Geography: Where are your Ideal Clients located?
  • Company Size: What size company is the best fit for your sales offerings?
  • Business Unit or Function: Which decision-makers within a company would benefit most from your product or solution?
  • Type of Person: What are the personality traits of your Ideal Clients?
  • Situation/Need: What specific business problem do you address?

Once you know exactly who you want to meet, you can ask for the type of referrals you want. Where do you start? With your current Ideal Clients. Chances are, they know others just like themselves. 



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