Finding Better Prospects: Highlights and Insights from February’s Brews & Brands

Our second Brews & Brands gathering of 2020 focused on clarifying your audience so you can tailor your marketing as narrowly as possible.  It may sound obvious, but as you’ll see from what follows, there’s a lot of nuance along the way, and more than a few ways to screw it up.  Here are just a few notes from February’s session.

Go Deeper.

There was a lot of great discussion around defining your “A” prospect — your dream customer or client.  One attendee shared a terrifically detailed and specific description of his company’s ideal customer, including revenue, capacity, number of partners, years in business, and more.  Everyone agreed that a detailed definition leads to a tighter list, and a tighter list means more effective — and cost-effective — marketing.  Most important, it should be in writing, and shared with your team.

Work Backwards.

One suggestion was to reverse engineer your “A” prospect definition.  Identify your very best clients or customers, past and present, then list all of the qualities they have in common — both quantitative and qualitative.  For example, look at numbers like revenue and profit, but also shared values and culture.  Are they big enough (or small enough)?  Do they respect your team, and you theirs?  Do they pay their bills on time?  The result is your definition of an ideal prospect.

Watch Out for These.

There was consensus that most definitions of prospects are too general, which makes it much harder to reach them.  One example: a prospect’s sales might match the level you’re looking for, but insufficient cash flow might be a barrier to success.  So cash flow needs to be a criteria.

Maybe the biggest question is this: who can you actually help?  Think about the clients or customers who have gotten the biggest benefit from working with you.  This can help you sharpen your prospecting quickly.  Which clients are getting more out of the relationship than you are?  Work toward that.

And your definition should drill all the way down to who your contact would be.  If the person you most need to get in front of is the facilities manager for a school system, put that in your definition.  And your contact may not be the decider, but the person who influences the decider.  Know who you need to persuade, and focus on them.

One attendee suggested including the prospect’s AHP, or “asshole potential” — and won enthusiastic agreement from everyone.  A prospect who meets all the other criteria but is consistently unpleasant to work with will never be an ideal client.  

Finally, know that your target audience may change over time — or you may just get better at understanding them on a deeper level.  Adapt as your understanding of your prospects grows.

Need Intel?

One attendee recommended using Crystal for LinkedIn Sales Navigator.  It analyzes numerous data points to give you guidance about a prospect’s personality, and suggests the best ways to communicate with each.  You can learn more here:

Find the Pain.

Another attendee noted that the average dentist is only able to answer 70% of the calls they receive.  Fix that, and you drive sales up for them.  So what annoys or frustrates or hinders your prospects?  How can you find out?  How do you make that pain go away?

A Couple of Website Notes

Leave industry terminology off your home page.  It does two things: robs your message of clarity and makes you indistinct from your competition.  If you have to use it on interior, technical pages, knock yourself out.  But don’t throw jargon at visitors as soon as they land on your site, or they’ll leave just as fast.

Remember that you may need different landing pages or even different sites to talk to each niche you serve.  Don’t make prospects wade through irrelevant content.  Deliver exactly and only what they came for.

March Brews & Brands

Our next Brews & Brands is Thursday, March 12 from 3:30 – 5:30 at Against the Grain Brewery in Louisville.  As always, seating is limited to keep the group small and the conversation moving, so reserve your place today at, where you can also find complete details.