Sell and serve your customers better by putting them in a bucket

by | Dec 14, 2007

That’s right, I said “put them in a bucket”…

Of course, what I mean is to categorize them.  There are all kinds of potential markets and customers for your business out there.  You need to know which ones are the most profitable for you.  I call them “buckets”.

You can only carry 2 or 3 real buckets at a time.  Its the same in marketing your business.  You have to divide and conquer.  Each bucket has certain needs.

If you’re not sure which buckets are most profitable, then identifying the buckets and who’s in which one is the first step.
The pay off is that you can then create touch marketing campaigns that are extremely effective and affordable.  Of course you can target your sales approach to each bucket also.  The bucket analogy has to do with the touch marketing part though….  Your marketing campaigns pour leads into each bucket and then your sales efforts pour money out of the buckets!

Bottom line, if you better understand who you’re dealing with, you can better serve them. So keeping detailed notes and files on each customer is a way to “know” everything about them but, its hard to quickly use that information.

If you identify objective facts that define each bucket, you’ll be able to quickly ask a customer a few simple questions and know a LOT about them.

So, how do we know what the key facts are?


Some things are obvious – industry, size (employees, revenue, locations, etc.), title, income, etc.


Pick one of the most obvious and easily identifiable things you need to know about a prospect and make a list of all the possible categories – if its industry, then your list might be Real Estate, Financial Services, Residential Construction, etc.


Now, imagine that you’re at a cocktail party and a friend is telling you about his uncle who he thinks might be a prospect for you.  What would you ask your friend about him?  The key here is not to focus on what you ask your prospects.  That’s because you often can’t ask them questions as directly as you would like to.  So, imagine your asking a 3rd party who knows them and trusts you.  There’s nothing you can’t ask.


You’d ask your friend things directed at understanding whether you should spend your time pursuing his uncle right?


What is the problem or desire your product or service addresses? What can you ask your friend to know if the prospect has that problem or desire?


These are the questions you need to get written down.


Now keep the answers to these questions front and center for everyone on your staff.  Your receptionist should know exactly which bucket a customer is in immediately when the call comes in.


Happy selling!