Know your Green, Yellow and Red Clients.
What are Green, Yellow and Red clients, you may ask, and what does this have to do with marketing? Good question! This is one of the best things I have learned and implemented into my business from a marketing standpoint.
A Green client is someone who spends lots of money with you, is loyal, trusts your advice and expertise, tells their friends/colleagues about you and is committed to a long-term relationship with you and your business.
A Yellow client is someone who hasn’t quite reached Green status yet. They may be just starting out and don’t have as large of a budget, but they are still loyal, trust you and give you referrals. With time and the right kind of advice and encouragement, they may be able to become Green clients.
A Red client, on the other hand, are those who take up all of your time, care only about the bottom line (don’t want to pay you for your time or what you’re worth), they don’t have any loyalty to you and they don’t trust you.
The best advice I ever received when I was a couple years into my business is that it is okay to “fire” clients. If you have a red client, they are not worth the time and effort it takes to make them happy, AND they are probably the type that will not ever be fully happy with anything you give them. I would much rather spend my time developing my relationships with Green and Yellow clients.
So, what does this have to do with marketing? Think about this quick example, which should hopefully make it pretty clear. Let’s say I have figured out who is my Green client (or my target demographic) and they are people who spend “this much” with my business and they order “this often” from us. So I decide I would like to get a few more of those clients decide to do a marketing campaign, such as a mailer, which says that we will “match anyone’s price”. Think about that real quick, is that going be the best strategy? Will it bring me the Green/Yellow clients that I want?
Remember my Elevator Speech about my company not necessarily being the cheapest and that we don’t care to price match? Is this marketing campaign going to be effective for me? Probably not. I may get lucky and get a few loyal, long-term clients but for the most part I will be getting all of the clients who I usually try to avoid. I may get some short-term/one-time sales but I think you see where I’m going with this.
Any marketing campaign that you decide to embark on, will be much more effective in the long run when you know the type of clients you want and then market to them. That’s why the basis for any marketing should be knowing your target market so that the people who respond are the ones that will build your business in the long run.
Good luck finding and cultivating your Green and Yellow clients!