Are You Too Busy Handling the Wrong Customers?

Are You Too Busy Handling the Wrong Customers?

When I started my career in sales, I was motivated to see all the customers I could find.  I realized that some customers would never buy no matter what I did while others seem to buy without much effort from my side. When I started looking deeper in, I realized that I was not meeting with my ideal customers.


As you know, we are forced to act on all customers or inquiries or leads that come in.


Are all customers of equal importance or significance? 


I would say yes to importance because I believe that I need to treat everyone with respect since what goes around comes around. Yet not all have the same significance to the top and bottom line.  Notice the word significance!


According to the Pareto principle, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.


One good question to keep asking yourself is: “what do the top 20% have in common?”  Think even more specifically of the types of customers that bring you most of your business. How can you find more of similar customers?  Wouldn’t that bring you more business automatically?


The below questions will allow you to zoom in and figure out what characterizes your ideal customer profile so that you can pursue more of such profiles and possibly refer or delegate anything that isn’t to other lower value resources.


  1. Who are the customers that currently represent 80% of your business?
  2. What industry they come from?
  3. What is the size of their business?
  4. What type of people you’re dealing with and their level in the organization?
  5. Why did they buy from you? What problems you solved for them and what value they got out of it?


The answers to the above questions will help you to define your ideal customers. Any time you find yourself pursuing opportunities not consistent with those criteria, stop yourself.  Realize that when you don’t, you are using your time on opportunities that will not bring you what you want and result in lower sales for you.   Be strong to say NO to some opportunities and you will see what will happen!  When you close one door, a new one opens.


Ideal customers for my business are:

  • Organizations with annual sales of $5 to $50 million dollars
  • Organizations with more than 8 outdoor sales reps.
  • Organizations that haven’t done formal sales training or
  • Organizations that have done training more than 2 years ago with no follow up.
  • Organizations that are open for at least a one year game plan to grow sales.


Now, the good news is that, every customer has ideal supplier criteria too.  Just as you are looking for your ideal customers, they could be looking for their ideal supplier or solution provider!  If you’re too busy handling all customers that come your way, you could be missing out on some great opportunities!


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About the Author

Ramez Helou

Ramez Helou is the founder and CEO of The Academy for Sales Excellence. You can reach him via email at

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