90: When I Strayed from the ICP

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We want customers or clients, right? Silly question. Okay then—which ones?

On this episode of the Manage Your Message Podcast, host Jim Karrh talks about the value of an Ideal Customer Profile—the benefits of creating one, and the problems that can arise when you ignore it. As Jim says in this episode, “It happened to me.”

Why go through the exercise of constructing your “ICP”? (After all, doesn’t everyone in your business know what a customer looks like?) You might be surprised—in practice, there are some who basically believe anyone with a pulse and a budget is a good prospect. They wind up spinning their wheels. When there are different assumptions across leadership and sales teams the result is different priorities. This turns into different ways that people are allocating their time, and thus a lot of wasted activity. That also confuses your message, if different people in your organization have different ideas about something so fundamental as which types of customers or clients you serve.

Jim shares a singularly bad client experience, one that came as a result of “doing a friend a favor” and straying from his own ICP.

What are your growth plans? Are you expanding your existing customer relationships, going after net new customers, or both? Do you have new offerings, or are you selling to different types of buyers? Whatever the case, Jim highly recommends that you don’t skip the ICP step.


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