MacDonald: Imagine and line it up |

MacDonald: Imagine and line it up

Machen MacDonald
Special to The Union

Machen MacDonald

Does your value proposition line up with your ideal client? Before you can answer that question, you need to know two things. First, what is your unique value differentiator, and second, who is your ideal client?

Bill Cosby was once asked, "What is the secret to being successful?" His reply was this, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." This is the distracting dilemma many small-business owners find themselves wrestling with on an ongoing basis. It keeps them in the pits rather than the profits.

Many business owners are caught in this trap made up of not knowing what really separates them from their competition and not knowing who their ideal client is in reality. To get out of this trap, use your imagination. Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." So, imagine knowing who your ideal client really is and what he or she truly wants to experience as a result of purchasing your product or service. Further, imagine that you can clearly communicate how your product or service will provide your ideal client with the exact experience they are seeking. Finally, imagine you actually being able to deliver on that communication in a way that exceeds your ideal client's expectations. If that were the case, is there any real reason they would not hire you or buy from you or refer you over and over?

As Judy Garland would advocate: "Be a first-rate version of yourself rather than a second-rate version of someone else." Identify your unique talents and skills. Simply take inventory and make a list of what you do really well and what you enjoy doing in your business or profession. Be careful to not discount what may come easily to you as not being valuable to another. Just because it may be easy for you doesn't mean it is easy for others. What you enjoy doing is not necessarily enjoyable to others. Once you are clear on what your brilliance is around what you do and how you do it, learn how to effectively communicate your purpose and passion to your prospective ideal clients in a way that they can see how it supports them in what they want.

To understand who your ideal client is, simply think about the client or clients you have, and that if you could wave a magic wand and duplicate enough of them, they would provide you with the business of your dreams. Who is a raving fan of you and your business? They get you and you get them, mentally and emotionally. They refer business to you. They buy your products and services more than once. As you get this person in your mind, notice what makes them tick. Why do you imagine they get out of bed every morning? What is their life's purpose? Notice what values and characteristics they have. How do they spend their time?

What you will come to find is that your ideal clients really value what makes you unique, and they are willing to pay a premium for it.

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Put yourself on the other side as a customer or client. Think back to a time when you enjoyed the buying process. What was it about that service provider that had you wanting to buy from them and refer them to your friends and family? On some level they were attractive to you. i.e., you valued their unique differentiation. You quantified their value in relation to what was important to you.

You must understand what makes you and your services attractive to your ideal client and broadcast that message on a consistent basis, just as a light house shines its light out to the sea. Your ideal clients will see your light and navigate toward you. The other boats will simply sail on by to the next port.

Trust that there are enough ideal clients out there for your business to thrive. Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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