The customers you should be talking to

Continuing his regular column of business advice, Aaron McLeish discusses how tailoring your advertising message to your ideal client may lead to more of your favourite customers.  

I feel it’s important to talk to your ideal customers, so all your external messages to your customers are aligned and it’s clear who you, as a plumbing and heating business, want to look after, the type of work you want to do and the areas covered.  

I recently had a conversation with a plumbing and heating client, and we were on the topic of enquiries. He receives a lot of enquiries for small plumbing works such as tap and washer replacements. Small jobs which his business can do, but not where he specialises or where the money is at. 

We dived into this and established that on his website, the company clearly states, ‘no job too big or small, we change anything from a boiler to a tap replacement or washers’. 

Smart searches

My understanding of how a search engine works is that if people are searching for something, the relevant website which matches their search criteria will pop up. If people in my client’s local area want a tap replacement or need their washers changed, they’ll Google that and because my client has stated that on his website, that’s why they are receiving enquiries for that service. 

We went on to discuss their ideal client to establish exactly who do you want to do work for? Where is the money? What’s your 80/20? (see the yellow ‘Quick tip’ box below).  

It transpired that due to my client living on the coast, his ideal client is one who has a second home in his town. He likes working with affluent homeowners, where his firm can be left with the keys to do repairs, maintenance, upgrades or whatever needs to be done. BUT, nowhere on the company’s website does it say: ‘We cater for people with a second home in this town. You can trust us with the keys while we get the repairs done. We’ll make sure everything’s in order and waiting for you when it is time to come home again. When you do come and visit your home at the weekends you can rest assured that you’ll be nice and cosy’.

So to link back to the title of the article: If you want to talk to your ideal client, gear your advertising efforts to talk to them. Talk to your ideal clients with the right tone of voice. If you want to reach out and connect, talk like they’re already a loyal customer. 

There is a saying in business: ‘If you try to talk to everyone you’ll end up talking to no-one’. It’s a well-known fact, in that if you try to talk with everyone, then no-one will listen!

Shout about it

If you have a speciality that you cater for that is lucrative for your business, then shout about it, scream it from the roof tops! If you want to make your business more successful, then focus on what sets it apart from other businesses. Marketing can be difficult and time consuming but if there’s something specific about the company that makes them stand out in their niche market- go ahead!

If you’re still unsure about who your ideal client is or what they want, don’t worry. Lots of businesses struggle with this. Sit down with your team and create a profile for an imaginary ideal client. Be as specific as you can. From age and location, right down to what they like to watch on TV! The more details the better. Once you know who they are and what makes them tick – or put their hand in their wallet and hand over their bank card – it will be much easier to gear your marketing efforts in the right direction. So, what are you waiting for? 

Any questions?

Do you have a question for Aaron? Send it to and the answer could feature in a future column. 

As the director of Together We Count, Aaron McLeish is an accountant specialising in the plumbing and heating sector. Aaron is also author of The Quote Handbook. Visit the website:

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