The heartbeat of your business success is your online auction dream customer. Here’s how to find them.
The internet has dramatically changed the auction business, and we’re not just talking about eBay. You, as an online auctioneer, are not limited by how far you’re willing to drive. If you’ve got a WiFi connection, you can theoretically reach customers all over the world.
This means endless possibilities… and perhaps a little overwhelm. The right strategy can help you focus your energy on your dream clients without getting distracted by the masses.
It starts with a key question:
Who are your online auction dream customers?
In a perfect world, who would you choose to work with? Take some time to really think about this in detail. Consider:
- Your chosen industry or specialty. Maybe you’re a bit of a gearhead and want to focus on cars. Or the profitability of luxury antiques is appealing to you.
- Your geographic area. Of course, an online auction business can be global, but you can also decide to focus your energy in a particular region.
- The type of people you want to work with. Rich people selling off their collections, farmers looking for new equipment, parents looking for an affordable car for their teenager—there’s a huge range to choose from.
- What causes you choose to support. Auctions are often connected to charities and fundraisers.
Each of these choices should be made with the wants and needs of your online auction business dream customer in mind.
Voice of the online auction business customer: What’s most important?
Now that you know who your dream clients are, it’s time to get to know them. And we’re not just talking about demographics—age, location, income level. We’re going deeper than that.
What do your dream clients want? What’s important to them? How do they make decisions? Who do they trust for guidance?
This might seem surprisingly deep for a blog, but these are the ABCs of sales and marketing. You have to know what motivates your customer so you can find the angle that will get their attention. So don’t be afraid to get a little sentimental as you do this work.
Go visit your dream clients’ websites or social media profiles. Read their mission statements, their histories, their “About Us” pages. Read every interview, article, and news story about them you can find. Gather as much information as you can about who they are as people. You may already have a few clients that check some of or all the boxes on your “dream client” list. Don’t be afraid to call them up and ask a few questions.
Don’t just let all this information rattle around inside your head. Take notes and organize your thoughts. Write up a profile on your dream client so you can reference it when you’re feeling unfocused.
Be where your client is.
One vital thing to learn in your research is where your dream clients get their information.
What magazines and newsletters do they read?
Which blogs and social media feeds do they follow?
Find a way to be at those places and join the conversation going on in your customer’s mind. You can do this by writing articles for publications and guest posts for blogs. Tag industry experts on social media, and place a few ads in the paper. Let your dream clients come across you organically so your name becomes familiar—and trusted.
If you can be physically present, give that a try as well. Networking events, conferences, and other auctions are a great way to meet people and make connections. Remember, the goal is to make it easy for your dream clients to find you. Be where they are.
The next article in our business series will cover the basics of online marketing. Let us know in the comments if there are any specific topics or tactics you want us to cover.