55 questions to answer when defining your sales funnel’s target market

Successful businesses fill their sales funnel with contacts from a well-defined target market. They know exactly who they are selling to and that knowledge helps them market to that group more effectively. (Read a previous blog post about why ‘everyone’ is NOT your target market).

To define your target market, answer as many of the following questions as you can. The clearer of a picture you can gain of your target market, the faster and easier you’ll connect with them and prove your value to them. (And when that happens, they’ll buy from you).

TIPS TO USING THESE TARGET MARKET QUESTIONS

Here are a few tips when answering these questions:

  • It’s worth spending the time to research these questions. You probably know the answer to several, you can probably research the answer to the rest, and you should always validate your findings by asking your customers one or two of these questions from time to time.
  • As you answer these target market questions, don’t skip a question because it doesn’t seem to be relevant to your industry. (Maybe you sell B2B software and you don’t care that most of your target market are also parents. But you should care. It can help you gain an edge on your competition because you care and your competition doesn’t).
  • Remember, you’re answering these questions about the “typical” person in your target market, so think about the “average majority” of people in your target market. There will be people who don’t fit every answer that you’re describing, but 80% of the answers should describe 80% of your target market.
  • If your target market is an organization (like a business or a non-profit, for example), focus on the decision-maker at that organization and answer these questions based on an actual person.

TARGET MARKET QUESTIONS

  1. What is the age range of your target market?
  2. What is the gender of your target market?
  3. What is the ethnicity of your target market?
  4. What is the primary job or role that your target market has? (i.e. Executive? Mom?)
  5. What other jobs and roles does your target market have?
  6. What is the income range that people in your target market earn?
  7. What language does your target market speak as their primary language?
  8. Geographically, where does your target market live? (i.e. what geopolitical boundaries define where your target market lives and where they don’t live?)
  9. What kind of education does your target market have?
  10. What are the things that your your target market aspires be? (i.e. Wealthy? Popular? Respected?)
  11. What are the things that your target market aspires to do? (i.e. Climb the corporate ladder? Give their children the best opportunities?)
  12. What beliefs or people would your target market die for?
  13. What beliefs or people would your target market give up rather than die for?
  14. What values would your target market say they have in their lives?
  15. What does your target market consider to be important to them?
  16. How does your target market define happiness and success?
  17. What gives your target market positive feelings?
  18. What gives your target market negative feelings?
  19. What are the problems that your target market wants solved in their lives?
  20. What are the challenges that your target market faces in their day-to-day lives? (Unlike the above question, this question forces you to consider other challenges — even ones that your target market wouldn’t define as a problem to be solved).
  21. What does your target market find difficult, impossible, and unfathomable?
  22. What value does your target market place on family? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  23. What value does your target market place on friends? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  24. What value does your target market place on their work? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  25. What value does your target market place on recognition and status? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  26. What value does your target market place on happiness? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  27. What value does your target market place on fear of loss? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  28. What value does your target market place on money? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  29. What value does your target market place on time? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  30. What value does your target market place on leisure time and activities? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  31. What value does your target market place on peace of mind? (i.e. more important or less important than other factors in their life).
  32. Who influences your target market?
  33. Who does your target market influence?
  34. What are the factors that caused a person to enter your target market? (i.e. Education? The birth of a child?)
  35. What kind of personality would describe your target market?
  36. Where does your target market like to spend their time?
  37. What are the most important purchases to your target market?
  38. What does your target market do in their spare time?
  39. When your target market goes online, what are the top 10 sites they visit?
  40. If your target market had an extra $100, what would they spend it on? What if they had an extra $1000?
  41. What are the top 10 tasks that fill the to-do lists of your target market?
  42. How does your target market define the problem that you solve or the need that you fulfill? (i.e., What words to they use? What “symptoms” trigger a search for a solution? Check out this blog post, which gives a closer look at the Audience stage.)
  43. How often does your target market experience this problem or need? (i.e., is this a one-time deal or an ongoing situation? Are they scared because they’ve never faced this before or are they trying something new for an old problem?)
  44. Rank in the order of importance the value that your target market places on saving money, saving time, reducing effort, being recognized.
  45. What does your target market consider to be risky? (Time, effort, money, and reputation are the big ones)
  46. Where does your target market look for authoritative information when they need answers to the problem or need they have? (Don’t just say “online” or “Google”, but be specific: If they use Google, what sites will attract their attention?)
  47. What is your target market searching for when they find some of your Audience-stage content?
  48. What is your target market’s mindset when they reach your content? What immediate and long-term goals do they have that your content can address?
  49. What are the steps you need to take to shift your target market’s mindset from that initial skepticism to a point where they want to hear more of what you have to say?
  50. Who will your target market have to convince if they want to buy your product or service? (i.e., Themselves? Their spouse? The IT department?)
  51. Who will your target market have to face if they buy your product or service and it doesn’t meet their needs?
  52. What other alternatives does your target market have to solve their problem or fulfill their need? (Be sure to include competitors’ products and services as well as alternate offerings that aren’t direct competitors but still solve the problem. And don’t forget: Do nothing is also an alternative!)
  53. What reasons would your target market give for not purchasing your product or service?
  54. How familiar is your target market with the solution you’re offering? (i.e., is it entirely new and requires a lot of explaining or is it a very familiar solution?)
  55. How is your target market changing? (i.e., what answers to this list of questions will be different next year or in the next decade, and why?)

Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and he's a real estate investor and a copywriter for real estate investors.

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