The Jeremy Clarkson Guide to Your Perfect Customer

In my last post, The Great Social Media for Small Business Hoax I explained that it’s important to have your own perfect customer profile.

It’s actually the cornerstone to effective small business marketing.  Targeting the wrong customer will leave you very frustrated and with poor results.

But how do you actually pick the perfect customer and know you’ve got it right?


The Jeremy Clarkson Guide

Have you ever watched Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson?  It’s a BBC car show which is syndicated worldwide.

If so you may have heard Jeremy talk about his perfect customer – Kristin Scott Thomas.

He regularly refers to Kristin Scott Thomas and judges the coolness of each car by how much he believes she would like it.

Here is the video of her actual appearance on the show:

In using Kristin Scott Thomas, Jeremy Clarkson actually shows us some valuable steps in picking our perfect customer.  I’ve outlined them in the following four steps.


1. Pick Your Perfect Customer For a Reason

Although it’s important to target a perfect customer it’s no good just to pick anyone.  It’s not a magic exercise where whoever you pick will be the person who starts knocking on your door wanting to buy your products and services.

Get your perfect customer wrong and your small business marketing simply won’t work – you’ll find yourself in the feast and famine cycle.

You have to have a reason for picking a perfect customer to base all of your marketing upon.

Jeremy Clarkson picked Kristin Scott Thomas to be his perfect customer because she lives in Paris.  In his eyes she’s “classy”.

In your own small business you could use several factors to pick a perfect customer.  These might include:

  • Location: if you own a restaurant your perfect customer needs to be able to travel to you.
  • Income: can your customer afford your products and services?  Your perfect customer needs to be one who can pay the price that you charge.
  • Knowledge:  Do you have a specific knowledge or skill that helps?  For instance if you’re a graphic designer who has mainly worked on magazines, and now you’re going freelance, you should target magazines.


2. Be Very Specific About Your Perfect Customer

I mentioned above that Jeremy Clarkson targeted a “classy” perfect customer.  But he went further, he was very specific and picked one person, Kristin Scott Thomas.

How specific can you be with your perfect customer profile?

The more specific you are the more useful the profile will be, but getting it right takes some time and thinking.

In my free eBook “How to End the Famine and Feast Cycle of Small Business Sales” I outline the entire process in detail and suggest that you should get to the point where you can even personify and picture your perfect customer.  The better your profile the more targeted you’ll make your marketing and the better the results.


3. Adapt Your Offering to Your Perfect Customer

It’s important to have your perfect customer profile but then you need to do something with it.  You need to use it to make your products and services attractive to your perfect customer.

In the Top Gear shows Jeremy Clarkson has a “cool wall”.  Every week he shows pictures of different cars and adds them to a section of the wall that goes from “Seriously Uncool” to “Sub Zero”.

He uses his perfect customer as a guide for his decision.  If he thinks Kristin Scott Thomas thinks it’s very cool then it gets a good rating, and so on.

The same process should be applied to your own product and services.

Firstly take time to understand the issues that your perfect customer is experiencing.  What is keeping them up at night?  Where do they have stress in their life or business that your products or services can help?

Secondly review the products and services that you offer and change and tweak them to be more relevant and attractive to your customers.


4. Get Your Perfect Customer’s Feedback

So far we’ve thought about your perfect customer profile, but you’re not your perfect customer.  Even if you are very similar you are too close to your own business to see how well you’ve created your profile – whether you’ve picked the right perfect customer.

I remember when I started Fresh Eyes Consultancy I created a perfect customer profile but realised that I’d got it wrong and kept rewriting it until I was happy.

How can you be sure?  Ask.  Ask your perfect customer if you can discuss it with them, you’ll soon realise whether you have the right profile.

There is a great section in the Jeremy Clarkson video above where he discusses some cars with Kristin Scott Thomas and finds out that actually he got some “cool” decisions wrong – the final blow is when she slates his favourite Lamborghini as “pathetic”.

Talk to a perfect customer about your products and services and continue to tweak them and get more feedback until you are sure that they fit perfectly and are relevant.


The Bottom Line

Building a profile of your perfect customer is the first step in a successful small business marketing strategy.

Get it right and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money by being focused and not trying to attract everyone.

For a complete guide on the steps to creating your perfect customer profile please download my FREE eBook “How to End the Famine and Feast Cycle of Small Business Sales“.

How is your perfect customer profile – have you got it right?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.


6 thoughts on “The Jeremy Clarkson Guide to Your Perfect Customer”

  1. Robert, I really enjoyed this article – I will confess, the title did intrigue me and draw me in and I’m not even a fan of JC! I have just been developing my own client criteria so your ‘perfect customer’ is very timely! I’m going to go and ponder this some more!

    1. Thank you very much for the feedback and comment Kay! I’m really glad the post was helpful.

      I’ve always found developing a “perfect customer” profile, and really making it personal, one of the keys to marketing success. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can help you at all.

  2. Thank you for the very timely information. I started a blog with out a clue about what I was doing and now I am playing catch up.
    Now I would like to make something of my blog that would be useful to my “perfect client”. This has opened my eyes and given me some direction.

    1. That’s great news Barbara! The more you focus your blog on your perfect client or reader and their issues, the more it will resonate with them. This will really help you attract more readers and give them something relevant to share with others.

      Thank you very much for the comment and feedback!

  3. Thanks for a fun and interesting article. Few random thoughts…
    I’m warming to the idea of a perfect client as an aspirational target but I don’t think it’s something you should build your whole offering around. Obviously people have to want to buy what you’re offering, but I don’t think one should be tailoring it to the extent that it is not recognisable from what is your authentic business.
    I have actually identified my perfect customer; they are just not a client yet. I think if I approached them for feedback on how I was doing in attracting them as a client, that might have the opposite effect. So do you mean seek feedback from clients you can afford to have think you are desperate, before you crack on and approach the ‘true’ perfect clients?
    Incidentally, part of me thinks having one perfect client is dangerous in that you risk seeing yourself just through their eyes, when nobody is perfect, even Kristin Scott Thomas(!), and it’s just her opinion that a Lamborghini is un-cool. Her opinion only counts because Clarkson is giving her the power of being the arbiter of what should and shouldn’t be ‘cool’ in his eyes – otherwise it is just a matter of opinion, and he might be right after all.

    1. Great comments Candace.

      It’s not just the focusing on the perfect client that helps, it’s focusing on their problems and issues. This helps ensure your products and services are targeted and very relevant.

      With regards to feedback, I’m meaning getting feedback about your products and services. So once you’ve developed them to be as relevant as possible test them, ask some perfect customers if these products and services are interesting and would help solve their problems and make life easier. I don’t think it looks desperate if you do it like this and often gets you feedback that helps refine your offering for the better. I talk more about this in my eBook, it can be people in your target market who fit the perfect profile. You can ask those who are not yet customers, current customers and anyone who meets your profile.

      It’s good to have a perfect customer profile but this leads to building a niche rather than restricting you to exact copies of the person in your profile. The more focused your niche, the better chance you’ll have of being recognised as the “go to” expert within that niche, the best person to help your perfect customer.

      But I agree – he might well be right 🙂

      Thank you very much for the comment and feedback!

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