Do you profile your potential customers?


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Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2012
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Hi All

I went flyering this weekend and wondered what everyone thoughts were:

Stoke has alot of mixed areas some are really really nice and some are not so great I have a mixture of both within 5/8 miles of my home so when Ive been out flyering I went to the nicer parts, is it wrong to profile potential customers this way? Potentially most people could want a spray tan but as Im not the cheapest by a long way in my area (almost double!) Im looking for customers with at least in theory potential disposable income.

What do you think?

Same here Claire. There is nothing wrong with profiling you are a private business-I too am targetting the more affluent villages first as I'm pitching my prices higher.

I felt abit bad but I dont want to waste my marketing budget on people who will say I can get a spray tan for a tenner!

Dont feel as bad now! lol

Thanks again

Nicer area certainly doesn't mean disposable income, in fact, a lot of the time just the opposite.

Just a thought, most of my regular clients who spend the most (and keep to their appointments) are from the less affluent areas.

Just because someone lives in a poorer area doesn't mean they're going to try it on for discount.
I have to say I have heard from lots of people sometimes it's the not as nice areas that are willing to spend their money . Maybe you could have a separate leaflet that if they bring with them they get a free tame extender for example. Try the other areas and see if you get a response x
I read on here about putting different 'offer codes' on your flyers for different areas telling the reader to 'quote this code when you call' for a discount or treatment add on to give them a taste of your other services.

This will show you where you are getting a good response and possibly an idea of what attracts who and where ;)

Good luck!
Lindsey x

Ps. Personally I think its always best to look for the facts and not to assume or presume, you might put all your eggs in one basket as the say and get little results, then how would you know that this is due to income?

If you were to conduct market research on both areas you might be suprised with your findings and you would be less likely to offend people buy making assumptions about their budget...
i agree with metamorphosis in that its not always the "nicer" areas that have disposable the the not so nice areas it is more likely that ppl will have paid off their mortgages and now are trying to enjoy life with their disposable income!! If you feel happier with the areas that you are targeting then thats fine but personally i would cover whole villages/areas just in case!xx
I'm going with the recommendations of a few people in the village as to where might be best to start. Very interesting points made above but till I test the water I won't know. I ordered 500 postcards but looking at it won't really be that many! I am starting with the more affluent villages as I realise I only have a limited stock. I think next time I get a bigger order I'll do a couple of different codes and see which areas generate more interest.

Like the OP though I am expecting people from less affluent areas to expect to pay less money. Will be interesting to find out!
Although thinking about it I won't need different codes as I'll know where to target once they book in with me :/ doh!
Just a little example, one of my clients lives in a huge house in an affluent area, has a nice wage packet from her well paid job, yet struggles to scrape her shellac fortnightly.

Another client has a part time job, basic wage, and spends extravagant amounts in my little salon, like clockwork, and always tips.

I suppose it's a form of discrimination to assume that certain areas have people who spend more money, when in fact you can't judge a book by its cover :D
Just because someone lives in a certain area doesn't mean they can't afford a treatment.

I have both owned houses near me and a council estate near by. I leafleted both areas and the clients from the estate (the ones people tend to think won't say the prices) are some of my best clients.

At the end of the day their money situations might be different but if they have somewhere to in they all want to look their best.

I'm not accusing you of being snobby, but what makes you think because of the location of someones house they won't be willing to pay the prices you charge. As long as you're good at what you do they'll be willing to pay.
I think it is sad that we as a society think like this (me being guilty of this aswell) and i know it's completely natural.

It's like in a restaurant i used to work in. We'd get the people that obviously had a bob or two come in, and I'd get told that i must take extra care in looking after them. They'd spend hardly anything once a week, and never tip.

Then there'd be the ones who weren't well off in the slightest. They would be overlooked by the managers. They would be in a few times a week, spend more money and leave a tip. I know this is different to beauty therapy, but the same concept. I've a lot of clients from terraced/council housing estates spending alot of money regularly and they are my nicest clients!

I live in a council house at the minute with my boyfriends parents, and me and my boyfriend have just spent hundreds of pounds at an overnight spa. But looking in as an outsider you probably would assume that I couldn't afford that. Get those leaflets delivered, it might just surprise you :)
I live in the middle.
1/2mile to the right is a "rough" council area, and 1/2 mile to the left is one of the most affulent areas of the city. I have interactions wiht both sides. My kids go the school in the "rough" area but participate in activities in the posher area. And being totally honest, the people in the posher area are some of the most rudest, selfish, fake, ignorant people Ive ever met in my life. The poorer people are some of the most nicest, welcoming, happier! and friendliest people Ive met.

The people I see at school from the Poorer area are the ones that come along with their hairs nicely done, make up, nails done, tans, nice clothes. The people I see at clubs from the richer area have boring plain hair, no make up, rough looking nails and out of fashion clothes.
You certainly cant judge a book by its cover. Big house, nice car usually means 2 people working and no time or spare income for luxuries such as beauty.

someone mentioned the restaurant analergy (sp?) My sis in law in a manager of a popular restuarant and she says exactly the same as I have jsut said. (she lives 300miles away) The posher looking ones are the rudest, dirtiest, and selfish ones, and never leave tips, the pooper looking ones are the politer, and nicer ones who leave tips!

Im delivering leaflets to everyone. They all get the same special offers, I charge everyone the same.

I think you'll be very suprised who phones you up and books in...
I think that you can't really pigeonhole people. You just never know. I have a titled lady as a long-standing client, also folk from the local council estate, I really don't care where they come from. Part of what makes this job so richly rewarding is that you see such a lot of different characters from all walks of life.

I've delivered 1,800 leaflets lately and had just 1 response. I targetted all over, but feel I wasted my time (and they were professional leaflets too). The vast majority of my new clients lately have been recommendations. (Don't mean to seem negative - and I wish you lots of luck!)

I wish areas could be referred to as "nicer" or "not-so-nice" by virtue of the folk who live there, rather than how much their houses were worth.
Very interesting debate!

Going back to the original question, would it in theory be wrong to profile a client? I personally think no. I think if you are trying to set up a service business you need to know who your target core clients are and try tailoring your marketing towards them. If you think part of that is by area/locale based on what you know of your area, then you may think it's worth trying out. Others have spoken from their experiences that it's not always as one might assume-there's one way to find out.

I for one know a little about the villages around me and am choosing to start with them as I know there are potential clients there.

Not aiming at anyone specifically, I don't think profiling could be classed as snobby, because that would require the therapist to resent/refuse to work with someone (or have some negative feeling) because they weren't affluent, or such like. I don't think snobbery would be the right word. Nor would I class it as discrimination because that would require some form of action (in my opinion) and I don't think targeted marketing can really be described as discriminating against someone.

Yes a lot of this is based on assumption, as are most things we do on a daily basis - that's a massive part of human civilisation. And stereotyping is used all the time in I say interesting debate!

Can I just point out Im really not discriminating! I appreciate what everyone has said but I think the post about me discriminiating is a little too far!!

Also Im not saying I wont flyer these areas but at the moment I have to pick areas I think might pay for a £20 tan as I only have 500 flyers at present! and wondered what everyone else does!

My research and business plan in which I detailed about three different people a profile of each of them and my target customers so far has been in affluent areas, cars etc

I grew up on a council estate and where I live in Stoke now certainally isnt the Ritz! all I was asking for was how best to use my resources I currently have at the moment! Maybe I didnt explain myself properly!

But I will def take your opinions on board minus the discrimination view.

Everybody profiles to a certian degree, its how your mind can take in and absorb information about a person, a location a service quickly depending on your previous contacts with similar people, places, services etc not saying that is always right tho!
I understand where you're coming from Claire I think having read it twice a lot of the posts are talking "in theory" rather than directed at you (or I!) x

I certainly hope the discrimination view wasnt!

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