SFR 254: My Dream Customer Criteria – Stephen Larsen

SFR 254: My Dream Customer Criteria

Jun 25th, 2019 anchorwave

Deciding WHAT you’ll sell shouldn’t even be considered until you’re hyper clear on WHO you’ll serve.

Today, I wanna share some of the criteria that I personally use to choose my Dream Customer.

I have an actual list that I go through to find my Dream Customer…

Knowing my ‘WHO’ helps me on multiple levels, so that I can:

  1. Create the sales message
  2. Serve the right customer for my business
  3. Choose the dream customer for my personality

Steve Larsen target market list

Now, when you think about the phases of this whole game, it goes like this:

  1. I pick my market – a red ocean market.
  2. I choose a dream customer inside that market.
  3. I choose a core problem that my dream customer is experiencing.
  4. I choose the core solution.
  5. I turn that core solution into an offer.
  6. The actual launch/ or campaigns in general – which includes funnel building, content creation and a bunch of methods like that.

…that’s a lot of steps, but I’ve gotten really good at making each of those steps crazy simple.

And those are the six steps I use to get things out the door.

Its kinda like if someone was asking, “Hey, can we make building cars more simple?” Yes, they’re still complicated, but the building of them can be simple.

Ideal client profile like making a car

You see what I’m saying?

There’s a lot to what we do in this game, but it doesn’t need to be complicated, per se.


So I wanna share a few of the criteria I use to find my Dream Customer… and WHY it’s sooo important to me!

I didn’t ALWAYS have these criteria…(and it kinda made me broke and miserable)…

Miserable without a target market

In fact, this is a pretty recent list… and I’ve gotten clearer as I’ve gone along

Let me tell you a story…


Back when I was doing door-to-door sales, I’d wake up excited… I’d literally run from door-to-door just get more doors in for the day.

I would knock on doors and sell ANYBODY who had the cash to pay.

If somebody said, “Here’s my credit card,” you’d just take it.


there are some major drawbacks to that kind of a thing – HUGE drawbacks.

In fact, I’ll tell ya, I was soooo scared… I was a little bit chicken 😉

Money barriers to your target market

I had a lot of money barriers that I hadn’t overcome at that time.

Six years ago, I was doing door-to-door sales…

We’d drive around in these areas, (selling pest control), basically tryna see spots that would be the easy laydown sales… and they would spend a lot of money.

We’d drive around, and look at these different areas… I remember, there was this particular area…

I don’t wanna offend anybody when I say this, (you have to understand, from my perspective as a door-to-door sales guy)…

… but I’d be like, “I don’t know that these people are gonna have the cash to buy pest control – Pest control may not be the biggest thing on their to-do list right now.”

Target market to-do list

… we weren’t judging, but that was the reality.

Then we’d drive through these really rich, affluent neighborhoods, and we’d be like, “Man, these guys would spend a ton of money on pest control. Holy crap! So cool”

But I had so many money fears that I would not go to the affluent areas.

Instead, I’d go to these areas where I’d sell cheaper contracts… ’cause I was cheap in my head.

I would sell cheaper contracts and I would sell cheap… and it was on purpose – I’d literally seek out kind of low-income housing areas.

Now there’s a BIG lesson in this…


So here’s what happened…

Pest control target market

I sold A LOT of pest control… ’cause I was able to give the first treatment for free, and then say, “…it’s only this much per month.”

I was literally fighting and competing on price.

The first half of the summer I did really well…

The second half I started learning what the internet was… and it kinda messed me up, and I lost all my focus.

But I still did a lot of sales…

The way a lot of these door-to-door companies work is that you get paid four months after the summer’s over…

‘Cause they wanna make sure that the accounts just aren’t gonna fall out or whatever.

Which makes sense, right, from the business side/cash flow side of things…

Anyway, the day came, and I get a message saying, “Your check’s on the way,” so I run to the mailbox excited.

I’d worked the whole summer, and we were super pumped about it.

Target market pay cheque

“This is gonna be the check that saves us.”

This is gonna be the check that’s gonna give us security for the next two semesters of college.

But when I opened up the check, I was like, “This can’t be right. Are you serious?”

Door to door target market

There was ONLY $1100.

I was like, “Are you kidding me? There’s gotta be some mistake here. I worked a whole freaking summer and I only have $1100?”

I have chills right now thinking about it – it freaked me out so bad, ’cause I realized that the sprint we were living in gonna keep going.

After I settled down, I called my boss, and I called my buddy… and said, “Hey, what happened?”

And he goes…

Lessons in how to increase sales

“Dude, you only knocked at the poor neighborhoods, Stephen.

You got a lot of contracts really fast, but when it came time for that second and third rebill, EVERYONE canceled…

So you only got a little bit of money up front for getting the contract…

I had spent the majority of the summer knocking poor neighborhoods, and in the end, I had nothing to show for it…

How to increase sales with less work

… because almost ALL of them canceled.

And again, no judging, but think about that…

A lot of these other people who’d only knocked rich neighborhoods, (this is a big lesson, and it slapped me on the face so hard)…

…had waaay less sales, but A LOT more money.

How to increase sales and more money


There’s a HUGE powerful lesson here…

And I started realizing that:

Just because somebody has the cash does NOT mean they’re your dream customer.


Your target market is not cheap

So now, I wanna share some of the criteria that’ll help you recognize your Dream Customer…

And usually, it means is saying ‘NO’ to other people.

In fact, I was on a cruise ship, and there were some people who were mad at me for NOT having really cheap products right now.

My stuff’s kind of expensive right now…

So when people ask, “Hey Stephen, what can I buy from you?” I don’t have those cheaper things in my value ladder right now… there certainly will be cheaper products…

But right now…

Target market cheap products

  • I’m NOT focusing on my:
  • ‘Could be customer…’

‘Hey, they have the money customer.’


… when I said that, people got really offended! They’re like, “So am I not your dream customer?”

Are you my target market

…. I said, “Well, probably not,” and that’s okay…

… but they didn’t like that!


I want you to understand why this list I’m sharing is such a BIG deal!

It’s NOT a list that I just drew out! A lot of very painful experiences led me to this…

Painful target market experiences

For example, that door-to-door experience 😬

Honestly, a lot of stuff that I have launched recently, has come from me saying ‘NO!’ to a lot of people.

Again, you have to understand from my standpoint, I’m proving out the idea and making sure that we have awesome results – which we do!

Which is why you’ll start to see a lot of cheaper products coming out soon.

I’m proving out the core of the value ladder (i.e. something that’s mid-price or more expensive)…

Expensive target market

….I’m doing exactly what I tell you guys to do.

Then I’ll go do the cheap stuff, right… but I don’t have time for that yet.


At the beginning of last year, when I left ClickFunnels, I was selling the wrong who…

Steve Larsen target market

I was selling to the wrong customer.

It wasn’t a dream customer – it was a ‘could be’ customer. It was the customer that had cash…

Within three months, I hated waking up.

I’d wake up and I’d be like, “Aw, I gotta go serve these people… they’ve paid, so I have to fulfill…”

But it was terrible – they didn’t do have the stuff I was telling them to do.

How to increase sales with time


All I did was change ‘the who,” NOT the product… and all ships rose.

When the customers came in they were not just better, success stories went up ’cause they were just doing it.

I didn’t change the product.


Someone in my Facebook group asked the question: (by the way, if you’re not in the group you can totally join us…

“Stephen, I have my customer, I have my product, I have my sales message, I have my offer and we’ve got great traffic coming on in, and tons of people are seeing my order page. Why do you think they’re not buying?”

Why is my target market not buying

Right of the bat, I said:

“It’s waaay easier to change your customer, (the person who’s hearing your sales message), than it is to go change the sales message, the offer, and the funnel.”

At the beginning of last year, I made a few tweaks to the sales message, but really I just changed who was hearing it…

We just changed the ‘WHO,’ …and suddenly, the whole business exploded.

WHO should be my target market


So I’ve gone from selling door-to-door…

…which really helped me understand that I should sell to people who:

  1. Have Money
  2. Are Willing
  3. Are Able
  4. Have Money

I know that I wanna sell to those that are willing and able, but I wager that there’s one more criteria though…

And that is, people who are:

Willing + Able + A Dream = My Ideal Customer

Dream target market

… those are the three categories that I look for now.

I don’t just look for willing and able anymore… now it’s willing, able and a dream customer.

So this is how I came up with the criteria for my dream customer…

I’m setting this up so that when you see the checklist, you’ll value it for what it is and how powerful it is…

Ideal client profile journey

…and the journey it’s taken me to EVEN get clarity on this… (’cause, it’s been a lot).

I’ve had to go through a ton of personal failures in order to create this list.

You’ll notice that A LOT of these things on the list have very little to do with demographics and very little to do with interests…

But they do have a lot to do with psychographics…

Ideal client profile thinking

…meaning the way the customer thinks.

Psychographics are way more important than demographics in terms of creating my dream customer.

I don’t really care about demographics, I want psychographics.

How does my customer they think in terms of creating the dream component of willing, able, and dream?

There’s a more in-depth, far more applicable version of this that I do at my OfferLab event.

OfferMind will definitely talk about it a little bit, but anyway…

But this is My Personal ‘WHO’ Dream Customer Criteria.



Ideal client profile ingredient 1

  • I want my Dream Customer to be able to buy.

My Dream Customer is somebody who buys and uses red ocean products, (especially from the category king).

So think about that…

I want them to be a current purchaser.

Eugene Schwartz – copywriting, advertising rockstar that he was, says that there are three types of traffic…

  • Hot traffic
  • Warm traffic
  • Cold traffic

I also wager that there’s one more…

I don’t just wanna sell hot traffic…

By definition, hot traffic is somebody who’s ONLY problem aware and solution aware


I want one more level – it’s ‘The Dream Phase.’

I want someone who’s problem aware, solution aware and a buyer.

You don’t have to be hot traffic and be a buyer by Schwartz’s definition. I feel like I’m walking on coals, fighting the great Eugene Schwartz while I’m saying that…

But understand, it’s actually NOT enough for the way I chose my who…

I only want those who are problem aware, solution aware and a dream… and so for them to be a dream, they need to be a buyer.

I want them to be an active purchaser of red ocean products.

Case in point…

Let’s say I’m selling the Crossfit community, and I’m telling them about ketones.

Well, it’s gonna be really weird if I’m selling the Crossfit community, and I’m selling somebody who’s NEVER actually purchased or paid for ANYTHING for Crossfit…

I want them to be a buyer of that red ocean stuff… that also tells me that they’re NOT a freeloader.


Ideal client profile ingredient 2

There’s a lot of old-school copywriting courses and marketing courses that teach that you need to spend time talking about their problemso that it brings the room in for your solution.


The reason I hate that is that I have to create the problem.

(…and I’m not fighting it. I just think it’s a harder customer.)

If the problem that I’m solving isn’t BIG enough, so that when they see my solution, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, finally, I’ve been waiting for this!”

… that tells me right out the bat, I don’t want that kinda person.

It means I have to educate them on the problem, NOT just my solution – that sucks, okay.

I want someone who is currently conscious of their problems and their pain already.

… this also means that they’re in a state to react to my sales letter.


Ideal client profile ingredient 3

  • I want my Dream Customer to have bought the red ocean products, but still, be feeling hopeful.

I want them currently in a state where they feel abandoned, forgotten, almost betrayed.

Meaning, they went in and they purchased, “I’m gonna do CrossFit!”

…and they’re doing it, and then suddenly, they’re painfully conscious of the lack of results…

They’re like, “Man, I was so hopeful. I was really hoping that would be the one.”

Well, that tells me that they’re a really passionate individual and naturally hopeful.

I want that…

There might be parts of my product that I’m launching that may not serve them the way I really want it to, and I’ll need a little bit of time to go in and make some tweaks – so it will serve them.

Somebody who’s naturally hopeful will appreciate that… versus a natural skeptic.

I don’t want the skeptics in my programs – they fight me on EVERYTHING. I try actively to keep them out.

Understand, my sales funnels are NOT just to sell people, they’re also to keep people out …

Ideal client profile who and why

…which is why I’m very forward on who my stuff is for … and why I’m walking through this!


Ideal client profile ingredient 4

  • I don’t my Dream Customer to play 20 questions with me or my support.

They need to know value when they see it and buy on their own without me hand holding them.

This is such a BIG deal because the way that I bring somebody to my product and the way they are brought in effects their success…

The manner that a customer enters my product often dictates how well they do after the purchase.

So if I have to beg them to purchase, I will, by default, usually have to beg them to do stuff with it afterward…

No way ideal client profile

… so I wanna set precedents ahead of time.

I’ve already answered 99.9999% of ALL the questions people are gonna ask – so if I’ve already answered all those questions…

I don’t need them to keep playing 20 questions…I need them to be doing what I’m telling them to do.

Just do it, right!

I’m NOT gonna beg them by saying, “No no, it really is awesome…”

There’s a reason why when someone Facebooks me questions about my product, I don’t answer. I really don’t…

Someone will reach out and say, “Hey Stephen, how do I do x, y, and z? Is this really the product fit for me?” …and I’m like, “Probably not.

Looks like my funnel didn’t pick you up, so you may not be a good fit.”

Freaked out ideal client profile

…. they’re like, “What?” …and it freaks them out.

They’re like, “You’re firing me?” and I’m like, “Yeah.”

I can do that as a seller… and so can you.

I wanna go and make sure that they’re NOT gonna play 20 questionswhich doesn’t mean that I won’t serve them…

It just tells me about their mentality, and what I’m gonna be doing post-purchase with them.

I want natural action takers.


Ideal client profile ingredient 5

  • I want my Dream Customer to already have some level of success.

I don’t care what it is…

I don’t care if they’re an ice-skater who won some cool thing, whatever…

It tells me a lot about their mentality.

They’re more likely to succeed at my products when they’ve succeeded with something else in their life.

If I am the first level of measurable successes they’ve felt in their life then that’s an issue…

I’m NOT just gonna be a product coach on what I’ve told them I will help them do and the outcomes I have promised them… I will become a life coach…

Most people don’t like my life coaching methods

Life coach for your ideal client profile

… which have a lot to do with me saying things like, “Sack up and just do it.”

A lot of people are gonna have a hard time with that.

So, I want them to already have some level of success, ’cause there’s a mental toughness that they’ve developed already.


Ideal client profile ingredient 6

  • I want my Dream Customer to consume market content regularly.

Q: Why would I want that?

A: ‘Cause it means that they’re gonna be likely to consume my content

Next on here…

  • I want them to have experienced a previous identity shift

Every purchase that we make in this life includes an identity shift

That’s pretty profound… (…is it weird to call your own thing profound? 😂)

Every purchase that you make also includes an identity shift.

I want them to have participated in a red ocean identity.

I want them to have walked in and put on a t-shirt that says ‘Crossfitter,’ own it, and tell people about it.

The reason why is because they’re more likely…. when they realize that their method… (I’m not throwing rocks at CrossFit, I chose that as a random example)…

But let’s say that they went in and they put on this identity as a ‘CrossFitter…’

I want them to own that identity.

Ideal client profile identity

“I am a ——- (fill in the blank)!”…is a very powerful statement to finish in your own psyche.

…and so I want them to have done that.

Once they’ve owned an identity, they’re MORE likely to take on whatever identity I’m going to give them.

I can’t be the first time that they’ve put on an identity – there’s ownership that’s required for that.

So, anyway, there’s just three more criteria….


Ideal client profile ingredient 7

  • I want my Dream Customer to be a sneezer.

Now, this is kinda gross… I believe it’s from Seth Godin…

He talks about the concept of being a sneezer, meaning, they spread stuff, (which is totally nasty).

But he’s like, “You need sneezers!”

I was like, “That makes a lot of sense.”

I want my customers to be true believers, aka, Diehards.

So when they purchase, and we start getting those results for them, they’re like, “This is awesome!”

*Spread, Spread, Spread, Spread, Spread*

Spreading ideal client profile

…they tell everybody, “You should go check this out,” and they become some of my best salesmen ever.


Ideal client profile ingredient 8

  • I want my Dream Customer to have a strong sense of self.

This might surprise you that it’s a criteria for me.

But when somebody doesn’t have a strong sense of self, I have to help them find themselves, and that’s okay, but it’s just more challenging.

I can’t be the source of their ‘self’…

My company is NOT the source of personal validation. I am there to give them a result.

We’ll create a relationship for sure, but when they come in with the premise and the expectation that I’m the one that’s gonna go give them personal validation…

Target market stress

…. it’s really weird!

Every step, they’re like,

  • “Is that okay?”
  • “So it was okay… was all right then? “
  • Okay, sounds good… cause I was just making sure it’s okay…Cause if it’s not okay, tell me ’cause I’ll switch it! “
  • “Cause I wanna make sure it’s okay… cause Stephen, I just wanna make sure I’m following your models, okay?”
  • “Is that okay?”

Stephen Larsen target market

I’m like, “Whoa, oh my gosh! You did it! Done’s the new perfect, son. Just move!”

I will get feisty with them so, I can’t be their sense of personal validation.

And then, the last one is…


Ideal client profile ingredient 9

  • I need them to be willing, able…and a dream.

… that’s my criteria.

The reason why is if they are…

  1. Willing
  2. Able (meaning they have the cash)
  3. A Dream

…and they fit a lot of these criteria, (if not all of them).

Then, I wake up in love with my customers.

Love your target market

I wake up and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I cannot wait to drop this new thing on them. They’re gonna get so much more success with this. It’s awesome.”

and it lets me play in my mental playground zone more.

It lets me play in my zone of genius more when I love the customer.

I love my customers, and it’s been a long, long, long time of me making sure that I’m serving the right customer… not just for the product, but for my personality.

So that when people come in they’re like, “All right, I love this,” and then they do it – they move and act.

Hopefully, it’s helpful to you!

This is an awesome blog… if I do say so myself… it’s one of my favorites.


All good marketing starts with a who.

WHO target market

So if you can get clarity on:

  1. Your dream customer?
  2. Who you’re serving?
  3. Why you’re serving them?
  4. Maybe some of the criteria that you personally want?

… that’s okay, just add your own.

We’re talking about YOUR Dream Customers, which may NOT be the same as my dream customer.

Get clear on some of those criteria and you’ll literally be able to build a business that you like.

Who is your target market

If you liked this… then leave me review @ sjlreview.comthat would be super helpful.

It’s been really fun to see a lot more of those reviews lately. I’ve really appreciated that – it’s been helpful for me.

It’s a lot of work getting these shows up. We have a huge team behind getting these out – so it’s super fun for us to see all those together…


Also, last part…

OfferMind target market

OfferMind is getting soooo awesome!

We have…

Obviously, I’m gonna be speaking and then, to top it all off, we have the brilliant and incredible Russell Brunson keynoting!

…so it’ll be very fun.

Target market for OfferMind

This is NOT an event like you’ve EVER been to.

I’m excited about it – we’ll get a lot more into the nitty gritty of how a lot of this stuff all fits together.

A lot of times, I just wanted someone to just fit the pieces together?

… and sometimes, that means going just one layer deeper so that you can make it simple and understand how a lot of these components work together… and take on the identity of a marketer.

*I am a —– marketer!*

Ready for your target market

Go to and we’re excited to have you.

All right guys, see you later. Get Rich!


If you’re just starting out you’re probably studying a lot. That’s good. You’re probably geeking out on all the strategies, right? That’s also good.

But the hardest part is figuring out what the market wants to buy and how you should sell it to them, right?

That’s what I struggled with for a while until I learned the formula.

So I created a special Mastermind called an OfferMind to get you on track with the right offer, and more importantly the right sales script to get it off the ground and sell it.

OfferMind ideal client profile

Wanna come?

There are small groups on purpose, so I can answer your direct questions in person for two straight days. You can hold your spot by going to

Again, that’s

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