Your Crappiest Customer Profile (CCP) is the Opposite of Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Your Crappiest Customer Profile (CCP) is the opposite of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). They exist on a continuum of customer traits that will either accelerate your business or kill your business.

Just because they bought your product doesn’t mean they are good for your business.

Your CCPs are your worst 20% of customers, at least, who are eating your resources and saying bad things about you in your market.

They are unprofitable and unsustainable. They are distracting and diluting. They are complaining and giving you bad reviews.

Your CCPs are the ones that you should not have sold way back when you didn’t know their true cost and you were desperate for any sale.

Startup experiments require you to sell to a wider range of customers at first. How else will you really know what makes a great customer, a good customer, and a bad customer in the long run?

Get your founders, marketers, sales, and success teams in a room. Bring in finance and dev too. Ask these questions:

  1.  Which customers are best for our business? Why? What are their common traits?
  2.  Which customers are worst for our business? What are their common traits?
  3.  What are our worst customers really costing us? This is where the gold is.

I guarantee you’ll see that 10-30% of your startup customers are having such a negative effect on your business that you should stop selling to them.

  •  Your CCPs eat your marketing and dev budgets.
  •  Your CCPs keep you from having a clear, powerful message.
  •  Your CCPs can be your biggest or smallest customers that are not profitable.
  •  Your CCPs churn and cancel before they become profitable.
  •  Your CCPs won’t pay you a premium price.
  •  Your CCPs won’t do the work to get great value.
  •  Your CCPs give you bad reviews and tell their friends.

CCPs are always there. They are holding back the growth of your business next year.

It’s tricky to identify your CCPs clearly. And it’s hard to say no.

But the fastest growing companies, consumer products, restaurants, enterprise software companies, SaaS apps, entertainers, and politicians are ALWAYS clear about both their ICPs and the CCPs.

I call this universal growth phenomenon, “The Beacon and the Shield.” Do what it takes to attract your ICPs and scare away your CCPs.

In any fast-growing anything, the Beacon and the Shield phenomenon is always there. It’s never not there. Yin and yang.

VCs call this Product-Market Fit. You have finally figured out how to say yes to your ICPs and no to your CCPs. PMF requires both.

Double down on identifying and avoiding your CCPs.

Use the Power Law and the 80/20 rule on the negative end of your customer continuum. It’s the fastest way to the biggest wins.

I can tell how much growth momentum a company (or a person) has by how much they say NO to their CCPs.

I can tell how capable a team or company is by how much they say NO to bad-fit employees who don’t fit their culture.

What are the most painful traits of your CCPs?


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