Avatars, Other Worlds and The Alphabet Test – an exercise in choosing your best customers and your best work

I was asked this week to commit to an interesting exercise in self-reflection, as follows:

  • The Perfect Customer Avatar
    • imagine your perfect customer avatar – who are they?
    • ask yourself what absolutely disturbs, disrupts and delights your perfect customer avatar?
  • The Other World Question
    • in what way do people in other sectors engage with their perfect customer avatars – and what can you learn from that?
  • The Alphabet Test
    • Part 1 – for each letter of the alphabet, write down the name of someone (real or fictional, live or historic) who inspires you and why;
    • Part 2 – pick your top 5 and ask yourself how they would approach running your business?

During my Bunker Day on Tuesday and some very long train journeys yesterday (note – both uninterrupted) I addressed each of these tasks and completed them.

It gave me some fascinating insights into:

  • who are my absolute #1 favourite clients;
  • what disturbs them the most at the moment;
  • what is disrupting them most at the moment;
  • what delights them the most (including what do I do that delights them the most);
  • who are my alphabet heroes – I did pick 26 of them – A to Z – a real journey into the intellect;
  • which 5 were the top of the list and what I can learn about how they would run my business?

Churchill (overcoming adversity, focus, determination)

Dickens (turning out the work – relentlessly – and imaginatively)

Godin (marketing genius and blogger)

Nelson (tactical genius and leadership)

Wellington (statesmanship)

If you want a complete copy of my notes at each stage, just email coachbarrow@me.com and I’ll happily share my thoughts.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.