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The Secret to Getting Attention: Your ICP

In 3 minutes you'll learn how to stand out

Chris Ritson

16 Feb 2024

3 mins

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Standing out in inboxes has never been so difficult. 

Gone are the days you could send a few emails and get a response, or DM 10x people on LinkedIn and they’d stop what they were doing to read it. 

Standing out is one of the most painful challenges SDRs face on a day to day basis. 

Today I want to show you how to make your messaging stand out - by serving a specific audience with a specific problem. 

We’re going to craft your ideal customer profile, or “ICP”. We’re going to create that tiny weeny bit of space you need to get more attention, stand out and win. 

Disclaimer - the secret to messaging that works is sending messages to the right people. 

Let’s dive in. 

What Is an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

In a B2B world, an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a description of the perfect company and individuals you want to target. 

It’s not just a list of accounts in the ‘‘right industry’’ or a few people who have the same job title. 

It's about being highly systematic and disciplined with who and who does not make it to your list for outreach. It should help you answer the question: Is this account or person worth MY precious time today as a seller? 

The Importance of your ICP

In a market saturated with sales people who all have similar products and services to sell, your ICP serves as a major factor in differentiating yourselves in prospects inboxes. 

Simply put; you need to be BETTER than other sellers at identifying and then messaging your ICP to stand out. 

Without it, you’ll likely become part of the noise and get overlooked. 

Let’s imagine you’re great at writing cold email. You want to go out and cold email prospects to book more meetings. If you just do that (like most sellers) you’re not going to get the attention you deserve from the right prospects. Anyone can just get a list and email them. Your job is to email the best list with the right message, not just anyone with a remotely relevant job title. 

For example, my friend is an incredible social seller. They book over >80% of their meetings on LinkedIn. But when he crafts his messaging he isn’t thinking about how many messages he can get out today. He’s considering who he sends those messages to? Who on his list deserves his time the most today? 

And then he messages them. 

And when he gave me a sneak peak into his LinkedIn inbox it was full of replies. More importantly, it was full of positive replies. Even if a prospect wasn’t in the market now, he was able to start the conversation and built towards a meeting in the future when they would be in the market. 

My mates not just an SDR, he’s an SDR who helps his target market discover new technology that can help them solve a relevant problem they are likely facing today. He’s not just a ‘‘KPI cow’’, he’s someone who considers who he messages and whether he has a chance of standing out before he spends his time on it. 

Understanding his ICP allows him to: 

  • Target a specific number of accounts every day 

  • Spend as much of his time only on ICP accounts 

  • Become relevant to cold prospects 

  • Stand-out in busy inboxes 

  • Justify being persistent 

  • Start more conversations 

  • Beat his competition (other sellers) 

  • Be viewed as valuable by his prospects 

  • Smash his targets and commission 

Steps to Identify Your ICP

As you can see, identifying your ICP isn't just about picking a few accounts, finding a few ‘‘personas’’ and plonking them into a sequencing tool so you can hit your KPIs today. 

It requires a deep understanding of who you can help and why you can help them. 

How to Find Your ICP 
  1. Research: First, find out what existing customers look like. Identify WHY they are buying. What problems are they solving with your product. How are those problems different from job title to job title, industry to industry. The key is the spot the differences between your customers NOT the commonalities. Tip - go to places like G2 and read reviews. 

  2. Buying Reasons: Make a list of each job title you see. Note down why they are buying. Do the same for industry, company sizes. 

  3. Field Research: Now you have that list go and find ‘‘lookalikes’’ on social media and message them asking for insights. Say something like ‘I’m new/what to better understand X, could you help me by telling me what you are facing day to day with Y (specific problem). 

  4. List Building: By now, you should have a very clear understanding of who you help and with what. Go and find similar accounts, with similar people who face the SAME problems. Do not let any other accounts in your list. 

Remember, your ICP should be: 

  • Your perfect customer {not your favourite brand} 

  • Include a list of problems you solve for them 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

In trying to identify your ICP, it's easy to make mistakes. Many do. 

Common Mistakes
  1. Picking your favourite brands: For some reason we want to sell to our favourite brands. I’ve seen reps do it a few times but the success rate is LOW. Stop picking ‘‘sexy’’ logos because you like them. Pick brands because you can sell to them. 

  2. Just Adding Accounts: Just because you are given a certain vertical or industry doesn’t mean you add every account possible that ticks that box to your sequence. You’ve got to do the leg work upfront. Always ask yourself: Who deserves your time most today from this list? 

  3. Being Too Vague: Your ICP is not ‘‘companies 100-5000’’ or ‘‘construction’’. that isn’t an ICP. 

A well-defined ICP should means all of your messaging goes to people who are highly likely to suffer from the problem your product or service solves. 


Identifying your ICP is not easy. It takes time. 

It’s also not just your bosses job. It’s always your job as a seller. Why? Because you’re the one messaging these people. So, if you don’t understand it how can you confidently say you’ve sent them a good message that has a chance of standing out? 

Remember — your ICP is your starting point. It’s your guide to where you spend your time today, tomorrow and every day after that. 

And if time is your most important currency you should treat it with more respect. 

So take the time to make sure you stand out moving forwards. When it comes to ICP your job is to identify it, learn it and most importantly - put it front and centre on of your outreach efforts every single day. 

Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 more ways I can help you in 2024: 

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© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.

© 2024 Chris Ritson. All right reserved.