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The Four Basic Customer Types |  May 29, 2013 (0 comments)


Tallahassee, FL—Psychologists often break down personality traits into four basic types. Some use animals as a descriptor, such as lions, monkeys, giraffes, and turtles. Others use traits, such as dominant, expressive, amiable, and analytical. These methods are very helpful in understanding your different customers and teaching you how to meet their needs.

But times have changed. Many people are under far more stress than earlier generations were, and these pressures have altered many of our customers’ personality types. Without a clear understanding of these changes, we may fail to meet our customer’s needs.

Today’s sales associate needs a new road map to success. It starts with building on the foundation laid by earlier personality type training. Greatness is achieved when you take what is successful and make it even better. Can you imagine watching a 20-year-old television? The difference between it and a flat screen with high definition images and surround sound is amazing! That is the same concept I have created to help the modern day sales associate meet every customer’s needs, however they arrive in your store.

Customers still fit into four basic types—no matter what their personality is.  The four customer types are: simple-minded, demanding, analytical, and guarded. Every customer who enters your store will fall into one of these four types, and learning how to sell each will allow you to achieve your ultimate goal of building a large and loyal customer base.

Let’s examine each customer type and how to meet his or her needs better. These are just basics; there is a much deeper level to understand each type, which we will address in later articles in this series.

Let’s begin with the demanding customer. Sales associates often fear these the most. They can range from high maintenance time consumers to pushy and confrontational. Notice these two have different personality types, yet both can be categorized as demanding customers. There are many ways to handle such a customer, but the two weapons that work every time are kindness and complements. Metaphorically speaking, kill them with both. It is very hard for someone to be demanding when they are being treated well and with respect. 

The next type is the analytical customer. These can range from uneducated customers needing information to skilled geniuses who like to play a mental game of chess with you. The best way to sell this customer is to know your product well and sell with confidence. Any sign of weakness or uncertainty can lead to a long sales process. Make good eye contact and stay focused while engaging these customers. Most importantly, be sure to speak on their own level: selling an educated customer is much different than selling an uneducated customer. But be careful not to talk down—try putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you knew very little about cars, how would you feel going to get your car fixed? Pretty vulnerable, unless someone who took the time to explain in detail what exactly was going on.

The guarded customer is the famous “I’m just looking” customer. For a variety of reasons, these customers have an invisible wall and you must earn their trust before they will open the door for you. Trying to scale their walls without permission or tricking them can be disastrous. This customer must feel that you are being 100% honest and have their best interest in mind. You do this by serving them rather than selling them. Create an obligation of trust by offering free ring cleaning or a service that is beneficial to them. It could be as simple as offering a cold beverage or coffee. You will be amazed at how quickly these customers open up to you.

Finally, there is the simple-minded customer. The term “simple minded” often has a negative connotation, but not here. This is the customer that is familiar with you and trusts you completely. Your goal is to turn every customer you serve into a simple-minded customer. Once you have given them excellent service and a bond of trust is created, these customers offer little resistance. They know you care about them from the service you give and the birthday, anniversary and Christmas cards you send every year. They become the foundation of your success, year in and year out. You no longer are just a sales associate, but are now their friend.

The next time you greet a customer, I challenge you to focus on these basic concepts. Make sure every customer is given the proper service to meet his or her need. Once again, greatness is achieved when you take what is successful and make it even better. What you will find is a new world of success as you build your customer base with a loyalty that is unmatched.

Modern Day Selling offers the freshest new insight in jewelry sales training designed to help sales associatse achieve greater success. As a yearly million-dollar-plus sales associate for the past eight years, Brian Barfield practices what he preaches on finding success based on the core principles of trust, honest and integrity. He is a two time published author whose insight is being recognized around the world. For more information or in-store training, visit his website or email






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