Do You Know How To Identify The Type Of Customer You Are Dealing With?

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Those of us that interact with customers have noticed that each one has a little bit different personality that comes out during our interactions with them. Thankfully, we’re not all the same. These personalities are individual and depending on your interaction with them may determine your success or failure of striking an understanding, agreement, or sale. Thrown into this mix is your personality. You have unique personality traits that make you you. So with your personality and your customers personality, how do you get on the same page?

While everyone has a unique personality, there are 4 dominant traits that is weaved in all of us, and it’s a blend of these 4 dominant traits that make us unique. Here’s where the science of personality and your ability to identify those dominant traits and which are more and which are less dominant can affect your success or failure indealing with another individual. While an in depth study of this subject may take weeks or months to fully understand, here are a few tips that you can practice on the job and hone your skills to make this a positive for you and your customer.

Let’s identify the basic various types and start with the dominant type personality. This person is a bottom line type person. They want to cut to the chase and make a decision with a few facts that they tend to piece together to make a decision. Ever had a customer that has a backed up drain that is caused by root intrusion and you are showing them a video explaining the root problem when they stop you and ask what’s it going to take to fix it and how much will it cost? With this type of customer, you will only hurt yourself continuing on with a detailed explanation. He’s identified the problem in his mind, made a decision to move forward and fix it and only wants to know the bottom line price and time line. If your personality type is the next one we will discuss and you continue on with what you feel comfortable explaining you will most likely lose his attention and he’ll move on to finding someone who can give him the bottom line information he wants.

The next type of customer is a steady type personality. They like details and the more the better. They are the folks who read all of the information you give them and usually want more. If you are the same type, you will both revel in the detail and most likely come to agreement. They will expect to see all of the specifications, ASTM’s if applicable, data, studies, and other information. They also will read every review your company has ever received by online rating sites. He wants to be sold this way and the more documentation you feed him the better.

An influencer is our next type. They’re relationship orientated and would rather gather with you over golf or cocktails, and form a friendship bond with you. They could care less about how you fix the issue as long as you’re friends and vow to fix the problem as a friend would fix it. Giving this person a bottom line proposal will most likely fail as well as feeding them all of the specifications will fail. Friends first, then they’ll do business with you. Short of making that friendship bond your proposal will end in the dead file.

The final type of customer is referred to as compliant. Being friends with this type doesn’t make much difference. They do like most of the details of what you are proposing, but not in the quantify of information the steady type wants. They enjoying friendly relationships with those they do business with, but not to the extent found by the influencer. Finally they will get to the bottom line, but need to know all of the information they believe they need to be comfortable and will want the advice of others to make a decision. Referrals from previous customers is very helpful in getting these folks to do business with you. If you jump to the bottom line, over stimulate him with data, or suggest golf or cocktails, you most likely will be the guy watching your competition do the work you were proposing.

So with this brief descriptive of personalities how can you use the information to become more successful in your attempt to interact with your customers? The first step is to identify your personality. You can do this by figuring out how you like to buy things. Which type buyer of goods or services fits you best from the above groupings? The hardest part of this exercise is to be honest and not view those personalities that don’t fit you as wrong or bad or that your type is good or right. After you’ve sorted out where you fit, practice by sizing up your interactions with your customers, remembering that they are driven by their own individual personality. Also remember that none of us is all one or the other. We are all a blend of all of them with some more dominant that others and some less dominant than others. Once you begin figuring out which type of personality you are dealing with, begin tailoring your interactions with others as they want to hear it, not how you want to present it.  As you become more proficient you will find more successful interactions and more closed sales.

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