10 Types of Clients and How to Attend to them to Make a Successful Sale

Different people perceive purchasing in different ways as motivations, wants and needs vary from person to person.

Although unrealistic, this diversity is what would compel companies to create products and services with as many modifications as there are people. Said differences need to be combined with the realistic possibilities of attending to the client. A solution for bridging this gap is to group clients together based on common criteria.

Though this grouping is general, these criteria establish different typologies for clients with similar motivations and attitudes.

Below we are going to propose client typology groupings to be used as a guide. It is important to note that these are recommendations for making a successful sale according to different customer service situations, as opposed to a rigid pattern of client typology:

1) The INDICESIVE client:

Characteristics:

  • These are clients that speak very little, but who are good listeners. They tend not to show their emotions or motivation, making it difficult to have an understanding of their thought process.
  • They avoid commenting on the product, but rather tend to reflect on it silently.

How to attend to the client:

  • When dealing with this type of client, we should show kindness and interest in their needs in order to get a response. We can do this by asking questions.
  • We can use catalogues or demonstrations to encourage participation by sharing their opinion.
  • It is important to demonstrate interest when speaking with this type of client.

Things to avoid:

  • We should not raise our voices if we think the client is not listening even if we do not receive a response from them.
  • We should not interrupt when they are speaking.
  • We should avoid prolonged silences.

 

2) The SILENT client:

Characteristics:

  • These are clients that speak very little, but who are good listeners. They tend not to show their emotions or motivation, making it difficult to have an understanding of their thought process.
  • They avoid commenting on the product, but rather tend to reflect on it silently.

How to attend to the client:

  • When dealing with this type of client, we should show kindness and interest in their needs in order to get a response. We can do this by asking questions.
  • We can use catalogues or demonstrations to encourage participation by sharing their opinion.
  • It is important to demonstrate interest when speaking with this type of client.

Things to avoid:

  • We should not raise our voices if we think the client is not listening even if we do not receive a response from them.
  • We should not interrupt when they are speaking.
  • We should avoid prolonged silences.

 

3) The ADVISER / ARGUMENTATIVE client:

Characteristics:

  • This client demonstrates a desire to argue.
  • They tend to exude a sense of superiority toward the salesperson, putting their patience to the test.

How to attend to the client:

  • We should address these clients firmly and with certainty.
  • We should employ an assertive style and know when to say “no” without being aggressive.
  • We should listen patiently, keeping our cool and maintaining humour.

Things to avoid:

  • We should try to avoid arguing with the client and not allow ourselves to be affected by their sarcasm.
  • We should not consider their criticism as offensive and we should not express fear.

 

4) The PROUD client:

Characteristics:

  • This type of person has high personal and professional self-esteem and thinks that they know all of the characteristics of the product and the company.
  • They look to control the situation and the conversation. They tend to demonstrate a certain degree of superiority toward the salesperson and react negatively to advice.
  • They tend to look for compliments and demand respect, exhibiting their knowledge and/or social status.

How to attend to the client:

  • We should attend to these clients by providing objective information and proven facts about the product or service that we are offering.
  • We should listen actively, demonstrating interest in what they are saying. We should be calm and relaxed.
  • We should be assertive and express opinions with confidence.

Things to avoid:

  • We should make sure that they do not think that their indecision is a result of a problem related to the product or service that we are trying to sell.
  • We should give them space to reflect on their decision and never make them feel overwhelmed.
  • We should not present them with an excessive amount of data and information as this will increase their indecision.

Types of Clients

 

5) The FRIENDLY client:

Characteristics:

  • This type of client tends to be receptive, pacific and agreeable.
  • They often show a certain degree of indecision when it comes to making the purchase.

How to attend to the client:

  • If the decision-making process starts to take too long, it is good to summarise the aspects that have been agreed upon.
  • A concrete offer should be emphasised and the agreement process should be pushed along when it seems that agreement has become possible.

Things to avoid:

  • We should not be too trusting because if it takes too long to close the sale, the client may decide not to go through with it due to their tendency toward indecision.

 

6) The PENSIVE OR METHODICAL client:

Characteristics:

  • This type of client demonstrates the need for autonomy, order and exploration. They do not tend to show initial interest in the sale. They look for complete and objective information, evaluating the pros and cons.

How to attend to the client:

  • We should be calm and repeat the argument as many times as necessary.
  • Our argument should be complete and objective and we should give the client time to think.

Things to avoid:

  • In order to close the sale successfully, we should not demonstrate concern about their indecision and we should not pressure them to want the product or service we are offering.

 

7) The CONSERVATIVE / ENTHUSIASTIC client:

Characteristics:

  • This type of client enjoys conversation and might tell personal stories.
  • They go from one topic to another, forgetting about the purchase itself. They tend to repeat their arguments and not listen to others.
  • Despite this tendency, they tend to be interested in the salesperson’s opinion.

How to attend to the client:

  • We should try to return to the sales-related conversation if we get off track. It is good to be brief when explaining, providing the main points about the product or service.
  • Similarly, it is good to adopt a firm attitude, maintaining control over the situation. It is usually helpful to employ other clients’ opinions about the product or service.

Things to avoid:

  • We should not let tiredness or boredom show and we should not deter the client’s enthusiasm or get involved in discussions about their personal life.

 

8) The SHY client:

Characteristics:

  • These clients avoid making eye contact and try to maintain a certain distance from the salesperson.
  • They do not feel comfortable voicing their opinions, complaints or questions in front of other clients.

How to attend to the client:

  • We should try to create a trusting environment, offering catalogues or other visual support which help relax the conversation and does not require continuous eye contact.
  • We should provide advice and suggestions, but we should not do so in the presence of other clients so that the shy client feels comfortable expressing their doubts.

Things to avoid:

  • We should not force the client to maintain eye contact or stand too close to us by limiting their personal space.
  • We should not ask about their opinions or if they have any questions especially in the presence of other clients.

 

9) The SCEPTICAL client:

Characteristics:

  • This client has a tendency to overvalue negative aspects of the product and undervalue positive information.
  • This client considers that they might be being manipulated by sales techniques or marketing strategies. They demonstrate a continuous state of self-defence.

How to attend to the client:

  • We should highlight objective information and facts about the product or service, first discussing the disadvantages and then discussing the advantages.
  • We should be patient with their questions and objections and speak confidently.

Things to avoid:

  • We should not hide the disadvantages of the product or service and we should not argue about the negative aspects that the client points out. We should not show impatience or consider their questions to be out of the ordinary. It is recommended to remain at their side until the sale has been finalised.

 

10) The BUSY client:

Characteristics:

  • This type of client does not have time to do anything. While they are making the purchase, they are probably also doing other things. This level of busyness could be a symptom of having too much to do, or it could be due to a lack of organisation.

How to attend to the client:

  • We should try to get the client to relax and focus on the conversation. Questions like, “How can you attend to so many things at the same time?” are a good way to capture their attention.

Things to avoid:

  • We should not force them to be attentive. It is better to postpone the sale if we see that client cannot give us their attention. We should not act like we do not understand the state they are in as this could cause a negative reaction from the client.

 

What kind of experience have you had with each of the 10 types of clients? Do you know of other common customer service situations?

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