You, me and business

Know your customers

By DANA DITTMAR, CEO, Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce

Dana Dittmar, CEO of the Greater Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce

Dana Dittmar

How well do you think you know your customers? Especially the ones who are doing business with you on a regular basis? You know, the guy who comes in your shop every week and buys “the usual”? Turns out, you may not know them as well as you think you do.

Just because they buy the same product repeatedly, don’t think you have them pegged. Most customers have one of four distinct purchasing personalities. Knowing them can give you the edge when it comes to making more sales.

The four main types of personalities process information differently, especially when making a buying decision. Knowing how they’re deciding what to do makes you a better salesperson.

Take the Brainiacs, for instance. They just love facts and details. If they’re buying a car, they want to know torque, turning radius and resale value in addition to miles per gallon. These folks don’t make snap decisions and are likely to take their time, coming in several times before signing on the dotted line. They need to be fully convinced of your credibility and competence before they buy and have to be convinced they are making a sound purchasing decision. The more facts and figures you can give them, the easier it will be for them to buy from you.

Wheeler-dealers, on the other hand, tend to be fast-paced and results-oriented. No moss growing under any feet here! They don’t like shopping in the first place, so they want to make a decision and get on with other activities. They get right to the point, ask a few select questions and trust you to have their best interests. You want to sell them trust and value — and make your pricing realistic. These are the best customers to have, as they are exceptionally loyal and very low maintenance.

Adrenalins take an expressive, aggressive approach to business and are easily bored. If they aren’t hooked and reeled in quickly, they lose interest and wander off to look at something else. With these types, you want to maintain their interest by explaining how your offer affects them directly and personally. How this skin product will make them look years younger, or how this investment will mean they will never end up being a greeter at a big-box store when they’re 90.

And finally, there are the Ambassadors. These folks are friendly and compassionate “feeling” people who want to contribute goodness to the lives of others. They are the people pleasers and sometimes buy the wrong thing because they don’t want to hurt your feelings or disappoint you. They are uncomfortable saying “no” and can easily be manipulated by unscrupulous sales people. Show empathy, share your thoughts and give them rock-solid guarantees that your product is the right one for them. They will be eternally grateful and pleased to have made you happy.

Now that you know about these buying types, you will never look at your current customers in the same way again, and you’ll be looking at your new customers with a whole new attitude. Now think: What kind of shopper are you?

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