Is your Business Prepared to Sell to these 5 Customer Types?

Many small business owners fail to understand the customer base they serve and end up not being prepared to sell to those customers. How many times have you thought about various types of customers that you are selling to? Is your business ready to serve those different types of customers? Do you have marketing programs in place to attract those customers in the first place? Important questions to think about, isn’t it?
Different customers have varying types of needs. Some are looking for bargains, while others will pay premium for the quality product. By understanding the needs of customers your business can determine which customers are right for your business. You can take this approach one step further and develop customer personas based on the customer needs and purchasing habits. Personas are helpful in not only identifying the customer types, but also tailoring your marketing and operations to serve their needs. Below we have identified 5 such customer personas. Think about which ones are usually doing business with you and whether your business is prepared to serve their needs.

  1. Stingy Susan – This is the customer that is always on the lookout for a bargain. She will go from store to store in search of lowest price even if it means sacrificing quality and customer service. Susan doesn’t care for the red carpet welcome, heck she even doesn’t care for a carpet at all. If your business decides to serve this customer you will need to focus on the marketing message based on low price (think Wal-Mart). Obviously, you are going to have to run a no-frills, lean operation to make money from this customer. Take your eyes of the costs and you stand to lose money on this customer type.
  2. Loyal Larry – This is somewhat opposite of Stingy Susan. He doesn’t want to go to a different business even if it means saving few bucks. He will keep coming to your business day after day as long as you treat him well. For a typical business, “Loyal Larrys” make up only 20% of all customers, but they contribute almost 50% profit! It is in your best interest to know these Larrys and do whatever you can to retain their business. Look at these tips on how to serve your best customers and some more.
  3. Always in Rush Randy – Randy is always short on time. Either he is a busy professional who has a long to-do list or is a working parent who is juggling number of duties. Randy doesn’t care if he has to pay extra if it means saving few precious minutes of his time. He will pay $3.50 for gallon milk at convenience store even if it sells for $2.50 at a large grocery store right next to it. The best way to attract and serve Randy is by promoting the mantra of “Get in, Get it, and Get out.” You need to setup your displays with clear signs and easy navigation to accomplish that. If he asks for help make sure you personally work with him to complete his transaction as quickly as possible. You can also take these steps to help him make quick choice. Of course, you will want to charge extra for the convenience you are providing to him.
  4. Whimsical Willy – Willy is that shopper who will see something interesting and buy it on impulse without giving much thought. It’s not what he needs, it’s what he wants. He doesn’t care about the fact that he already has 10 other similar items in his closet already. You can cater to Whimsical Willys by providing him with frequent updates of new items that will keep him interested. Also, putting them on the side aisles and near checkout lines will make sure he notices them.
  5. Window Shopper Wendy – Wendy is someone who has all the time in her hands and enjoys spending it by walking around the store without urgency. She is the exact opposite of “Always in Rush Randy.” As a business owner you shouldn’t really pay much attention to Wendy. She will go her own way spending time to look at the items in your store and occasionally make a purchase. You may not be able to make much money from Wendy, so it is best not to spend much on her either.

Are there any other customer types you have come across? How do you prepare your business to serve them?

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  1. says:

    Is your Business Prepared to Sell to these 5 Customer Types?…

    Small businesses can improve their sales and profit by tailoring their marketing and operations to serve these 5 customer types described in this article….