The ideal and, most valuable, customers are ones who are loyal to a brand, willing to spend more than the minimum dollar value and eager to recommend to others. They are also the audience that is easiest to sell to and business owners need to be doing more to attract them.
However, on the other hand, there are five customer types that are a serious pain in the neck for businesses.
So, here are a few tips on how business owners can manage those five types of consumers that drive them crazy and, turn them into actual paying customers!
1. The indecisive customer
They show interest in your product or service, but are not always as motivated to buy as they seem. They might have some unaddressed concerns or, are overwhelmed by a wide range of choices. They would rather avoid decisions and are more cautious than other customers.
This customer needs to be handheld the entire way to a decision. You will have to be the leader in this relationship, but if you can earn their trust, they can be very valuable. Talk them to a decision, be compassionate and remind them what indecision can cost them. Demonstrate your trustworthiness with credentials or customer reviews.
2. The tyre kicker
Not to be confused with the indecisive customer, the tyre kicker doesn’t say yes or no to your offer, but rather delays or drags on the sales process, wasting valuable time. They may come back multiple times without you making a sale.
Time spent with these individuals is like throwing money (your time) away. Be ready with solid probing questions, especially early in the process, to help you qualify if they will be an actual buyer. This will help weed out the time-waster before you spend hours on follow up and research.
3. The distracted customer
They know what they want but are too busy with other things going on to tell you what this is. With this customer, communication can be difficult. They have a wandering mind, roving eyes and their smartphone in hand in hand just waiting for the next Facebook or Twitter notification.
Make it your priority to get their attention and engage them. Tickle their interest with the various positive features of the products or service. Strike up a conversation with them, but listen keenly to what they actually want – and don’t waste their time. If you can quickly grasp their needs and queries, you can successfully service them – despite having only part of their attention.
4. The know-it-all
The know-it-all has done research on you and your competitors, and spouts about all your strengths and weaknesses. This customer thinks they know what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it. As a result, the first 10 minutes of the conversation is wasted time with the customer grilling you on specific points and, asking you technical questions that might not even be relevant.
Be prepared. Instead of answering questions, ask questions. The big problem with this customer is that they are not very receptive to what you might have to say.
In fact, often what they are looking for is your respect – so give it to them. Compliment them on their knowledge and research. Tell them not many customers know as much as they do. And then, use this rapport and ego-booster to introduce new ideas to them and convince them about your product or service.
5. The grumpy cat
This type of customer needs your help, but for whatever reason they have already decided that you probably can’t help them anyway. They are pessimistic and impatient.
The first thing to remember is to stay calm and listen to their concerns. Ask questions so they know that you are listening and are genuinely focused on solving their problem. Highlight for them the benefits of the product or service. At the same time, give them plenty of time and space to express themselves and don’t make them feel pressured into doing something – you’ll just upset them more!
Fiona Adler is a small business marketing expert and founder of WOMO.com.au – one of Australia’s top business review sites, which attracts a review every five minutes and has been used by 1 in 4 Australians.