Dealing with customers is not a straight story of a salesman trying to talk to a customer or a potential customer.  This transaction becomes more complex when you conduct a permutation and combination exercise over the 13 types of Customers with 4 types of behavior pre-purchase and 4 types of behavior during purchase. To add to this complexity, you got to monetize the Life Time Value of the customer to stay relevant in business.

Further complexities arise when you need to consider the Product Life Cycle of the product that we are talking about ie Introduction, Growth, Maturity, Decay.  To add to this, the financial condition of the company will decide the priorities and budgeting.

Despite all such complexities, it is worthwhile for any marketer to understand the following 13 customer types and the 4 pre-purchase and on purchase buying behavior.

Who is he?
When you have a suspicion that someone could become your customer
When someone has the potential to become your customer
When the prospect shows willingness to listen to your story.
A customer who is very new to the concept of your product
First time user of your product
Repeat purchaser of your product
Very active user of your product
Old user of your product but unhappy with results
At risk
Customers sitting on the fence with a question : Yes/No
Customers who have jumped the fence and embraced competition
Customers whoa re repeatedly patronizing your product.
Happy customers who are willing to introduce you to their friends and relatives
Customers who are ready to vouch for you with a “No conditions apply” approach

4 Types of Customers before buying decision is taken

Why and What Questions Customers Ask?

It is important for us to understand that there are essentially 4 types of customers viz. Cheap, Difficult, Sophisticated & Affluent.

What are the questions that a “Cheap” customer will always ask?

  1. Why the price is so high?
  2. What is the best price that you can give me?
  3. What is the best discount that you can give me once you have already given the best price?
  4. Where else I can buy this product and what is the best price available there? What is the best discount available there?
  5. Who else sells this product and what is their best price and best discount?
  6. How much will the price further reduce if you remove Feature 1 from the product?
  7. Do you have a rental /lease option?
  8. Do you have an installment option for payment?
  9. Do you have a buy back policy if I am not satisfied with the product?
  10. What is the resale value of this product?


What are the questions that a “Difficult” customer will always ask?

  1. How are you better than your competition?
  2. How can you make your product better for me?
  3. What discount will you give me after your “last price” offer?
  4. Can you change one feature of your product for me?
  5. Can you demonstrate your product to me on site of an existing user of your product?
  6. Can you allow me to use your product for a free trial of 15 days before I take the decision?
  7. I am not trying to be difficult but can you come back next week and explain all the features once again?
  8. I am convinced but can you please convince my wife as well?
  9. I want your product but I feel bad to say “yes’ so fast.
  10. How will you ensure that I will be happy after buying this product?


What are the questions that a “Sophisticated” customer will always ask?

  1. How do these features of your product or service translate into benefits for me?
  2. How do I make the best use of your product?
  3. Can you help me do a live trial of your product at my site?
  4. Can you train one of my persons fully even before I buy this product? I am ready to pay for the training.
  5. Can you prove to me that your product is actually better than your competition?
  6. Can you do a cost justification of the product to me?
  7. My research shows that there are three other options in the market. Please prove to me that your option is worthy to buy.
  8. Who are the people who would provide service to me? Would I like to meet them before I buy?
  9. Please explain to me the upgrade features of your product so that I know which model to buy?
  10. Can you show me your service infrastructure because I am interested in long term relationships only?


What are the questions that an “Affluent” customer will always ask?

  1. Who are your existing customers (celebrities) for this product?
  2. What is the feel of your product or service?
  3. What are the comforts/luxuries that your product or service will provide?
  4. What is there in this product that will make me more visible?
  5. What all can I flaunt in this product?
  6. What special services are you going to give to me?
  7. What are my privileges?


4 Types of Customers when buying decision is taken

How do we interface with each customer type?

Your interface with such customer type
I want it now
Surely, these are our terms and conditions.
I don’t like it
We are committed to serve you. Please give a time when we can sit and discuss our expectation matrix so that we know clearly what to expect from whom.
I know better
We can be one of the three for you: a) Service provider wherein you decide what is best for you  b) Solution provider wherein we ask you questions and then decide what is best for you c) Product seller wherein you chose what you want and we will deliver as per our terms and conditions
I will do it later
Pl chose your time to take a decision. Our terms and conditions applicable at the time of purchase will apply.



4 Personality types of Customers after buying decision is taken


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