There are three types of customer.
Type 1.The customer who is ignorant but trusts you to provide the right product/service at the right price. This is a good type of customer.
Type 2.The second type of customer is the customer who thinks they are knowledgeable (even though they don’t do research) but aren’t. This is a bad customer.
Type 3.Customer three is the type of customer who thinks they are knowledgeable, does their research and is open to different ideas. This is a good type of customer.
To have a successful business you need as many of Type 1 and Type 3 customers and as few as possible Type 2 customers.
The Types in Detail
Type 2 customers are a nightmare, they ask all the questions, take up tons of your time, don’t listen to anything and still think they are right even though they are not. This type of customer also takes up a ton of time on aftersales service, will want to return perfect products, will complain about the service after the fact and expects you to pay for everything. And to cap it all, they’ll probably tell everyone they can what a bad business you have.
Avoid Type 2 customers like the plague. They will send you bankrupt. If you have too many Type 2 customers it’s your fault. Own it. You choose who you serve and who you do not.
Type 1 and Type 3 customers is where you make your money.
Type 1 customers may take up a bit more time than Type 3 but they listen and they buy.
Type 3 customers are the best. They know what they want, they ask you things you should have explained on your website anyway. They buy and they are happy.
It’s Not Fixed
But as a business, you have the power to turn Type 1 customers and Type 3 customers into a Type 2 customer if you don’t offer a correct service.
You must avoid doing this like the plague.
How Can You Turn a Good Customer into a Bad Customer?
Not listening. There is a fine line between a Type 2 customer and a Type 3 customer.
You can usually tell the difference between a Type 2 and a Type 3 from the questions they ask. Type 2 customers will ask for a discount before anything else. If a customer is trying to act that they are knowledgeable but they are asking basic questions that even a little bit of research would answer then chances are, they are a Type 2 customer. They will waste your time with silly questions and not buy because Type 2 customers are never happy.
Avoid this customer like the plague.
But you also have to be ready to hear things you may not know yourself. The customer may have done a ton of research and are aware of things that you did not know of. Don’t argue the toss if you don’t know. Don’t feign expertise, like you’ve heard something before when you haven’t. This can turn a Type 3 into a Type 2. Take the information on board, be honest that you didn’t know. If that puts the customer off they are probably a Type 2 which you don’t want anyway. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Good customers won’t mind.
Turning a Type 1 into a Type 2 can also be done. If you give information that is not correct. If you are giving a quote they may do more research after, if they find the contradictory information they may come back to you with questions, this is a good thing, be prepared to eat humble pie. Obviously, it depends on the tone of the questions but if the potential customer is being reasonable, don’t go on the defensive. They are giving you the opportunity to sell to them. Which is not a bad thing.
How someone classes a customer is going to vary from person to person. What one person considers a Type 2, another may consider a Type 3. Be open. Not every customer who asks questions is a nightmare customer. It depends on the question. Think about the questions they are asking you. Not all questions are equal. Is it a question you would ask a business if you were a potential client? An educated customer is a good customer. If they are asking about warranty terms for example don’t automatically think they will be a nightmare. It gives you the opportunity for you to put something in writing so there are no misunderstandings down the line. This is good for everybody.
5 Keys to a Successful Business – In Summary
Don’t look at one thing and make a judgment on the customer Type. Take all the information together, if they tick more Type 3 boxes than Type 2 boxes you have may have a good customer on your hands.
How To Attract The Right Customers?
You need to be able to put yourself in the position of your ideal customer. If you don’t think you can do that, maybe there is no way you could afford the product or service you are selling, find someone who you think would be an ideal customer for your business and ask them for advice and opinions. What is important to them? What do they want out of a transaction? What do they and their peers value?
The Purchasing Decision
Purchasing decisions come down to one fundamental thing before all others.
It’s the question we ask ourselves every time we buy something.
Nothing moves forward if a person cannot answer yes to this question. Nothing else matters if a customer cannot say to themselves yes to this question. This is why it is key to put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes.
They key is for Type 2 customers to say no to this question and for Type 1 and Type 3 customers to say yes. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a hard and fast rule everybody would be doing it. Having said that I think there is one rule that is good to follow (if possible). Don’t let price be the reason someone chooses your business. Instead, add more value to your product or service than your competitors.