Not all buyers are created equal. One of the biggest mistakes that we could make as a salesperson, as a closer, is speaking to them all the same way and losing the sale. If you can identify the four most common buyer types, and how to sell to them, you’ll increase your chances of winning a customer… and future referrals.
And how do you communicate value differently, when you sell to different types of buyers? Let’s take a closer look at what motivates these types of customers to buy, and how we can sell to them.
Watch this video about the buyer types and how to sell to them.
How do you sell to a price-based buyer? A pair of shoes that retails for $100 may seem expensive, but put $200 on the price tag, slash the price, and say the sale price is $100. Now a $100 item looks like a great buy, even though $100 is the regular price.
This half price “discount” is what appeals to a price-based buyer.
You may have done business with this type of customer before. You’ll know because they like to search for discounts and deals like it’s a treasure hunt. They buy based on price, and not so much on value.
What Motivates This Buyer Type
They’re happy if they’ve found a good deal and they’ve purchased a bundle of items for a low price. They clip coupons and make purchases based on how much money they can save.
You will find them looking for the deal of the week, or discount code when they shop online, preferring sites like Groupon or LivingSocial, which offer deals where they can eat or vacation for a percentage off the regular price.
Sometimes they end up buying a bunch of stuff they don’t need but they are impressed by the discount they received and how great a deal it was.
When you’re selling to this buyer type, know that you need to structure your offer so that it seems like an irresistible deal.
How To Sell To Price-Based Buyers
In the retail world, during Christmas time, when business owners have Boxing Day sales, and other seasonal sales, it’s the ideal time to sell to price-based buyers.
Here’s a trick you may have heard about, if you know how retail works. Before the Christmas holidays, stores actually mark up their prices.
So an item that usually retails for $50 year round they’ll mark up as $80. Then they will do a big discount for half off, so this item is now $40. At 50 percent off, it looks like a great deal, but actually, it’s just $10 off.
This is how priced-based buyers end up buying what they may not need. They enjoy the thrill of the chase for a good deal. It’s how they get their satisfaction.
When you’re communicating with them, don’t just focus on the qualities of the product. Saying, “This product is far superior to similar products on the market” won’t entice them to buy. In their minds, that product is overpriced or expensive. They aren’t interested in paying more for something better.
They want to know, “How is this a good deal?” You can mention your price, but sales tactics that work are instilling urgency by telling them why they need to buy right now to get the deal and limited quantity by telling them there are only a few of those products left.
They are motivated by these factors: price, urgency and quantity. When dealing with a priced-based buyer, these selling points will win them over.
2. Difficult Buyers
Difficult buyers love the challenge. It is very difficult to please them because no matter what you do, they won’t buy. You can go the extra mile, provide them with an abundance of information about your product or service, and they won’t pull the trigger. Their credit card stays in their wallet.
And the worst part is they love a good fight. It’s like the actual buying experience isn’t as valuable to them as the fight itself. They just want to make your life as miserable as possible by causing as much trouble as possible.
You may have dealt with customers like this. They are difficult to acquire as a buyer, and then when they become a customer, they are highly difficult to maintain. They drain your energy and time, so it’s best to avoid this buyer type altogether.
If you want to make more sales and have more buyers that purchase not once, but return as repeat customers, sell to the next two types of buyers.
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3. Sophisticated Buyers
These buyer types have already done a great deal of research before they step into your store, or hit “add to cart” on your website. Sophisticated buyers buy based on value but they are also very smart.
They’ve done their research, whether it’s searching online or talking to different people before they commit to a major purchase. They know what they’re getting themselves into.
If you’re dealing with a sophisticated buyer, don’t do a lot of telling. Don’t tell them about the type of product, or features, or extras that they should be getting. Let them come to their own conclusions.
What you could do is provide information as a sales professional. Add information that they might not have discovered in their research, such as what your product won’t do. Your product may be excellent, but it has its limitations.
So tell them about the flaws because sophisticated buyers know that no product is perfect.
When you tell them what your product won’t do, it builds a lot of trust. For example, tell them that “This is a little bit more expensive than what you’re used to”, or, “we charge more than our competitors because of _____.”
Make sure that when you’re dealing with a sophisticated buyer that you stay away from the typical sales tactics where you’re very pushy. They don’t like to be pressured into making a purchase. Give them some space so they can make a decision on their own.
4. Affluent Buyers
Affluent buyers can purchase almost anything they want because they are wealthy and they have the financial resources. They rarely buy based on function, and usually buy based on feelings and emotions.
They value convenience, so with an affluent buyer, you need to think about how you can make his or her life a little bit easier.
For example, I buy suits from Harry Rosen, so the sales rep who works with me goes that extra mile to help me save time. When I step into the store, he already has a lot of the items selected.
When I go in, I don’t need to waste time browsing through the entire store because he already knows my preferences. He has my measurements, so he already knows which shirts fit me. When everything is done, I pay.
For added convenience, because he already has my credit card on file, he sometimes uses my card with my permission and then delivers the suits, shirts, and whatever else I need to the concierge, saving me a trip to the store.
That is selling convenience to a buyer type that hates inconvenience. They want luxury and status.
How much status? For example, no one needs a $300 Pasotti umbrella. You just need an umbrella to keep the rain off you. But an affluent buyer will get it for other reasons. They might like the look and feel of the material. They might admire the quality of the workmanship.
But is a Pasotti actually 10 times better than a $30 umbrella? Probably not.
How To Sell To These Four Buyer Types
So understand that what motivates a cheap buyer does not motivate an affluent buyer. When you’re sitting down face to face across the table from an affluent buyer, telling them how much they are going to save will turn them off instantly. They don’t want cheap.
They want the best. You could say, “This is expensive, so it’s not for everyone. Most people won’t appreciate the beauty of this, but maybe you will.” From this buyer’s perspective, they’ll agree. Of course they’ll see what most people don’t.
It’s a very different value proposition speaking to an affluent buyer.
One of the most important decisions you have to make in business is what type of buyers you want to attract: price-based, difficult, sophisticated, or affluent. No one is going to point a gun to your head and say, “Take my money.”
You choose what kind of buyers you want for your business. If right now you have a lot of cheap buyers, who picked them? Who accepted them and chose to work with them?
It is the same if you chose to do business with difficult clients. So, you have to think, why don’t you do business with people who appreciate what you do? Which type of buyer is willing to pay for your expertise, your skills, and your products and services?
If you work with both sophisticated and affluent buyers, guess who their friends are? You’ll find more of the same. Chances are, affluent buyers won’t hang out with cheap buyers.
Their circle of influence and the referrals you’re going to get would be similar buyer types.
Final Thoughts On The 4 Most Common Buyer Types
To increase your chances of making a sale, and work with buyers who appreciate your products and services, choose buyer types that see value in what your business offers.
Price-based buyers will always be motivated by deals and discounts. Difficult buyers will give you a hard time. But sophisticated buyers look for quality products and well informed salespeople that respect their decision making process.
Affluent buyers want convenience and a buying experience that makes them feel good, regardless of price. Understanding what motivates your buyer will increase the chances that they will buy from you and possibly draw more future business as well.
How do you promote your products to sophisticated buyers? Comment below.