Have you seen these customers?
By Cheryl Kees Clendenon
Last month we talked about four personality archetypes I developed several years ago and how learning their triggers and worldview can help you make a connection, foster a relationship and create a loyal customer or client. I hope you find these last four as informative and entertaining.
The Rooted Loyalist: Practical and classical style decisions often based on childhood environment and the comfort of the known entity. Influential but low key in social sphere. Doesn’t usually want bold or out of the box as much as solid solutions.
- Key word: Privacy
- Values: Good stewardship of funds, well-made items, longevity (in business or relationships), family ties, community.
- Influenced by: Classics, tradition and historical reference. Reputation is important in dealing with people.
- Most likely to: Stay in one place, contemplate decisions longer and be more value oriented but can be sold quality easily. Not into throw-away items. Good repeat client.
- Purchasing personality: Performance fabrics, mid-price points for personal rooms but will splurge on public rooms. Will be difficult to convince of anything perceived as trendy except as accent pieces.
- How to win: Classic/timeless design. Show antiques and classically styled pieces. Introduce color in smaller ways and ease them into more unique ideas. Do not be afraid to try different, just position it in context to traditional elements. Bill on time.
The Social Collaborator: Casual lifestyle design lover typically oriented to family and friends and entertaining larger gatherings. People person; many friends, active in community institutions such as church groups or Junior League. Subject to oversharing, needing to be part of a tribe, whose opinions hold supreme value.
- Key word: Sharing
- Values: Being part of the club, familiar images, relatable messages that will resonate with their own values.
- Influenced by: Social media, friends, co-workers. Strong community ties and long-term relationships. Likely to be in touch with high school buddies.
- Most likely to: Entertain frequently as this is key to their identity, make decisions by committee, be slow to act.
- Purchasing Personality: If the Jones’ have it they may need it too. Will ask you for auction gifts. Might be more interested in name brand. Get to know them well.
- How to win: Emphasize your own community involvement. Answer their pain points, always get spouse involved if possible. Appeal to an upcoming party or holiday to get decisions. Consistently reinforce their wisdom in buying from you.
The Rogue Aggressive: Surface level individual who must be in control even to the detriment to the project. Passive-aggressive in such a way that is hard to confront. Passively complains, “loses” emails often. Polite enough to not cause a fuss but creates stressful transactions by not trusting the process. Makes mistakes and then has regrets; likely to come back and ask for help. Goes behind your back without understanding the likely fallout.
- Key Word: Self-Interest
- Values: Organization, timeliness, structure, being in control, looking good in front of others. Wants to be different, yet usually has poor taste and knows it, yet is difficult to relinquish control.
- Influenced by: Casual acquaintances, online visuals, external commentary by others.
- Most likely to: Be concerned about how things “look” and appear to others and the perception they are in control of the situation; frustrate you to the point of wanting to end the relationship.
- Purchasing Personality: Will spend money when you wow them but fairly practical with allocation of funds. Does not understand where to put the budget usually and is hard to read. Best to outline it all very concisely. It is not “sold” unless it is signed and sealed.
- How to win: Set up situations for them to win and be in a semblance of control. Plan everything to the Nth degree. Involve them in the process. Be firm and polite to a fault. These people can be vindictive.
The Admiring Enthusiast: Casual acquaintances, family members, friends who love your work but are shocked you don’t do it for free — typically women. Friends with everyone, usually well-off but shopping is a serious business. Has the money to spend but thinks relationships supersede paying for professional guidance. Wants a bargain or special treatment.
- Key word: Popularity
- Values: Social interactions, how things appear to others, perceived bargains. Tends to be neutral and play-it-safe in design but still possible to convince them of a better way.
- Influenced by: Peers, media, social standing, sales, deals, packages. Wants people to know they got a deal.
- Most likely to: Ask the doctor friend at a ball game about their back pain; be very social and talkative; have unrealistic expectations of how quickly things get done and total costs. Will buy cheap stuff repeatedly.
- Purchasing Personality: Has money but super frugal. Prides themselves on the deals they find. Have to establish super value to get them to pay for guidance.
- How to win: Give them a deal you create. Allow them to think they are winning. Not a great client; can be good for referrals but also can go very bad as easily. Must establish boundaries and be super professional from day one.
Any others we might be missing? Send me a note via email and let me know what you think. And remember the value here is to understand the behavior triggers, not to simply get a sale but to build a relationship and a referral source in the community. That is the secret to success.
Cheryl Kees Clendenon owns In Detail Interiors, a retail shop and full-service design firm in Pensacola, Fla., and runs a Facebook group for designers and retailers called Small Business Think Big. You can email her with comments or questions at email@example.com.