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Selling Tactics
Know the Different Types of Customers to Make the Sale
By Ken Wisnefski, President,

You must know the different kinds of customers to optimize sales. Just as you are different from other vendors, buyers differ from one another as well.

Amidst the ongoing affair of making sales, we often think of the customers in an undifferentiated way. It is our job to entice the customer and make a sale; we have our job and they have their job. Unfortunately, it is more complicated than that. Just as you are different from other vendors, buyers differ from one another as well.

To be truly successful in sales, it is necessary to distinguish between types of buyers. In analyzing your sales records, it is not uncommon to find that a small percentage of customers produce a large percentage of sales. The rest of the buyers come and go with no method, buy when there is a sale, happen to stumble upon your store, etc.

The following addresses different types of buyers and the methods of approaching them.
  • It was previously mentioned that a small number of customers will account for a large amount of sales. These are your loyal, repeat customers. It is imperative to cater to their needs and inform them of new products and services. Keeping them satisfied is a priority in order to continue making sales and to facilitate positive word-of-mouth.

  • Other customers are loyal as well, but only when it is more profitable for them. Many people will shop for your goods and services, but only when they are discounted. It is important to make these customers feel as if they will be compensated for shopping your brand. Instating member cards good for discounts on goods and services will keep these customers happy and ensure you continue to make sales with them.

  • Some customers are very disciplined; they will only shop when they have a need. They may often window shop, but will not open their wallets unless warranted. In order to make sales to these customers, you must appeal to their needs. Understand their needs, define them, and then present your services and products as the immediate answer to their needs.

  • Some customers whimsically decide to make a purchase. To generate sales with this population you have to grab their attention. Your advertising needs prominent calls-to-action. These customers react on impulse and not on rationale. If you can instantly intrigue them, then you will make a sale.

  • Some customers happen to stumble upon your goods and services. How are you going to grab their attention? What will keep him or her from wandering to another store or Web site? You need to use a variety of tactics to attract these customers because any one of them has the potential to becoming a repeat customer. Think about offering a coupon for half-off their next purchase or a special discount to first-time customers.

Kenneth C. Wisnefski is the president of, an online business to business marketplace that connects business consumers with pre-approved vendors in over 150 different categories. has over 5,000 vendors in their Approved Vendor Network and processes close to 10,000 requests per month from businesses of all sizes.

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