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4 Customer Personalities You Need to Understand to Sell More Online

4 Customer Personalities You Need to Understand to Sell More Online

If you want to get more online sales and enquiries, understanding who your current and potential customers are is crucial. Often when businesses get asked this question:

“Who is your target market?”

The default answer is something like:

“Oh, you know, women of all ages up to sixty. Household income levels from $60,000 – $90,000. Professionals and homemakers looking for a one stop shop for all of their household cleaning items around the city and metropolitan areas… ”

If you have answered the question similar to the above, you understand your customers on a very basic level, but you won’t be able to effectively sell to them online. Why? You haven’t started to think about their needs, and how those needs could be met by your product and or service. Instead, you have turned your customers into faceless numbers.

How to Understand the 4 Customer Personalities

Not to worry. In this simple exercise, you will learn how you can apply the 4 cateogries or “personalities” of buyer to your own market, whatever that may be.

It may seem stereotypical and almost arrogant to sort your market into one of the 4 boxes, but doing so allows you to become more aware of their different needs. Once you understand which category or categories your market fits into, turning them from visitors into repeat customers is very simple. This will work not only online, but can also be applied to your offline sales cycle.

You will probably find your market will consist of more than one type of the four customer personalities listed below:

1. Spontaneous
2. Humanistic
3. Methodical
4. Competitive


3 Common Industries:
• Fashion
• Electronics
• Publishing

People in this category:
• Love new items
• Don’t care about what the competition is offering. If your product is interesting, it will be bought
• Known as “impulse shoppers”
• Love great ideas
• Intrigued by things which are a little different

How to sell to them:
• Create excitement
• Leave out the details. This group lives for the big picture and is bored by minutiae.
• Be immediately compelling. Spontaneous users act quickly but lose interest even faster.

Translating this to online – answer these questions for them:
• How can you get me to what I need quickly?
• Do you offer superior service?
• Can I customize your product or service?
• Can you help me narrow down my choices?
• How quickly can I take action and achieve my goals?
• Will it be a blast to work on and be awesome in the end?
• Why will this let me enjoy life more?
When appealing to the spontaneous group, you can format your website to capture them through quality product images with copy including:

• “New”
• “Just arrived”
• “Just released”
• “Top Sellers”


3 Common Industries:
• Insurance
• Hospitality
• Tourism

• People, people, people
• Care intensely about the people around them
• Others needs come before their own

How to sell to them:
• Make them feel safe

Translating this to online – answer these questions for them:
• How will your product or service make me feel good?
• Who else uses your products/service?
• Who are you? Tell me who is on your staff, and let me see their biography pages so I can trust you better
• Will it be a positive experience to work with you? What will it feel like?
• What experience have others had with you?

Because this group of people will most likely fall into the service based industries, displaying stories of success of your own clients through both written and video will capture their attention. The key is trust, which can be achieved through:

• Testimonials
• Case studies
• Lists of client logos
• 3rd party secure payment logos


3 Common Industries:
• Shipping
• Finance
• Medical

• Crave statistical information
• They don’t feel comfortable making a decision until all the facts are available

How to sell to them:
• Methodicals place the value of facts above all else, and in most sales situations the most unbiased and trustworthy facts are numbers.

Translating this to online – answer these questions for them:

• What are the details of your service?
• What’s the fine print and how will it affect me?
• How can I plan ahead?
• What proof do you have?
• Can you provide a guarantee?

If you’ve increased productivity by 80.5% for your 256 customers in the past year, tell them. Only after they have a sufficient amount of facts will they feel comfortable making a decision.


3 Common Industries:
• Advertising/Marketing
• Business coaching
• Legal

• In it to win it
• Get a thrill from crushing competitors

How to sell to them:
• Appeal to that inner competitor
• Let them know how your service helps them get ahead.
• Delight them with tales of 85% market share and squashing upstart competitors
• Frame your service as a competitive advantage

Translating this to online – answer these questions for them:
• What are your competitive advantages?
• What makes you the superior choice?
• What makes you a credible company?
• What can you do to help make me look cutting edge?
• What are your credentials?
• What can you do to help me achieve my goals?

What now?

So now you know the types, have some time to think to consider which one of the 4 categories your customers fit into and compare the list of “answer these questions for them” to your website.

If you would like some more tips into how to better optimise your customer category segment, share in the comments what industry your business is in and which of the 4 customer personality types comprise your market.

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