Retailer Should Know These Seven Groups of Customers

John Krautzel
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When using blanket sales strategies on your customer base, you may miss conversion opportunities and waste resources on marketing campaigns that offer a limited return on your investment. To get more value from existing customers, learn why, how and when they make purchases, thereby being able to stimulate buying activity when customers are most receptive. Understand these seven core customer groups to develop sales strategies that create and satisfy demand.

1. Devotees

The most loyal customers frequently spend high dollar amounts and check your product offerings before considering competitors. Because they make routine purchases, devotees are top candidates for upselling and cross-selling. To cater to devotees, focus on improving the value and packages you offer rather than increasing marketing efforts. If you consistently deliver quality service, devotees generate more business through recommendations.

2. Newcomers

Newcomers are first- and second-time buyers who need motivation to become loyal customers. Early experiences with products and customer support determine whether newcomers are receptive to sales strategies, and your challenge is to build momentum by analyzing their buying habits and refining your promotions and product recommendations.

3. Stragglers

Customers who make small, sporadic purchases often shop around for the best prices or stick to limited product categories, and they need ongoing discount incentives to make purchases. Stragglers have unpredictable spending patterns and require substantial nurturing, making it difficult to gain long-term value from this customer group. Comparing the cost of marketing and discounts to potential sales can help you decide when individual customers are no longer profitable.

4. Underperformers

Loyal, high-value customers may reduce the frequency or volume of their purchases as their needs or budgets change. You already know which sales strategies and product solutions work best for these valuable customers, but you can offer quantity-based discounts or low-cost add-ons to keep underperformers interested at different points in the sales pipeline. Another option is to show waning customers new ways to use products they regularly purchase.

5. Intermediates

Middle-of-the-pack customers provide a steady revenue of low-value purchases, making it your goal to increase the quantities they buy or introduce them to a wider range of products. Communicate with intermediates to find out what limits their spending capacity, such as budget concerns or competitive deals from other vendors. Develop sales strategies that show intermediates the benefits of integrating multiple products and services to increase efficiency in their personal lives or businesses.

6. Drop-Offs

Customers stop making purchases for a variety of reasons, and thorough research is necessary to determine how to win them back. Some consumers permanently move on to competing vendors, while others restrict high-value purchases to specific seasons or product categories. By analyzing past spending habits, you can prioritize drop-offs based on their revenue potential in the future.

7. Defectors

Defectors are drop-offs who aren't likely to respond to your renewed sales strategies, and classifying a cutoff point for this group can help you conserve marketing resources. Defectors may return on their own when the need arises, but you can avoid overspending on these customers by profiling behavior that precedes long-term inactivity.

Knowing why customers value your products is the key to building a reliable sales pipeline. Use consumer analytics and direct feedback to better understand the motivation behind purchases and create sales strategies that overcome common objections.

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