There are millions of individual personalities out there, but most of us fall into one of 4 categories when we are shopping: The Expert, The Connector, The Prisoner, or The Evaluator. Each one of these shopping styles requires information and service to be presented in a particular way in order to make the shopper feel respected and interested in doing business with you. At first glance, it may seem like patronizing people, but really, you're just addressing your prospect in their own language. If their language was Serbian, you wouldn't speak French, would you?
Here are the 4 most common shopper types, and a few pointers on how to speak their language:
This shopper believes they know it all already. Saving face is very important to them. You must respect the knowledge and experience they have, or think they have. Use reinforcement phrases like: I like what you just said. -and- That’s a great question. Start sentences with: As I’m sure you already know… Question with: I’m curious about your thoughts on…
This shopper is always looking for familiar context. Everything will remind them of a story, person, or movie. They want to trust you, and want things to make sense. Use phrases that emphasize the familiar: Use their own words and phrases whenever possible. Analogies are usually helpful with these shoppers. Start sentences with: You may have thought it would be nice if… and then follow with a feature. Questions should be grounded in recent statements the shopper has made: “How soon are you looking to buy (whatever they just said)?”
This shopper doesn’t want to be in the market. They want to get it over with. All they need is trust to move forward. Trust that you will take this issue off their hands, and they won’t have to cope with it anymore. Write things down! Never ask them to repeat themselves. De-escalating their emotions is very important, but it needs to be done in a way that is not minimizing the importance of their feelings. Start sentences with: Thanks for bringing that up. -and- This must be a frustrating position for you. Question with: Do you think we should talk about ________?
This shopper loves the shopping, and always wants more time and material to consider. Helping them to the decision phase may be seen as pushy. They will walk away if they don’t feel educated. They want a lifeline, so they will ask about guarantees and warranties. Comparison shopping is the norm for them, and they may lead you on in hopes of getting a deal to take to your competitors. Start sentences with: “As you may know from your research…” Question with: “To answer you better, I’d like to ask you a question.”