3 Types of Clients for Business; and How to Recognize Them
My reaching out to prospective clients was not indiscriminate. There was a certain order and criteria that guided my decision on who to reach out to and who not to contact. When making calls to let potential clients that I could supply them with computer equipment, I generally by-passed the companies which only listed their name and contact information. I did this in favour of those businesses which had taken up more space in order to put up an advertisement, offer or some other additional information that made them more visible to their market.
I reckoned that those companies were willing to spend more in order stand out from the pack and get noticed by their potential market. For me, this meant that they would also be willing to go the extra mile in order to provide their clients with the best products and services possible. In this, I saw a high level of excellence that I wanted to be part of. Throughout the process of setting up and establishing a business, it is important to not only target specific types of clients but also, to know how to deal with every category of client that you get. Here are some guidelines on how to recognize them:
As an entrepreneur, this client is the most dangerous to your business. On the whole, they seem unable to keep their word. While it may be true that the customer is always right, the word-breaking client takes it altogether too far!! This client makes promises that they do not keep.
For instance, it may raise a red-flag when a potential client sets up a meeting and then fails to either show up, or call to excuse themselves. The word-breaker can seriously hurt the entrepreneurs business especially when it comes to payment. This is because they often fail to deliver on promises to pay for products or services rendered.
In our culture, haggling over prices (more commonly known as bargaining) is common practice. It seems that the only place where people do not seek a bargain is in supermarkets. I am not big on haggling myself, and my friends often say that people often take advantage of me because of this.
The haggling client generally wants to get the most that they can, while paying the least amount of money possible. Right from the onset, they start to push; in order to see how far the business owner can go. When serving clients, I made it clear right off the bat that every product had a price. On one hand, I could get computer equipment for clients on a wide range of prices depending on their budget, but on the other hand, I could not provide Quality-A products at Quality-B prices. The haggler is not difficult to deal with once you communicate your expectations and take a “supermarket approach”. After all, even hagglers go to supermarkets, and they do not haggle there.
The Crème de la Crème
This is the type of client that I like to work with. They recognize the fact that they need to invest in high quality products and services; just as they also expect their clients to invest in their products and/ or services. These clients perform their tasks at a level of excellence which is also evident in their owncompanies. In addition, they pay promptly and sometimes in advance! Suffice it to say, these clients are great for business.
At every step, each decision the entrepreneur makes determines what kind of client they get to work with. It is therefore a good investment to position one’s company as a crème de la crème kind of business, in order to attract and retain the top-tier type of client.