How should you categorise your customers in your marketing business?

Belinda Vesey-Brown Advertising, Behaviour Change, Business, Communication

Have you ever categorised your clients into different client types? Having owned and run a few creative marketing agencies this is one set of client behavioural characteristics that we have found really useful over the years to determine in your qualifying phone call or initial meeting if they are the right ‘type’ of client.

Read below you will recognise these types!

1. Stumps

These business owners are ‘stuck in the mud’, they’re afraid of change and have a real fear that if they do something different they may damaging the golden goose that’s providing their lifestyle.There is enormous potential in their business, we see it, but they are satisfied with what they have and have been doing. Beware – they can be huge wasters of your time.

2. Takers

Takers know there is value to be gained from you, but they don’t want to pay for it! They’re not serious buyers because they believe they can do it themselves, they just need a kickstart from you and will try to get as much of your time and ideas that they can for free! Takers will never become clients, so let them “take” from elsewhere.

3. Boss Made Me Do It (BMMDI)

These scenarios usually start with a discussion with the Owner/CEO, who is a fan of your services, but refers you to their marketing people. But the BMMDI is not a believer and is only engaged because they have been told to. There’s no commitment, actions don’t happen and they’re just going through the motions. These clients are hazardous because you earned revenue, but didn’t necessarily achieve results and the work is not going to lead to any advocates in either the Owner/CEO, or the BMMDI.

4. Opportunists

Opportunists see the value and know they can’t do it themselves, but they feel if only they had a jump-start from you, maybe they could. Basically it’s “Show me how it’s done and then I can take it from there”. They will never be large and ongoing customers, they will find the smallest chunk of service they can buy from you that they then plan to replicate.

5. Dreamers

Their enthusiasm and vision for where they want to take their business is very seductive. But they’re talkers rather than do’ers. They are often idea generators, but unless they have the right team around them nothing happens. Beware that you’re not left in debt when they’re idea doesn’t generate sufficient revenue to pay you!

6. Terribly Troubled

Usually someone whose business is in crisis mode, they’ve come to you with a sincere desire to save their ‘baby’. The good thing about them is that they are decisive, you will get the support in doing things that will help the company. They’re engaged in the detail and are on a mission and you are part of the solution.

7. Frustrated Driver

Usually these are the next generation of the family business waiting to take control.They’re frustrated because the previous generation won’t let go and hasn’t handed over sufficient control and authority yet. Commonly they have changes they’ve been waiting to make for a long time and are keen to ‘make a mark’. They want things to happen ‘now’ and so you need to ensure things are carried out in a methodical manner. We have found many Frustrated Drivers working in family businesses for Stumps!

8. Seriously Growth Orientated

They always have a major improvement initiative in action, whether business is going well, or in trouble. They are continuously looking for ways to reinforce the company foundation to provide a strong base for continued growth.These are great engagements because they can continue for years, the SGO always has another initiative in the wings and know it is the 101 little things they do regularly that will make them successful.