Your Type of Customers

Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or retailer, the type of customer you will have is determined by two factors…

The ven diagram is a good way to represent many things. In this case, I’m illustrating how types of customers are attracted to businesses. This could be equally true of social groups, charities, and the like.

A steakhouse probably won’t have a large number of vegan clients. Distributors of engine parts don’t usually get orders from quilting supply shops. Stores that don’t stock Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, don’t have Yu-Gi-Oh! players as customers.

If you want a particular type of customer, you must make or sell what they will buy. Conversely, if you don’t want to a particular type of customer, don’t sell what they want.

Some people don’t shop online, so if you’re solely an eShop, they won’t be your customers. Soccer moms don’t usually grab Little Jenny and hang out in a comic shop run by Jeff Albertson. Products that are hard to understand usually sell better if someone is available to explain how to use them.

Not every company has the same type of customer – even companies that sell the same, or similar products. The customer that picks up random issues of The Economist at the airport is not the same customer as the lifetime subscriber. Same product, but it must be sold in different ways depending on the type of customer.

This is a simplified look at a complex series of issues. Whole books have been written to discuss ‘what you sell’ and ‘how you sell’ it. My goal, here, is to encourage you to keep these basic concepts in mind.

What business are you in? How does what you sell and how you sell it influence the type of customers you have?

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