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Understanding Your Clients and How To Communicate With Them

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Understanding how clients prefer to communicate

Just like understanding the behaviors and motivations of employees, understanding your clients’ emotional wants and needs is vital for the success of your company.

A recent Align to Thrive article surveyed hundreds of CEOs and company leaders, finding 4 common archetypes that are important to recognize and understand.

Significance Seeker
Internally motivated and internally focused. Most CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales leaders fall into this category. Their confidence borders on arrogance and their charisma is for their own achievement.

Driven by: Goals, accomplishment, achievement, own prestige and company’s vision
High on: Interaction, expression, intuition, assertion, big ideas and intelligent risk
Low on: Caution, avoidance and dependency
Wants: Acclaim and recognition

Appeal to: Self-image, quality and uniqueness
Method: Listen, enthuse (if more visionary), explain plan and execution and outline cost benefits
Communicating: Prefer directness and efficiency, stress opportunities and fast results.

Value Seeker
Internally motivated and externally focused. Highly effective and beloved CEOs and leaders fall into this category. These individuals are very inviting, and are a great client if you’re prepared and if you’re offering value?

Driven by: What’s good for others and the greater good, compassion and need for information
High on: Assertion, congruency, coaching, mentoring, searching
Low on: Aggression, time pressure, superficial behavior
Wants: Results, harmony

Appeal to: Contributing to a cause, understanding
Method: Offer options, balance and fairness
Communicating: Prefer options with supportive detail, but give a logical approach and ample time to think and make decisions.

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Esteem Seeker
Externally motivated and internally focused. These individuals are either very defensive or overly excited. While maintaining rapport, you must create more certainty in your tone, body language and eye contact. You have to earn their trust and demand in an intelligent and respectful way.

Driven by: Desires, own recognition and power
High on: Risks and dominating others
Low on: Planning, balance and listening
Wants: Justification, reward and pleasure

Appeal to: High achievement, feeling superior to competitors
Method: Comparison, gut instincts and hunches
Communicating: Prefer solutions with proof statements, supply testimonials from satisfied clients

Connection Seeker
Externally motivated and externally focused. These individuals are very nice and considerate, though they can be a little uncomfortable and frustrated when they have to make a decision. You must offer certainty, keep rapport and assume the sale with the promise of long-term support from you and your organization.

Driven by: People, others, pleasing who they respect
High on: Caution, listening, rapport, connection time
Low on: Assertion, control, change
Wants: Security, safety, connection

Appeal: Reliability, low risk
Method: Offer market trends, testimonials, social proof or what’s best for family or organization
Communicating: Prefer to talk with enthusiasm and like recognition of their purpose and their vision

Recognizing the motivations and preferred methods of communication of your clients can be incredibly beneficial to forming new relationships or nurturing existing ones. For more tips on professional communication, leadership, organizational culture and more, check out Envision-U.

About the author

Rick Middlemass has almost a decade of experience in Entrepreneurship, Business Development & Sales.

Rick began his sales and entrepreneurial career at 18 opening up a new territory for Student Painters creating over 100K in new business over the next 3 years. Rick also worked in various sales & marketing roles & internships throughout his time at Michigan State University.

In his first role out of school Rick joined NuWave Technology, a Cisco Systems Premier Partner in Michigan, and quickly worked his way up to be:

2014 Sales Person of the Year
2015 Sales Person of the Year
16 Time Sales Person of the Month

Rick Middlemass now works with the National Association of Sales Professionals helping salespeople and sales leaders reach their true potential and continue to grow through our behavioral conditioning programs.