The customers can be classified on the basis of the area they come from. The demand and needs of customers living in villages are not the same as the customers living in towns and cities. Accordingly, customers can be classified as urban and rural.
1. Urban Customers
Customers living in towns or cities are called urban customers. They are generally educated, well-informers and cultured. They are usually polite in behavior. The buying motives of urban customers are generally linked with pride, possession, etc. They are crazy about the latest fashion, style and colour. They are not argumentative type and do not bargain much while purchasing. They usually expect good behavior from the salesman. In short, they are the easy type of customers.
How to deal with Urban Customers?
The salesman is supposed to pay due respect to urban customers. They should be given the latest information about goods and provided with variety of goods. The salesman must explain technical details of the product and avoid general information. They need little or no persuasion in purchasing. Urban Customers are gentle, educated and hence easy to handle.
2. Rural Customer
Customers living in remote villages and rural towns/ areas are called rural customers. They are mostly illiterate and simple. Most of them prefer bargaining and try to get the best goods in the least price. The main motive is to get the maximum satisfaction out of the money spent.
Unlike urban customers Rural Customers do not run after style and fashion goods. They are always suspicious and afraid of being cheated. Lack of education and exposure make them argumentative and rough.
Rural Customers, usually, do not care for good behavior and good manners of salesman. They are always undecided in nature. They move in groups to purchase goods as they think that chances of being cheated will be less in company.
How to deal with Rural Customers?
The salesman while dealing with Rural customers must try to convince them about the authenticity of the goods. These customers should not be neglected or misled because they will continue to patronize the shop once they are satisfied with the shop.
While selling, the salesman must emphasize the price and quality of goods. Rural customers generally verify and compare the price at different shops. The salesman has to be tolerant with such customers because they bargain and argue a lot. Every detail of the goods must be provided to rural customers.
Classification of Customers on the Basis of Purpose of Buying
One the basis of purpose of buying, we can classify customers into four categories namely, the industrial purchasers, resale purchasers, personal consumption purchasers and government purchasers.
1. The Industrial Purchasers
When a manufacturer purchases goods for use in production, the goods so purchased are called industrial goods. Every manufacturer appoints a purchasing agent or a purchasing officer to purchase the required goods. These purchasing agents are usually experts in purchasing goods. They purchase at regular intervals large quantities of goods.
Generally, industrial goods are sold more through personal selling than by advertisements. The industrial purchasers are very much rational in their decisions because they are experts in purchasing. These purchasers are generally interested in the price and quality of the product and the services offered along with the product.
How to deal with Industrial Purchasers?
Such customers are very much influenced by the price and quality of goods. They are also particular about delivery, prompt supply, after-sales service, and availability of spare parts and quick repair services. The salesman who deals with industrial purchasers must be honest and prompt and must have a thorough knowledge about the product. It should be noted that the industrial purchaser looks for the services offered along with the product. He is not mindful about the price.
Industrial Purchasers need assurance of continuous supply of goods. Therefore, they should be dealt with utmost care because they purchase in bulk quantities. Hence, the salesman should maintain a very cordial sales relationship with Industrial Purchasers.
2. The Resale Purchasers
The customers who buy for resale are wholesalers and retailers. They purchase in large quantities and are generally experts in the field because they purchase at regular intervals. They are well informed about the product, market conditions, changing fashion, tastes, etc. Retail buyers usually purchase those goods which are sold rapidly.
How to deal with Resale Purchasers?
In dealing with such resale purchasers, the salesman must have a thorough knowledge of the products. Because the purchasers are experts in buying and also in selling goods, the salesman must be careful in dealing with them. Moreover, the salesman must be prompt in answering their queries and assure prompt and regular delivery of goods.
The goods must be of good quality, offered at the lowest possible price. The salesman should keep them in good humour because if they take personal interest in the products, they can push the sales up.
3. The Personal Consumption Purchaser
Producers usually produce articles for these consumers who purchase goods for personal consumption. They are the largest in number but they purchase in small quantities. Similarly, their demand for some goods do not recur whereas for some goods it does. Manufacturers produce goods taking into view their taste, fashion and choice.
Personal Consumption Purchaser generally purchase articles selecting the best to suit their needs. In order to serve these customers, producers appoint wholesalers and retailers. These agents cater to the needs of the personal consumption purchasers. These customers have widely different buying motives, character and psychology.
4. The Government Purchasers
Every government agency has some buying authority in their various departments. These departments purchase different goods for their consumption. Generally, Government Purchasers purchase in large quantities. Even defense departments purchase weapons, electronic equipment, vehicles, war ships, tanks, war planes, etc.
How to deal with Government Purchasers?
The salesman should meet these buying authorities at their respective offices. He should meet them on appointed day/time. These customers should be kept satisfied by the friendly behavior of the salesman. The salesman should be aware of the Government procedure involved in obtaining a contract and be very smart.