How to Sell to All Kinds of People (Even If They Don’t Share Your Values)

“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.”

– Estée Lauder

If you know how to sell to all kinds of people, you can find success in just about everything you do.

Some people are born for sales, while others have to work harder to master the necessary skills. Over the last few decades, only 50% of sales reps met their quotas on average. There’s clearly room to improve these numbers.

So, how do you become an expert at selling to all kinds of people?

We’ll break it down with some valuable tips so you can become a master in no time.

Big ideas

  • There are 7 main types of customers to consider.
  • The ability to identify which type of customer you’re talking to will help you understand how to best appeal to them.
  • Learn 6 basic selling tips you can adapt for almost any customer.


Sell to all kinds of people: the 7 main types of customers

Most of the customers you interact with will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Loyal: Customers who make up a minority of a consumer base but generate a majority of the sales.
  • New: Customers who are trying your company for the first time. A good experience can turn them into loyal customers, whereas a poor experience will likely drive them away. First impressions are everything.
  • Discount: Customers that tend to be frequent but selective shoppers, making their decisions primarily on the best markdowns they can find. A good deal is more important to them than loyalty to a particular brand.
  • Impulse: Customers who will make a purchase on a whim without doing much research.
  • Need-Based: Customers who have an immediate problem and need a quick solution.
  • Wandering: Customers who are browsing without a specific purpose or goal. They may become an impulse buyer if something catches their eye.
  • Potential: Customers who may or may not be familiar with your brand. They are likely to research your company, read product reviews, and search for more information if you can pique their interest.


6 tips to sell to every type of customer

When making a sales pitch, it’s important to keep in mind the type of customer you’re speaking to. For example, an impulse buyer is likely to respond well to upselling, whereas a discount hunter will prefer  the best deal to resist spending more money.

The best salespeople are adaptable. They can read their customers, categorize them, and navigate the sale appropriately.

Below, we’ll look at some tips that can be easily tweaked to match the type of customer you’re interacting with, even if the customer doesn’t share your values.


1. Use FOMO to create a sense of urgency

FOMO, aka the “fear of missing out,” is a powerful sales technique. People don’t want to miss out on great but fleeting opportunities, so harnessing FOMO creates a natural sense of urgency.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to run flash sales. The clock is ticking…literally. Deadlines increase this sense of urgency and attract customers looking for a good deal.


2. Be biased

Some sales representatives try to appear unbiased in an attempt to convince customers that they’re credible.

Although well-intentioned, this method is often counterproductive. Customers expect sales representatives to be biased. It’s better to show energy and confidence than it is to walk the line and act neutral.

After all, if you don’t seem to believe that your product or service is the best on the market, why would a customer believe it? 


3. Be transparent 

While you should be biased, you should not go overboard on the sales pitch and make false promises, nor should you omit important information.

Customers appreciate honesty. If your product does x and y but not z, be upfront about its limitations. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an unhappy, one-time customer who feels deceived from buying a product that didn’t suit all of their needs.


4. Connect with your customers on common ground 

Don’t be a passive listener. Engage and ask your customer relevant questions. They should feel like you are genuinely interested in finding the right product for them, not tuning them out because your only interest is selling the most expensive model.

Whenever possible, find common ground so you can form a better connection. For example, maybe you’re trying to sell a vacuum, and the customer mentions that she has a dog who sheds a lot. It’s perfectly acceptable to tell her about your own dog, how you’ve dealt with the same situation, and why you prefer a certain vacuum that does an excellent job of picking up fur from carpets.

Not only are you connecting over a common interest but you’re also now making a sale based on experience and a personal recommendation.


5. Be a resource, not just a salesperson 

Is there anything worse than a sales representative who just keeps prattling off a list of benefits but can’t answer questions that aren’t on their script?

Strive to be as well-informed as possible so you can be a genuine resource to your customers.

If you realize that your product isn’t right for them, don’t be afraid to recommend a competitor. It sounds counterproductive, but customers genuinely appreciate your helpfulness. Plus, they are more likely to recommend your company to others if you offer real advice rather than try to win the sale at any cost.


6. Make the purchase convenient 

People like convenience, both online and in person. Make the purchase experience as easy as possible.

If your customers have to complete extra steps, like create an account to download a product, schedule a delivery, or set up equipment before they can use your product, they’re likely to feel that the hassle isn’t worth it.

sell to all kinds of people


Learn how to sell to all kinds of people, and you’ll be successful

Communication is one of the most important soft skills to master. Successful salespeople will be able to take both parts of this lesson—identifying the types of customers and then tailoring our tips to sell to all kinds of people—and close the deal.

It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be unstoppable!

Are you ready to start a new career and find success in sales? Join our team – we’re looking for people like you!