Accelerating Business Growth

Monday, September 11, 2006

“Are Your Customers/Clients Relational or Transactional?”

I was talking with one of my clients last week and they were frustrated having spent the entire day dealing with customer complaints. As we ventured deeper into conversation it lead me down a track of debating his profile of customers.

After 15 minutes of discussion my client said “Royston that’s one of the most insightful discussions we’ve ever had” We then proceeded to create a strategy for what we we’re going to do to make sure he had far more rewarding days in the future.

Why am I telling you this? Well it sparked me into thinking about the content of this week’s post and I new I had to share this information with you.

So the question I posed at the header of the ezine:

“Are Your Customers/Clients Relational or Transactional?”

There are two kinds of customers:

- The Transactional Customer
- The Relational Customer

Now as consumers we can be both of these at different times - we are transactional in some buying situations and relational in others.

For example when I’m buying petrol my buying decision is purely based on when the needle is moving further towards the red! – I’m 100% transactional in my petrol purchase.

Yet when it comes to shopping I always go to Tesco. I just love their business model. So in my shopping habits I’m geared to being a relational customer.

I’m sure you have your favorite restaurant. I bet you go to the same hair salon or have your favorite shop for clothes. Or go to the same gym or are a member of a golf club - you have the point.

So with these two kinds of clients in our minds perhaps it would be worth taking a moment to explore some of the ingredients or traits which make up these different profiles:

A transactional customer is…

+ Thinking short term
+ Focused on getting the most benefit for the least money
+ Enjoys the process of research and negotiating and comparison shopping
+ Not looking for an expert. They plan on being their own expert and they’re enjoying the process.
+ Committed to buying from whoever is willing to accept the lowest profit
+ Doesn’t want to hear about service after the sale or how many years you’ve been in business
+ Wants to know ‘what have you done for me today?’

A relational customer is…

+ Looking for an expert – someone they can trust
+ Someone who will talk straight and just solve the problem
+ Someone who tells us directly what it is they need
+ Someone who considers the time spent shopping to be part of the purchase price… And are willing to spend more money to save time.

Pti as a business specialises in how to attract the relational customer – because that is the customer who will be your customer for life!

Your ‘Ideal’ Client Profile…

So – which type of clients do you currently have in your client portfolio?

+ The transactional
+ The relational or…
+ Perhaps a mix?

Which is it you want to attract – both now and in the future? I’m sure you’re already thinking of other criteria you might want to include in your ‘ideal’ profile of client.

Perhaps take some time to write a focused question – brainstorming further ideas to personalise this idea for your business.

Once you’ve established your ‘ideal’ profile of client – and engaged in a number of client retention strategies to keep them – you can then tailor your sales and marketing efforts to attract quality clients through the front door of your business – the number 1 strategy for this being a Systematised Referral Process.

If you’ve not read my ideas on how to create a Systematised Referral Process for your business you can go to and click through to the ezine. In the archive click on ezine 5 which will give you all the details you need.


There you have it – a fascinating idea which perhaps will make you think about your business and future strategy from a different prospective.

Written by Royston Guest, Sales and Marketing Director of Pti International.


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