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Assessing Your Client's Profile

Question: When staffing accounts or going after new business, I’ve often heard about “horses for courses” or the need to “match” the client with the right people.  What does this mean?

Answer: The short answer is that if you know what kind of person your client or prospect is, then you can do a better job of knowing how to sell to him and who should do the selling.

More specifically, many consultants feel that you can classify clients (and most people) into four basic types.  And if you understand what type of person you’re dealing with, you can significantly increase your chance of success (selling an ad, establishing a relationship, staffing an account).

So here is a summary of the four basic types.  (See if you can see yourself in one of them).

The metaphor here is that everyone essentially is like an element of a print ad – headline, body copy, logo or illustration.

The first thing to understand is that clients/people are divided into those who are task-oriented or people-oriented.  And they are also divided into whether they are askers or tellers.

So the grid ends up looking like this:


Memos for Account Management



Here are the descriptions of the profiles:
Headliners – People who are headliners tend to have these characteristics:

  1. Business-like
  2. Interested in results
  3. Make snap decisions
  4. Risk takers
  5. Tend to ask first
  6. Care about efficiency
  7. Are well organized
  8. Dress appropriately
  9. Are leaders
  10. Are entrepreneurs

Body Copy – Bodycopy people have these tendencies

  1. Interested in process
  2. Business-like demeanor
  3. Very cautious
  4. Tend to ask first
  5. Occasional analysis-paralysis
  6. Use “to-do” lists
  7. Dress neatly, color-coordinated
  8. Like facts, details, examples
  9. Need and follow plans

Logos – Logos have these tendencies

  1. Interested in relationship
  2. Ask questions
  3. People-oriented
  4. Consensus builders
  5. Cautious
  6. Politically savvy
  7. Friendly and open
  8. Neat
  9. Are leaders

Illustrations – Illustrations tend to be:

  1. People-oriented
  2. Interested in first, newest, most, best
  3. Tend to act first
  4. Want to inspire and be inspired
  5. Impetuous
  6. Somewhat disorganized
  7. Pretty open with people
  8. Like to motivate and be motivated
  9. Somewhat flashy in dress
  10. Enthusiastic
  11. Poised and sociable

Now here are the two most important parts:

  • If you can classify the type of person you are dealing with, you can package, position and organize your presentation, conversation, meeting, etc., to be as effective as it can be by being more relevant to the receivers.
  • If you know what type of person you are, then you can know what to modify about yourself to be personally effective with whomever you are dealing.

One last note – research on this profiling suggests that Bodycopy people tend to marry Illustrations.  And Headliners tend to marry Logos.  Check it out with yourself and your mate.  This may not be scientifically true, but anecdotally speaking, it’s true for this logo.



Bruce Kelley

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