Understanding Your Clients and How To Communicate With Them

unerstanding-client-communicatesJust 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

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, read the full article on the Align to Thrive.

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