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Sales: Do You Have Tightwad Customers?


In order to sell to your customers, you must know who they are. And when I say “know who they are,” I mean know what type of spender they are.

According to neuroeconomic research, there are largely three types of buyers: Tightwads, Average Buyers and Spendthrifts. Each have different spending patterns that influence how and why they make purchasing decisions.

As a result, knowing what type of spenders you have within your business can give you an advantage when it comes to marketing or selling to them.

According to the research, consumer spending patterns are broken down by percentage as follows:

  1. Spendthrifts: 15%
  2. Average Buyers: 61%
  3. Tightwads: 24%

According to this research, Tightwads are people “who feel intense pain at the prospect of spending money, and therefore tend to spend less than they would ideally like to spend.”

Spendthrifts are people who “feel insufficient amounts of pain at the prospect of spending and therefore tend to spend more than they would ideally like to spend.”

Obviously, the Tightwads are the customers who can give health clubs trouble — the customers who fight tooth and nail to avoid buying personal training packages, add-ons — and therefore don’t contribute to ancillary revenue.  

And based off this research, Tightwads make up roughly 1 in 4 of your customers.

So, how can you get Tightwads to open their wallets? Here are a couple tricks you can use to make the process easier:

  1. Make the price a bargain. Although you don’t want to offer a discount to Tightwads on personal training packages, breaking down the cost by session, versus total cost, may make the price more appealing to them. That is because Tightwads tend to balk at high prices, so explaining the value they get per session can make the offer more enticing.
  2. Emphasize value. Because Tightwads have such a hard time spending money, you must emphasize the value of what they’ll be spending money on. These customers will be your hardest sell, so bring your A-game when it comes to explaining how your product will benefit them and what value it brings.

Although there’s no easy way to tell if your customer is indeed a Tightwad, you can get a hint based off their reaction to certain offers, programs or products.

And if you think they’re a Tightwad, keep this research in mind — you may just get them to open their wallet a bit more at your club.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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