Marketing Strategy

Selling to Passive People

Written by Rayzelle Forrest Young for Gaebler Ventures

Gives advice on dealing with passive customers. Emphasizes the importance of giving these customers space to think while asking questions in order to help guide the purchase

If you're a salesperson, at one point or another in your career you will come across a passive customer.

These customers tend to be less expressive and more difficult to figure out. Don't let this discourage you. There are certain techniques you can use to help make the sale with a passive customer.

Body Language

If your customer is uncomfortable they may start to fold their arms because they feel threatened by your sales approach. Another indication that your customer is uncomfortable is long and careful thinking. If a customer reacts this way to something you say, move on to a new subject in order to help put them at ease. Make sure to give them ample time and space to make a decision about their purchase.


Listen as opposed to talking so much. At times, sales people can be overwhelming with excessive talking. Let the customer do most of the talking so you can find out what their needs and desires are and provide them with answers. If you do all the talking, you run the risk of bringing up information the customer hasn't thought about and may possibly run them off.

Don't be invasive

Passive customers tend to need more time and space to make up their minds. Don't be too pushy. Allow them time to think about what they've seen and heard, so they can make a decision they can be comfortable with. Often your will hear this type of customer thinking out loud and talking to themselves in order to make their decision.

Cater To Their Desire

No matter what type of customer you're dealing with, make sure you are selling them a product or service they want. Don't force products on your buyers. Everything you sell should be in the best interest of the customer.

Ask Questions

When you encounter a passive customer, a good approach to take is to ask questions. Often times these type of people don't always let you know how they feel about the purchase. It's a good idea to ask them what they're looking for. Often times this will help you with figuring out what exactly it is the buyer is looking for.

In order to be an effective salesperson you will need adapt your sales techniques to suit different types of customers. The best way to do this is to listen to see what type of buyer you are dealing with. If they are less expressive and slow to react to questions, you may be dealing with a passive customer. Handle this type of customer by listening, asking questions and giving them time to think about their choices.

Rayzelle is an entrepreneur and writer. Based on her experiences as an owner of her own dance studio, she will share her personal tips on being a successful entrepreneur.

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