CCA 4.3 Lesson 3: Types of Buyers

A buyer is anyone who might purchase a product. A buyer must have interest in the product and the means to buy it. Although you qualify all your prospects on items like money, authority, and desire, customers will have many different personality types. A sales professional must learn how to adapt and adjust to different customers and know the best strategy to use with each one. A sales professional should learn to put him/herself in the customer’s shoes; by doing this, the seller can use the best approach and techniques to provide good service.

A sales professional will usually encounter a variety of different types of buyers in a single working day. We will look at eight specific types of buyers based on characteristics and then look at some simple strategies that can be used in dealing with each type of buyer.  Remember, the key is to adjust and adapt to the variety of buyers.

Argumentative type. This first type of buyer has some general characteristics that are quite obvious. The buyer is insincere, likes to argue, makes unreasonable demands, and is likely to talk loudly. A sales professional deals with this type of buyer by showing respect, allowing the buyer to talk, and being good-natured.

Silent type. The characteristics of this type of buyer are an unexpressive face and no desire to answer questions. A sales professional should ask questions that can be answered with more than a yes or no answer. Be more personal than usual and demonstrate the product by encouraging the buyer to handle and touch the product–in essence, becoming personally involved in the presentation.

Talkative type. This buyer dominates a conversation and discusses personal affairs. A seller should be courteous with this buyer and always remain businesslike. The seller should also learn to lead the buyer back into the presentation.

Hurried type. This buyer is impatient and nervous. The buyer constantly looks at a watch and is very busy. When you notice this type of buyer, you should be rapid in your presentation and get to the point in a hurry. Concentrate only on important points and listen carefully to the customer.

Just-looking type. The general characteristics of this well-known buyer is the appearance of “I’m just looking,” and seeming undecided or fearing sales pressure. This type of buyer starts to move away when approached and can’t be rushed. Some reasons for the behavior may be that the person is buying unfamiliar merchandise or may be in your store for the first time. A sales professional should invite the customer to look, give facts about the product, use short sales talk, ask few questions and make the customer at ease by helping only when invited.

Procrastinator type. This buyer wants time to look and think everything over and waivers between one product and another. The person is slow and leisurely in motion. When you identify this type of buyer, avoid overpowering pressure and summarize the benefits the buyer will lose if a purchase is not made today. This type of buyer fears making a bad decision, so be rational in explaining the product.

Ego-involved type. General characteristics of this type of buyer include questioning the sales professional, displaying personal knowledge of the merchandise, being argumentative in nature, and contradicting many points given by the seller. A sales professional should welcome this buyer’s opinions and ideas, be very patient and courteous, and agree with the buyer on some points.

Average type. This group of buyers will make up the majority of the customers you will deal with. These people have a fairly well-formed idea of what they are looking for, are pleasant and courteous, and offer few objections. A sales professional should make an attempt to gain their attention through a pleasant approach, explain the merchandise, and use goodwill to bring the customer back in the future. This group of buyers doesn’t mind being asked a few qualifying questions.


The seller, buyer, product, and situation can be greatly affected by the buying motive found or created in the mind of the buyer. A buyer’s feelings and actions can greatly change at any time by a set of motives, or the inner states that moves a person towards the purchase of a product.  Motives drive us towards our goals. A person who is purchasing a sofa might be attracted by the color and fabric. However, when the seller encourages the buyer to sit down on the sofa and actually feel what the sofa is like, the buyer may become emotionally involved and become more persuaded to buy it. All buying motives fall into one of three different classifications as identified in the next illustration.

Rational buying motives. Decisions based on logical reasons.

Emotional buying motives. Decisions based on impulse and emotions.

Patronage buying motives. Decisions based on loyalty and past experiences.

Rational Buying Motives: Rational buying motives result when a person makes a buying decision based on concrete reasons and logic. The buyer will only make a purchase decision after comparisons of price, quality, style, color, brand name, durability, and financing have been discussed.

Emotional Buying Motives: Emotional buying motives result when a person makes a buying decision based on impulse or emotions. These decisions are made without any prior thought or planning. These motives are strong and sellers spend most of their efforts in attempting to stir up these emotional appeals to a level that rational thinking can’t take place.

Patronage Buying Motives:Patronage buying motives should be the long-term goal of every sales professional. This group of motives results from loyalty to a specific store or to a specific sales professional.  Customers put much trust in a store or person when patronage buying motives are used.  Past positive experiences and consistent excellent service are keys to winning over a customer.  This is the ultimate goal every seller wants to achieve–developing a list of good, regular customers who will return time and time again.