How To Deal With Expressive Customers

In general most salespeople like expressive customers. Because they are extroverted individuals, it only takes a few questions to get them talking. More often than not they are also on the more dominant side of the spectrum. They are proactive and like to take the lead.

I was really intrigued by what you said on the phone. I might have a project or two that will interest you.

When a customer starts the sales meeting like this, some salespeople will interpret this as a buying signal. Wrong! Expressive customers just want to be easy to get on with and not needlessly complicate things. No beating around the bush.

Not only do they talk a lot, they also ask a lot of questions, so you better be prepared. Mind however, it’s easy to lose the initiative when it’s the other person who is asking the questions.

- Do you also make custom websites?
-Yes, of course.
– And webshops?
– Yes, we…
– And which content management system do you use? Wait, I’ll show you what I mean.

Instead of waiting for the answer, the customer starts a whole explanation himself. Maybe for the best, as this gives the salesperson the opportunity to take back the initiative by asking a question.

Expressive types are the kind of people who want to make things easy for others to make them easy for themselves. This means that in a sales setting they pass the responsibility to the salesperson.

Look, I told you what the problem is, now I expect you to work something out. Let me know when you have the perfect solution.

This is not without risk for the salesperson, as the expressive customer can also be impatient or short-tempered even.  A couple of weeks later you might get a phone call like this:

Hi, you’ve been here two weeks ago and you said you would work out a solution. I haven’t seen one presented to me yet. Come on, you’re not going to let this opportunity slip away, are you?

Once I also recorded the following message:

When are you finally going to close? That’s all you think about, right?

So even in the sales meeting impatience can take over.

Moral of the story? Don’t let jovial, extroverted customers walk all over you. They are less easy than you might believe at first sight. As long as all goes well, they act like a friend, but when the goings get tough, some will cause trouble.

Your turn now

Are you more on the introvert or extrovert side of the spectrum?
What’s your experience with expressive customers?
How do you make sure you keep the lead during the conversation?


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  1. Seven Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Ask For The Deal
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  3. Uncover Flaws, Discover Opportunities
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2 Responses to “How To Deal With Expressive Customers”

  • Justin Awtry on August 2, 2011

    I love expressive customers! It usually means that they are passionate about something that I am passionate about. The trick is to let them be passionate and expressive without letting them take over the conversation. Make sure you ask the right questions and lead the conversation where you want it to go.

    • Wim on August 4, 2011

      Hi Justin, indeed it’s great to meet with passionate people! It can add a great flow to the conversation, as long as you don’t get overwhelmed and let them walk all over you. The only thing you really need to watch is not to mistake this enthusiasm for a buying signal.

      Thanks for your comment, highly appreciated!

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