The buyer stood a couple of feet away from our exhibit table at the Farmers Market. Her eyes indicated that she might have been reading the signage posted about our natural salsas. Or she could have been eavesdropping on the conversation my wife was having with a different person.

“Want a Sample?” vs “Here’s a recipe”

I approached her ready to say my usual opening, “Would you like a sample of our natural, homemade salsas?” Instead, I handed her a flyer remarking that here were some recipes using our products. She accepted the paper and perused it steadily for a time. Then she politely thanked me and walked away.

Lost Opportunity

I wondered as she departed whether I could have taken a different approach. Such a small sale hung in the balance, less than $10 per jar. Yet my competitive nature hated to lose even one customer!

What cues signaled me to give her literature rather than a taste? Actually, it was convenience because my wife was standing over the open jars and it would have meant moving her aside so that I could access the samples. I was just too lazy. I had let the opportunity pass.

What Was this Buyer’s Style?

I looked once more at the buyer who was now engaged talking with another vendor one table down. She was neatly dressed, wearing white jeans and an embroidered black top. A large white hat adorned her head with a stylish black ribbon around it. I think I saw jogging shoes on her feet. She smiled and was animated while exchanging conversation with the other person. She lowered her backpack, took out her wallet, and completed a transaction.

Some buyers come to learn. Some to talk. Some to experience. Some to buy.

Some buyers come to learn; some to talk; some to experience; and some to buy. How do I quickly figure out which one they are so that I can give them what they seek? How do I convert more of them into buyers? They say that sales is a numbers game. However, I would like to know how to get more “Yeses” rather than see prospects just saunter away.

How would you help?

About Dr. Nancy Zare

A retired professor and psychologist, Dr. Nancy Zare originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach business owners and sales professionals how to read buying styles and close more sales. She offers a complimentary AlikeAbility™ Assessment that includes the strengths and challenges of your buying/selling style. Contact her at to receive your copy by email.