9 Types of Difficult Customers (and How to Sell to Them)


9 Types of Difficult Customers (and How to Sell to Them)

Types of customers

There are many types of customers that companies have the mission to serve on a daily basis. Some more mature, others less so – but all with needs that cannot be ignored.

In fact, complicated or not, mature or not, any business that wants to grow and become more and more a reference in the segment in which it operates needs to be prepared for all kinds of situations.

And here we are not just talking about the seller, who will seek to successfully complete the negotiations.

It is crucial that the entire company is aware that it is necessary to be prepared, educated and aware of how to deal with the different types of existing customers.

There is no closed formula – let me make it clear right away. Work, study, improvement and above all focus. This is the way to be able to generate value for anyone who comes to your company.

In this text, we’ll talk about some types of customers that are more difficult to deal with.

We’ll talk about some tips on how to overcome adversity, generate value for it and, of course, ensure the sale.

Let’s check it out? Good reading!

How to serve all types of customers? Training and technology help!

Before we approach the types of customers, their peculiarities and how to deal with and generate value for them, we need to talk about two very important elements.

In fact, there are 3.

Because, the first, it is a well-oiled sales process, that at each stage of the sales funnel, it is able to deliver what prospects really need to feel secure and at ease to buy.

This is a mandatory and indispensable item: the entire sales force converging to generate maximum value for customers.

This, however, only makes sense when two other elements converge at the same time.

  1. Sales training focused on customer pain;
  2. Digital transformation is present in company processes.

It goes through an improved process, ready to deal with all types of customers, a very well-trained team that relies on the sales playbook to learn good practices by heart.

Prospect, nurture, qualify and sell. This is the order, indispensable, and that counts on the decisive participation of marketing. Even so, the integration between marketing and sales is essential and you need to be clear about this.

And for training to make sense, you need to have a really efficient sales system that helps the company improve the way it sells.

Analyze open opportunities in the pipeline, listen to recordings of leads with prospects. Understand who is on the other end of the line, their characteristics and how to deal with each one of them.

Then, yes, you will be focused on the customer and ready to deal with the most diverse types of consumers.

9 types of difficult customers to serve and how to handle this mission

There are many types of clients, their “pains, urgency, knowledge… and it is necessary to understand this and prepare. The sales routine is often unpredictable.

Even in a mature process, with a well-defined persona, it is not always possible to know which customers you will have to face.

That’s why we talked about it before: preparation is essential. And with the use of technology, all knowledge can flow and productivity can be increased.

We separate 9 different types of customers among themselves and that every salesperson can deal or even already dealt with.

We talk about their peculiarities and also ways to deal with them, always looking for an assertive way to seal the negotiation successfully.

Check out:

1 – The confused customer

It often arrives for the commercial team – mainly for the SDR – confused customers. First, it is necessary to talk about the origin of this little information of his.

This lead was often malnourished by marketing – and it is up to managers to pay attention to this. For this reason, we also address the importance of having an alignment between marketing and sales.

This confused customer has a vague sense of both what he really needs for your business and how the product or service you sell really helps him.

He is indecisive about his own reality and the solution options he is looking for and found.

At this point, the sales team needs to ask some basic questions that have probably not been asked before.

The aim is to discover your needs, pains, fears and desires. It is important to be consultative and limit the number of options, directing you to a single path that is safe.

This must be done in a didactic, clear way, always listening to what he has to say and showing how your solution would work for him.

2 – The secure customer

This is that lead so not nurtured that trust is on the rise. He understands well about your own needs, your context, and may even have prior experience with the product or service you sell.

Whether consuming what the competition sells or under your own brand at some other time.

Therefore, he likes to feel that he is being reciprocated and that he can gain some extra advantage in the negotiation.

A good way to achieve mastery when negotiating is to apply rapport techniques and achieve equalization at the time of sale.

Then you obviously need to be consultative and show the benefits of what you sell. Understand: you must sell the value that your product or service actually has, and not sell discounts.

Show yourself, of course, open to negotiations – even to keep empathy high at this point in order to reach a common denominator.

3 – The customer without haste

Types of customers: unhurried customer

This is one of the methodical customer types. Who wants to surround himself with all possible care and often needs to be constantly convinced of the value of the purchase.

He will hardly make an impulse purchase. And even if there is a sense of urgency to buy, you’ll think twice before making a decision.

Assertiveness is something he attaches a lot to. Therefore, the seller must also be. It’s methodical. He rarely buys on impulse and tends to think twice before making any decision.

Therefore, it is crucial to be calm to be able to move this opportunity through the pipeline stages.

Use your sharpest trading techniques and be prepared to have to repeat a few points that make the prospect more comfortable.

4 – The customer in a hurry

The rushed is one of the types of customers that can be like this in many ways. Either because you are pressured to get an immediate solution, or because of a person’s own characteristic, of being impatient.

It is common that he often “runs over” both the pre-sales qualification speech and the commercial pitch. Yes, it takes patience to serve you.

After all, it is a sale that is at stake and can be a great deal of value. Resilience is key here.

Serve him the way he wants, be quick and simple. Get right to the point and immediately capture what is the main pain he has.

With objectivity, you will show that you value his time – and this will give you some points when he chooses between your company or the competition.

5 – The silent customer

Not that there is no rush or even security for him, but the silent customer is a great challenge precisely because he provides little information.

It is often difficult to know what stage of maturity this prospect is at. That’s why it’s important to have a sales script in place and follow it right now.

Think of it like this: If the customer doesn’t give any leads, at least you’re following good sales process practices and being consultative.

When selling, it is necessary to ask more questions than usual and pay even more attention.

After all, there will be very few gaps that can be exploited – and you need to be aware and prepared for them.

6 – The talking customer

Types of customers: talking customer

Unlike the silent, the talking customer is less of a challenge to be overcome. After all, listening to the customer is one of the most effective sales techniques to successfully close a deal.

The active listening flame is a great way to be able to immediately identify what the customer needs.

And, with the knowledge that the sales team has about what they sell, it is much easier to accelerate the closing of the deal and shorten the sales cycle.

Therefore, the subject will always be business. Let him speak and intercede only to be didactic and consultative.

7 – The customer who does not show up

The no-show sales is a problem. And there are types of customers who don’t commit to the hours their inside sales salesperson has reserved for them.

And then you stay there 15, 30 minutes waiting for the video call to start and nothing. And time is gone. It doesn’t come back. Maybe he’s justified in his absence, maybe not.

There could really have been an emergency, or he simply forgot about the appointment. The fact is, some precautions need to be taken with this client on the next attempt.

After scheduling a new time, follow up. On the day of the meeting, send an email, call and make sure the meeting will take place this time.

That’s why technology is so important. Your CRM does this for you through automatic actions, avoiding situations like this.

8 – The customer with little power

Often the impression/information that the customer gives to the seller does not exactly match reality.

Read: you may be negotiating with someone who will not make the purchase decision. Hierarchically, there are people above this one.

And then things can take a little longer to get going. Obviously, it may not be his fault. This person may have simply been assigned by their superior to go after a solution to a problem.

And it’s okay if that’s it. But then, understand that asking if he is the one who decides is not a very good thing to do.

In fact, it can even be seen as an offence. Better to ask how buying decisions like this are made, how about that? Much less invasive.

9 – The busy customer

Types of customers: busy customer

One of the most common types of customers is the busy one. Speech made and commercial proposal sent, zero response from the other side.

He doesn’t access your email, doesn’t answer you over the phone, doesn’t even see the proposed price, doesn’t know the conditions and doesn’t show any sign of life.

Certainly, this is a very busy prospect who may be living in the chaos within your company.

Right now, there’s not much of a secret. We need to make things simpler. For you and the customer. Summarize the proposal made, directly and send it again. Well summarized indeed.

And again, help yourself.

Take advantage of the feature of your sales software and send the proposal with the possibility of acceptance being given via electronic signature.

One-click is enough for him to accept what you proposed and the purchase is sealed!

So, how can we help you?

If you have questions about the content or want to know how technology helps you handle all types of customers, talk to a consultant right now.

Enjoy and read two articles that will help you better understand your customers and sell more and better.

The first covers 6 ways to delight your company’s customers in a more assertive and consultative way.

The second brings 11 sales tactics for your company to use every day.

Good sales!


There are many types of customers that companies have the mission to serve on a daily basis. Some more mature, others less so – but all with needs that cannot be ignored. In fact, complicated or not, mature or not, any business that wants to grow and become more and more a reference in the segment in which…