Proactive, Reactive, and Reason Filters

By Christopher Zoukis

Proactive vs. Reactive

Another way of categorizing buyers is as proactive or reactive.  Proactive people are self-starters eager to get going.  Reactive people or buyers like to sit back, take their time, and thoroughly analyze any situation before they do anything.  Identifying a buyer as either proactive or reactive is accomplished by listening for verbal cues and by watching body language. Image courtesy of

Proactive buyers tend to focus on goals and their attainment.  Their body language reflects impatience, constant movement.  They speak in short sentences, using active verbs.  For example, “we’re going to take care of this quickly.”  Encouraging proactive buyers to take the next step is as simple as saying, “Let’s do this.  Then you can move on to the next project.” 

Reactive buyers, on the other hand, take their cues from those around them and their environment.  Their movements are deliberate, and they speak only after much thought.  A reactive buyer might say something such as:  “Once we have all the details, we can start to put together a chart to identify which vendors we should talk to.”  Sales people should assist reactive buyers to the next step by pointing out that the analysis is complete, and all that remains is implementation.

When making a presentation to a group of buyers, a combination of both motivational techniques usually works best.  The sales person can point out that they have gathered the pertinent data, allowing them to come to an informed decision before outside factors change.

Reason Filters

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