3 Sales Strategies to Help You Handle Your “Just Looking” Customer

You start your day with a good attitude and a good cup of joe. It is a beautiful day – selling weather!

For the sake of nostalgia, and a little pick-me-up, you put on a Zig Ziglar CD as you head to work.

By the time you arrive, you’ve drained your coffee cup and filled your mind with a strong, positive outlook on life.

Just when your caffeine/Ziglar-induced high can’t get any higher, a customer leads off your very first sales conversation of the day with the three words you really, seriously, passionately do NOT want to hear:

“I’m just looking.”

Cue the sound of a Wile E. Coyote Acme bomb going off. Note: you are the coyote …you are the target. Boom.

For too many sales professionals, the phrase “I’m just looking” represents a sales-stopping moment. They may maintain a calm external demeanor, but the words “I’m just looking” often trigger internal dialogue that sounds something like this:

“Great – another ‘just looking.’ The whole world is ‘just looking!’ Do you think I could get like, I don’t know, ONE person who is actually in the market to buy and not just kicking tires?”

Lest you think that your customers exist for no other reason than to waste your valuable time, let me remind you that saying “I’m just looking” is about as common as the sunrise. And, by the way, you do it too!

Are you going to tell me that you never use this line when you are the customer?

There is a description for the phrase, “I’m just looking,” and that description is …“normal”.

In fact, it is not only normal, it is honest!

I feel certain that if we hooked our buyers up to polygraph tests whenever they said, “I’m just looking” they would pass!

They very likely believe this is exactly what they are doing. The important thing for you to remember is that when they say this, they haven’t yet seen your product.

They are not yet in love (yet!) with what you are offering, so yes, they really are just looking.

First things first: stop fretting over normal behavior. Don’t let this phrase take you off your mental game, even a tiny bit. This is merely a customer being a customer. Don’t fault them for that.

Instead, let’s start over.  Act on the three strategies:

1. Let It Roll Off Your Back

The most important step to take is to let this statement roll right off your back. It is water and you are a duck.

Since this is normal buyer behavior, there is no reason to believe that it means this customer will not purchase.

They say it, you forget it, you both move on. It really is that simple. Don’t even flinch when you hear it. Be the duck.

2. Agree With Them Automatically

It is essential to have an auto-response for each of the more common statements, delays, and objections you regularly hear from customers. Deliver your auto-response in a casual, conversational tone:

“Of course, I understand.” Or, “Got it. I’m glad that you chose to look here.”

Communicating this kind of acceptance and understanding is a huge draw to your customers.

3. Offer to Help

Respect the fact that customers do not want you immediately up in their face with a sales presentation.

Instead, extend the conversation by offering assistance in the “looking process.” Your well-timed, well-toned response might sound something like this:

“Of course. I understand. I want to assist you in any way I can. May I ask you a few quick questions so that I can help as much as possible in your search”?


“Got it, and thank you so much for looking here. I want to make this as painless for you as possible. If I can ask you just a couple of quick questions I can make this very easy on you.”

You will always face the “I’m just looking” customer.

Get your auto-response down, stay mentally strong, and you will be well on your way to changing your customer’s world!

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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.