I could be wrong, but I think the OP was referring to shopping for a cell phone in person. While most of what you said still applies, the part about prioritizing a customer in the store would not.
It does not make you look like a shopper. If the SA is so dense, they are used to people just walking away. The shopper's job is to document that so that the SA can be spotted as someone who needs more training ! Also, tons of "customers" are really only killing time or window shopping and will not ask follow-up questions. It is easy to over-think things and conclude that you will be outed. Do what the client wants you to do; give the SA a lead and see if it is followed. If it is not, wait and then walk. Simple. Shoppers have been doing it that way for years and many have become "go-to" shoppers for doing so.
No, no, no, no, no to what he or she said about leading questions. It is not our job to lead a sales associate. Yes, the silence is incredibly awkward. Try it on a video a shop. The standard is to express interest, allow the employee to close the sale, object, then allow another close before concluding the interaction. If the employee does not try to close the sale, most MSCs expect you to end the interaction. Unfortunately, that means allowing that silence to be sure you haven't cut them off too soon.
If anyone would care to argue the point, I have had more than one video shop with a sales associate who was a total dud. The total shop time was ten minutes or less, but I followed the rules. When ample time is given to ask for the sale and the employee does nothing, it is time to say "thanks, I'm going to think about it for awhile." I have also had shops where the employee was perfect and the entire interaction still only lasted 10 or 15 minutes. Sometimes they are that good. They make the presentation, ask for the sale and overcome the objection as if it is all scripted. Those are obviously my favorites
I give them the awkward silence and then move on.
I added a bit to my previous post regarding that.
...that awkward silence during a phone shop when the sales associate is not doing their job? (I am trying to buy a phone from you Mr. Salesman, the ball is in your court, explain the phone to me!) But, instead, the sales associate just tells me something short like, "Yeah, uh, It has a good camera and the speakers are good".
I know I can't lead them on to make them really explain the phone in detail so, the conversation becomes extremely awkward and I end up just staring at the phone.
How do you handle this awkward silence? This has happened to me several times.
Whenever something becomes awkward, I just imagine them naked. Doesn’t help most of the time, but at least it gives me something to do...