How to Encourage Customers to Sell Themselves

No One Can Sell You Like You

Nobody can sell you on buying something better than you and that goes for your customer as well. When they get excited and want to buy, just stand back and get out of the way! What if you could structure your conversations in such a way that your customers actually sell themselves? That would be pretty cool right?

On today’s show discover:

  • …how to keep your customers engaged;
  • …why you need to be careful what you ask for;
  • …how to focus your conversation in such a way that your customers practically sell themselves.

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Who’s Doing All The Talking?

loudspeaker-1459128_640Despite what some people may think selling isn’t about “talking somebody into something” in fact most of the best salespeople in the world say very little. When you’re doing all the talking it’s likely your customer has simply tuned out and you’re sounding more and more like the teacher from Charlie Brown. On the flip side, when they’re doing most of the talking they’re engaged in the process. If the conversation is going one way they’re reinforcing a buying decision or, if it’s going another way, talking themselves out of it.

So let’s talk about how you can structure your next customer interaction so they’re engaged and focusing on the right stuff.

Engaging Conversation

Anytime you can get the customer talking you’re well on your way to a sale. But what about those people that just don’t want to talk, they don’t seem to open up? Well, there are people who don’t say much but if this is happening to you a lot it may be the way you’re phrasing your questions.

You know open ended questions are best when you’re working to engage a customer in conversation. But even if you start your question with a who,what,where,why, when, or how you may be closing the door on a conversation without even knowing it based on the way you end the question.


Agent: How are you sleeping at night, are you tossing and turning?

Customer: Yeah

This customer is not opening up but it’s not their fault. They’re simply answering the question they way it was asked. It started out as a fine open ended question but by ending it with “are you tossing and turning?” the customer was allowed to answer without going into detail.

The solution is easy just leave out the last part.

Agent: How are you sleeping at night?

Customer: Well, most nights I do ok but there are a few days during the week when I need to get up early and I just seem to toss and turn those nights. I think I’m anxious or nervous I’ll sleep through my alarm.

When you leave off the ending the customer is encouraged to share more information, information you can use to build value. Additionally, open ended questions like this encourage the customer to be an active participant in the process, they’re engaged and more likely to buy.

Asking open ended questions are essential for keeping your customer involved but you need to be sure you’re asking the right questions, and phrasing them the right way. Your goal is to keep the customer in a positive frame of mind that supports the buying process.

Be Careful What You Ask For

Remember that saying “be careful what you wish for?” well in sales it’s “be careful what you ask for”. You want the customer engaged in the conversation but you also want them focusing on the right stuff. Based on the questions you ask and more importantly the way you ask them you can guide your customer to a more positive and sales supporting conversation. For example: If you ask someone, “so what do you think?” Most of the time you’ll get a mixed response which will include some negatives.

When most people are asked this question they feel obligated to provide a balanced response, some good and some not so good. While your customer is thinking about the “not so good” and then saying it out loud, they’re in essence talking themselves out of the sale.

A better way to ask this question is “What did you like best about it?” In order to answer this question your customer has to review those aspects of your product or offer that were most appealing.  By explaining it to you they’re reinforcing the positive aspects and selling themselves.

Another Example

When you ask “how does it feel to be missing out on family hikes” you bring up negative feelings your customer is currently experiencing. The question also doesn’t help link your product as a solution. Instead try asking “How will it feel to be able to go on hikes with your family again?” Now you’re triggering a positive emotion and linking your product as the solution and gateway to the life they want. Asking the right questions, phrased in the right way, can create positive reactions that reinforce your product as a solution.

Focusing on the Right Stuff

Finally, steer the conversation so your customer is telling you about their desired outcome. When you can get your customer talking about their hot button and how they want their life to be they’ll light up. The more they share the more they’re reinforcing a reason to buy.When you spend too much time asking questions about their problem customer’s can shut down. It’s less exciting to talk about problems it’s more exciting to talk about dreams.

I mean how much fun would it be to sit down and talk with someone about all the money you owe and all the bills you have to pay? Not something I’d be looking forward to.  But what if  that conversation was about how you would spend 20 million dollars if you hit the Mega Bucks? Now that would be a lot more fun, right!

So keep your customer engaged by:

  • Keeping your questions open ended
  • Phrasing questions so your customer is answering positively
  • And steering the conversation toward their desired outcome

When they’re telling you what they like best and how it can change their life they’re selling themselves.

Today’s One-Two Punch

Guide your Conversations to Increase Sales

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