Help, My Customer Isn’t Talking

My Customer Isn’t Talking

She just wouldn’t tell me anything. That customer just didn’t want to talk. How am I supposed to build value when they won’t have a conversation with me?  If you’ve ever heard a colleague say things like this or even said these things yourself you may be a victim of a conversation killer. But there is good news…

On today’s show discover:

  • … three different conversation killers that may be impacting your sales;
  • … what to do if your customer isn’t talking;
  • … the very best way to improve customer communication.

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How to Make a First Impression that Boosts Sales

The Most Important Part of the Process

If you had to choose one part of the sales process to identify as the most important part what would you choose? Asking for the sale? Overcoming the objection? Discovering the customer’s needs and wants? If I had to select just one as the most important part I would say it’s customer greeting. Learning how to make a first impression that’s positive can boost your sales!  

On today’s show discover:

  • …why the first 45 seconds of your customer interaction is crucial for your sales success;
  • … why, when you’re with a customer it’s always “SHOW TIME”;
  • …and how to make a first impression that boosts sales.

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The First 45 Seconds

45 seconds for a first impressionDid you know as a human being you are capable of making snap judgments about others based solely on how they say “hello”? It’s true! In fact it takes just a fraction of a second to decide if someone is trustworthy or should be avoided.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland recorded 64 different people reading a paragraph that included the word “hello.” They then extracted just the word hello and had another group share their impressions simply by listening to the recording.

They found that the participants largely agreed on which voice matched which personality trait. It wasn’t important whether the trait was true or not, it was more interesting to see consensus among the group. It demonstrated how people formulate opinions about others quickly from something as simple as the way they say hello.

You know all good sales are based on trust and value. Customers need to trust you, your product and your company in order to buy.

The first 45 seconds of your interaction with your customer is critical because they are going to make snap judgments about you and whether they feel they can trust you.  They’ll judge your level of education and whether or not you like your job. They’ll decide if you’re confident and if you know what you’re talking about. They’ll do all of that within the first few seconds of your conversation.

Making a great first impression doesn’t guarantee a sale but a sale is more likely when a customer forms a positive opinion of you up front. In fact, a first impression can be really hard if not impossible to reverse…perhaps that’s why they say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

It’s Show Time

first impression it's show timeBut what about those times when you’re having a really bad day, can that impact the impression you make on your customer? Yes, it can, if you let it…. but you’re in control of the impression you make.

In every profession, whether you’re a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher or a salesperson when you’re connecting with your customer, “it’s showtime”. Show time just means that it’s time to be at your best. It doesn’t mean to be fake or insincere but it does mean that no matter what kind of day you’re having, your customer still deserves your best.

If you stepped in a muddle puddle on your way to work, or you spilled coffee on your favorite shirt you need to put it behind you so it doesn’t affect the way you greet your customer. It’s show time and time for you to make a great first impression.

You know greeting and first impressions are so important that even some REALLY BIG national stores hire people to do nothing but make sure the customer has a great first impression. Why? They know a happy shopper, who has a positive first impression, is more likely to buy.

How to Make a First Impression

It’s really easy and it should be very natural for you. With that said there are some key elements that are important in making a great first impression so let’s review those quickly.

Be Yourself

People can tell when someone is being phony. You know like that DJ voice some people like to use. You guessed it, if you seem phony the customer will not find you trustworthy and you’ll be off on a bad foot. Instead, be yourself and…

Be Sincere

When you’re sincere it shows through. When you say thank you for calling really mean it; after-all they didn’t have to call and since you can’t do your job unless they do…you should be thankful, right?

Present Yourself Professionally

You’re a professional salesperson and you should come across that way.

  • Use professional language,
  • Give all of your attention to your customer
  • Give them your name before you ask for theirs and…


Whether you do sales in person or on the phone a smile changes the tone of your voice and makes you sound more warm and inviting. People would rather talk to happy people than grumpy people.

Be Positive

Avoid talking negatively about other products, people or companies. Remember, your customer is looking for reasons to buy from you. They’re not interested in reasons why they shouldn’t buy from someone else! So instead of bashing the other guy…offer compelling evidence about your product’s unique selling points.

Be Confident

Another key component of a memorable first impression is confidence. When you project confidence customers take note and formulate a higher opinion of you and your ability to help them.  You know the product, the offers, and the sales process, you’re a trained professional, you have everything you need to be confident.

Be Enthusiastic

If there is one thing that all great salespeople have it’s enthusiasm. When you’re enthusiastic about meeting a new customer and helping them solve a problem it makes a tremendous first impression.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Said:

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Today’s One Two Punch

Make a Great First Impression and Make More Sales

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You Had Me at Hello

You Had Me at Hello

Making a Great First Impression and Building Rapport

Making a great first impression and establishing rapport are possibly the most important parts of the sales process. In order to buy, you’re customer needs to feel they can trust you (and it helps if they like you too). Discover some simple things you can do to make a great first impression and develop rapport with your customers.

If you don’t have much time and you want a little sales boost…check out 2 minute training!

Check back often for new topics or subscribe to KO Sales Coach on YouTube!

What other ways have you found to make a connection and a great first impression? Share your comments below.

You Had Me at Hello

One Chance to Make a First Impression

You only have one chance to make a first impression. And it’s really important in sales that the impression you make is a good one. People buy from people they like.

If you’re like me, you may have had the experience of going to a store to buy something you wanted only to leave without it because of a poor salesperson. Maybe they were rude, perhaps they seemed untrustworthy, maybe they were lacking knowledge. Whatever the case, you probably summed them up pretty quickly based on your first impression.  Customers make 80% of their buying decisions within the first 45 seconds of meeting you.

Did you know that customers make 80% of their buying decisions within the first 45 seconds of meeting you?

In sales, you’re not only selling the product you’re also selling yourself. Learning how to build your value so that customers will buy from you is as important, if not more important, then learning to build value in the product.

Make a Connection

There are several ways to build rapport. One of the most effective ways is to find common ground with someone. With a little practice, you can find common ground with virtually everyone. For example….

For example….

  • This person loves to knit ….. I’ve never done it but my mother makes some amazing things. (we both appreciate the art of knitting)
  • This person is a huge soccer fan…. I love downhill skiing  ( we’re both sports fans)
  • This person is from Ohio …. My roommate in college was from Ohio ( we both know people from Ohio)
  • This person collects socks from the Civil War …. Hey I’m wearing socks (we both like socks)

An easy way to quickly establish rapport on the phone is to ask the person where they are calling from. But what if you’ve never been there or don’t know anyone from there? How could you make a connection?

Here are two methods

Customer: “I’m from Idaho….”

Salesperson: “wow I have never been there…I’m from Maine have you ever been here?”

Method 1:If they say “Yes”  then you have a connection! You’ve both been to Maine

Method 2:If they say “No” then you have a connection! Neither of you has been to the state the other is from.

It may seem like a stretch, but it really doesn’t take much to find a connection and some common ground. It just takes a little practice. It is important to always be truthful in your connections. Don’t make something up. It can be discovered and will damage your rapport and trust immediately and irreversibly.


Mirror your customerAnother excellent way to build rapport is to mirror the customer. Most of us make a quick connection with other people who are similar to us. If we’re loud talkers and we run into someone who is also a loud talker we feel comfortable right away. On the other hand, if we’re a soft talker and we run into someone that’s a loud talker we can feel pretty uncomfortable.  One of the very best ways to connect and build rapport with your customer is to mirror them.

It’s important to note that mirroring is not imitating. Imitating could upset your customer and ruin your rapport. Mirroring is more like matching your customer’s communication style.

Some easy ways to mirror your customer….

  • Listen to their pace….are they fast or slow. Work to match your pace to theirs
  • Listen to their tone… are they loud or soft, high or low?
  • Listen to their phrasing…..if they say I’d like to look this over, using phrases back like “I see what you mean” helps make a connection.

If they say, “this sounds pretty good”, you might use a phrase like “I hear what you’re saying” Etc…


To be successful in sales you have to develop your ability to build personal trust and value . Rapport helps you build trust and you can make a connection with virtually any customer by finding common ground, mirroring and being personable. Remember that rapport is so important the outcome of most customer interactions can be made or lost in the first 45 seconds.

The Secret to Success Top Salespeople Don’t Want You To Know

Natural Born Salespeople

I’m sure you’ve met this person before. She seems to be able to sell anything to anybody. Everyone loves her and is awed by her “amazing sales ability”. You hear other’s whisper how she is a “natural born salesperson”.

She doesn’t confirm or deny it but it does seem to be mysterious. So what’s her big secret? You might think it’s product knowledge and she’s comfortable with the product, but that’s not it. It’s a secret she and other top salespeople don’t want you to know.

The Big Secret

It’s empathy. That’s right, simple empathy. Why is this such a big secret? Partly because only the top tier seem to really grasp the power empathy has to make a connection with the customer.

In general, we all like to be heard and we like it when somebody “gets us”. It’s true for you, it’s true for your customers. Just as active listening skills help your customer feel they are being heard, empathy will help your customer feel that you “get them”.

Empathy is the ability to understand how someone else might be feeling. When you can communicate empathically with your customer you strengthen your rapport and connection.

People like to be understood. When you add active listening, you’re not only ensuring that you understand, you’re communicating to your customer that they are important. You hear what they are saying and understand how they are feeling.

Sometimes people confuse sympathy and empathy. We know this because we hear a lot of people use the phrase “I’m sorry” when they want to convey Empathy. “I’m sorry” is a sympathy phrase…it means “I feel bad for you.” Think about a Sympathy Card…. “I’m sorry for your loss” doesn’t communicate that I’m trying to understand your loss. It communicates that I feel bad for you because you lost someone close to you.

When someone passes away, sympathy is an appropriate response. However, in general, people don’t want sympathy. They don’t want other people to feel sorry for them or pity them. People want others to understand them and hear what they are saying. That’s what empathy is.


Empathy is walking a mile in your customer’s shoes and imagining how you might feel if you were in their situation. How would you feel if you were unable to walk? What if you were no longer able to see? How would you feel if you had a toothache for 4 days in a row?

Perhaps you would feel, frustrated, sad, angry, depressed, or desperate. Those are just a few of the potential emotions someone might be going through in any of those situations.

When you respond to your customer with something like “so you’ve been in pain for the past four days and your desperate to get some relief” you’re saying (I heard what you told me and I can empathize with you. I understand you’re feeling desperate for relief).

Once they know you “get them” and you’re listening they are far more apt to make a buying decision with you. I’ve actually heard customer’s say “thank goodness, someone who finally understands!”


Empathy is not an easy skill to master. It takes practice but the good news is you can practice with virtually everyone you know. Listen carefully to what they are saying and work to understand how they feel. Then communicate it back to them.Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find you have stronger relationships and you’ll be one of those “natural born salespeople too”. All because now you know the big secret!

Action: Listen to your customer and communicate how you think they are feeling
Benefit: You’ll help more people and make more sales.