What are some tips to engage with a client that isn’t such a talkative person?

Jorge Zepeda
Jorge Zepeda Member [Custom Team] Posts: 11
edited September 2023 in Peer Assist


  • Joe Huber
    Joe Huber Member [Pro], Administrator Posts: 253

    Hey @Jorge Zepeda! Can you tell us a little more about the scenario? Is it a common theme for the person or is it happening at one specific point? Any additional information will help us uncover more helpful direction!

  • Rachel Clapp Miller
    Rachel Clapp Miller Member [Pro], Administrator, Moderator, Super User group (not at launch) Posts: 53

     @Jorge Zepeda That's a tough scenario to be in for sure. One of the tips that our experts have shared with others who have the same challenge is to ask them what they're really good at, or what's working well in the organization - people tend to open up when they're talking about "good things" and inevitably there will be a "but" in their answer which may give you a more clearer picture of where they're challenges are. So you can say what's working well? Where is the team excelling, etc…? One trick to maybe try. Active listening can also help you throughout the conversation. We have several tips on that in the explore section (search Active Listening). Here's a podcast we did with @Patrick McLoughlin on the topic - https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/Explore?post=active-listening&referrer=773744af-7e67-4fd0-9616-647df1ebe453

  • Katelyn Pierson
    Katelyn Pierson Member [Custom Team] Posts: 5

    Personally, I found that asking them about theirselves and opening them up into talking about their lives, rather than speaking so much about your company or brand. Keep asking them easy answer questions to not only keep them engaged, but also to keep them talking to get them more comfortable around you.

  • Devin Teal
    Devin Teal Member [Custom Team] Posts: 9

    I agree with Katelyn. Instead of getting straight to business, try to get to know them and get them to open up first. This will hopefully get them comfortable with you, and become more talkative.

  • Julie Brence
    Julie Brence Member [Custom Team] Posts: 10

    I have found that meeting their energy levels as well as keep trying to relate to them and get them to open up has helped. If someone is quiet and shy, a very loud and enthusiastic person may not be the best to work with them. Instead, someone who can meet them halfway or somewhere in the middle may be able to pull themselves out of their shell a little bit.

  • Josh Auger
    Josh Auger Member [Custom Team] Posts: 10

    I think the best thing to do is ask questions. Come prepared with questions that can allow the client an opportunity to open up. These questions can be about their interest in the product or service being offered, or more personal questions that allow the client to talk about themselves. As the client responds to questions, he/she should become more comfortable and the conversation will become easier for them. It'll also allow you to get to know your client more than before.

  • Elijah Friend
    Elijah Friend Member [Custom Team] Posts: 7

    When dealing with people that are generally not talkative, I've always found that if you give them something to do with their hands or get them doing something that occupies them physically then they seem to open up a lot easier. Taking them golfing is a great example of this. Asking follow up questions and listening closely is another great tip. When dealing with less talkative people sometimes you have to fish information out of them.

  • David Chimenti
    David Chimenti Member [Pro] Posts: 42

    Sometimes buyers are just being guarded.

    Sometimes we haven’t touched on the right subject.

    There are 3 really powerful linguistic tools you can use to try to extract more from someone at the end of a brief statement. Combined they are most of the talking I do on a disco call.

    1) mirrors

    Mirroring is when you repeat the last few words of their statement back to them with an upward inflection and posed as a question. You see this more in everyday life than you think.

    “Hey Jorge - what are you doing this weekend?”

    “I’m going to a concert.”

    “A concert?”

    “Yeah I’m really excited about…”

    In the general course of conversation it gets someone to elaborate their position to keep the normal course of the conversation.

    2) The other is labels. It works well if the conversation doesn’t flow the way that the full mantra is called for.

    Labeling is when we say it back to the customer starting with “it sounds like” or “it seems like”.

    You’ll either be right or wrong but it’s human for the other person to want you to understand so don’t feel bad if you get corrected.

    Teaching someone else something is one of the most ego stroking moments on the planet (coming from the guy 2 phone screens into this message). They won’t mind correcting you and will appreciate you are inquisitive.

    3) “because of that what?”

    When clients are giving us surface level pain but hiding their business initiatives, this is my favorite question to ask. It generally keeps things flowing.

    “Well we had our phone system down 4 days last month.”

    “That sounds tough. Did it cause issues for critical business units?”

    “Yeah I think it did…”

    “Ok, so because of that what happened?”

    “Well we missed our sales target for the month and are in danger of the quarter slipping past us. We’re hearing it from our PE firm and need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

  • Avery Brockwell
    Avery Brockwell Member [Custom Team] Posts: 11

    When talking with people who are not as talkative as I am I try to engage with them in different like asking them more about themselves to make them feel more comfortable opening up/talking with you. I also try to not be too talkative or overpowering in conversations with people who tend to be more shy.

  • Emily Erickson
    Emily Erickson Member [Custom Team] Posts: 11

    I often find that when I ask questions, that is when I can start other conversations and relate to them as much as I can.

  • Chris Richardson
    Chris Richardson Member [Custom Team] Posts: 10

    For someone who isn't very talkative maybe do a hands-on approach, with the product or service.

  • Patrick McLoughlin

    Alot of great suggestions and comments here for sure. I like all of them and have made a note to try some. What I think when a customer may be hesitant to engage I ask myself the question, "Have I earned the right…." Have I earned the right, to ask that level of question, get that level of detail or earned the right to get that level of intimacy. Sales is ALL about the "GIVE" not the "GET"

  • Tom Martin
    Tom Martin Member [Plus] Posts: 2

    Jorge, I’ll offer something of the opposite of some previous comments.

    Personally, I am less talkative with a salesperson (that I don’t already know) when they are asking personal questions and/or not getting to the business issues I want to discuss. I might get talkative if you ask me questions where I have to explain the current challenges and also show me that you are listening, understand my business, and might be able to provide me some value.

    Overall, my thoughts would be to consider a few things:

    1 – Understand why the person is talking to you – what’s the purpose of the call from their perspective, and what would make it a great call for them

    2 – Try to adjust your approach to their style and preferences, and continue adjusting if it’s not working

    3 – Focus on asking more open ended questions (vs yes/no), and really listening to their answers to see if you can ask a logical follow on question that keeps them talking. As sellers we often are thinking ahead to our next question, vs following the thread that is presented

    4 – Remember that “everyone has their own story” – if someone isn’t being talkative, they might have another call starting in 5 minutes, or have 2 kids at home sick, or, or, or… Just be prepared to adapt on every call.

    5 – Preparation is key. Connecting to some of the other suggestions, there might be business (or personal) info you can pull from a LinkedIn profile to drop in to a comment or a question that can turn the tide with someone who isn’t talkative. Ex. If someone makes a comment about my Maine roots I’m compelled to respond!

  • Hunter Edson
    Hunter Edson Member [Custom Team] Posts: 11

    Personally, I think that going into the conversation asking personal questions before starting the business conversation helps, as well as finding out things about the client to talk about and connect on a personal level.

  • Timmy Cotton
    Timmy Cotton Member [Custom Team] Posts: 11

    To engage with a less talkative client, start by actively listening and asking open-ended questions to encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings. Additionally, create a comfortable and non-judgmental environment to help them feel more at ease and open up during your interactions.

  • Julie Brence
    Julie Brence Member [Custom Team] Posts: 10

    Mirroring at the start of the conversation with the client can help make the client feel more comfortable in their responses. Overwhelming them with loud voices, too much information thrown at them at once may make them do the opposite of what you want to achieve. Offering them something to have in their hands may help as well, such as a water bottle or piece of paper that can help them fidget. Allowing for open communication and active listening are also good ways to navigate a conversation with a less-talkative client. Allowing them to know that you are listening may help them feel more at ease to open up and discuss what they want to bring to the conversation.

  • Gavin Weitendorf
    Gavin Weitendorf Member [Custom Team] Posts: 10

    I would start with a very simple conversation and allow the customer to feel comfortable with me and in the space. I would lead the conversation and only ask open-ended questions to give the customer the most opportunity to talk and tell me precisely what they need from me.

  • Chris Richardson
    Chris Richardson Member [Custom Team] Posts: 10

    When talking with people who are not as talkative as I am I try to engage with them in different like asking them more about themselves to make them feel more comfortable opening up/talking with you. I also try to not be too talkative or overpowering in conversations with people who tend to be more shy.

  • Tori King
    Tori King Member [Custom Team] Posts: 5

    I would make sure that I am patient with that person and start by listening. This would be a good way to practice active listening by making sure the client is comfortable and knows you have their full attention. I would also ask them questions about themselves to get to know them better. Doing this will allow the client to be more comfortable.