Are You "Open" for Business? - BusinessBlog : McGraw-Hill
Leadership Marketing & Sales Small Business

Are You “Open” for Business?

Video featuring Don Brown, co-author of What Got You There Won’t Get You Here in Sales.

It’s obvious that something is bothering your customer… it’s written all over their face (a constant frown). You ask them “What’s wrong?” and the response is; “nothing…I’m fine,” but clearly it’s not. What should you do?

Sales leadership coach, Don Brown offers you two powerful techniques to get customers and prospects to open up. Read and watch to learn Don’s proven effortless and natural ways to make the customers the focal point of the story:

  1. The first involves the use of “Tell me about…” or “Describe for me…”. Instead of asking what, when, where or how – leave the question open…leave them a conversational gap to fill. Ask them to “tell you about” or to “describe” what you need to know.
  2. The second technique involves something far more difficult (it’s simple, but not easy) – seven seconds of silence! Try it sometime. When you ask a customer to “tell you about” something:

Silently count to seven before saying anything else – it lets them realize it really is safe to answer your question…and it keeps you from nervously (and needlessly) filling the silence.


Watch as Don demonstrates the principles of “How to Get Someone to Open Up.”

Don Brown is the owner and founder of Situational Services, Inc., a training and development company dedicated to improved leadership and influence effectiveness for its clients. Prior to founding Situational Services Incorporated in 1989, Don was Vice President of the Center For Leadership Studies. He also blogs at

Don Brown dedicates his career to sales, service and leadership effectiveness – period. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and pharmaceuticals.