If you need to make a decision and don’t have enough information.
Ask a lot of people (using your social networks for example) what they would do, then do the opposite. The “common knowledge” is what get the majority to where they are – average. You have a much better chance of getting better results, doing the exact opposite of what they would do.
It will make the bond stronger, and they will give you important insight (and if you sell to them immediately after, you’ll get higher conversion rates.)
The primary technique is to ask for their advice on something. Asking for their advice (and not opinion or information) makes them cross over to your side. They are now your trusted advisor because they have committed to helping you. This can be done in a retail environment, website, email, etc. If they react you will gain insight from them, and you might want to make them a special offer after they reacted – they will be more open to it so your conversions should be higher.
To better match what you are “selling” with what they are “buying.”
If they stay on the page for a while (enough to indicate some interest), have a question pop up asking them what their intent is. For instance: “Hi. Let me help you find what you want quickly and easily. Please click on the one most relevant to you: 1. I want to buy this now. 2. I am not planning on buying right now but am looking for more information. 3. Other _________.”
Use the input to tailor your immediate response to fulfill their desire (and yours), and collect all answers for later analysis.