The Gift Of Silence

Have you ever had a conversation with someone that just would NOT stop talking? After a while, rather than hearing anything that they are saying, you find yourself simply watching their lips, waiting for them to take a breath so you can get a word in – because you just want to get out of there as quickly as possible!

Don’t be that salesperson!

Sales professionals in general have a reputation for talking too much. Many work under the impression that they need to talk prospects into buying. They think they know everything necessary for closing a sale prior to walking into a sales conversation.

Following a prescribed formula, many salespeople will ramble through a script, answer objections with prefabricated canned responses, then scratch their heads and wonder why they didn’t get the sale. They’ll leave thinking that sales is hard. But they’ll simply go through the motions, and try it all again on the next one.

This rigid, dry method of doing sales leaves out one essential piece. In sales, no matter your industry, you are working with people. Working with people requires a connection – not a method. In the real world, you will never talk anyone into a sale.

Conversely, when you’re working with people, your most valuable tool to utilize as a salesperson is silence.

Remember, sales isn’t talking – sales is asking questions!

Your authentic sales conversation is just that – conversing with your prospects. Conversing means having a back and forth dialogue. Your first job in sales is to effectively gain information about how to best serve your prospect. You can only find that information by asking questions.

So ask.

Then listen.
Wait.
Be silent.
Say nothing.

Silence is powerful. If your prospect doesn’t respond immediately, allow your question to hang heavy in the air for a moment. Most people can only handle a few seconds of silence before they begin to feel an awkward pressure to fill the void.

In most sales situations, it’s the salesperson that will step into the silence and say something. If your prospects have experiences with other sales professionals, they may unknowingly expect you to say something.

But don’t. Just wait.

In those few seemingly heavy “awkward” moments, you’re giving your prospect a tremendous gift. You are allowing them to thoroughly think through and consider your questions for themselves. You are deeply impressing upon them how much you value their information. When the pressure is on your client to tell you about what their needs are, they will fill that space for you, and they’ll appreciate it more than they will express.

Asking questions and choosing to be an intentionally effective listener means that you are investing into your prospects. It shows that you genuinely care about them. If your prospect feels that you care about them, they will be eager to work with you, and selling to them will be easy!

Furthermore, when you step back and allow your prospect to talk, they will usually talk themselves into what you have to offer. They will tell you everything you’d need to know in order to meet their need and close a sale. Listen to them tell you about the problem that they are struggling with – and they will effectively sell themselves!

Sales scripts can be an incredible tool. Your knowledge about your business, brand, service, products, or sales is important. But all your knowledge doesn’t help your prospect if they don’t see how you are genuinely and effectively invested in solving their problem.

The best way for them to see how you can solve their problem is for them to tell you while you remain silent, and listen.

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