Tag: communications skills in sales

Silence Is Your BFF In Sales

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Silence Is Your BFF To Helping You Close a Sale…

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Are you afraid of those seemingly forever, awkward silences that happen when you’re speaking with a potential client? That silence is actually very healthy and should be a part of your sales strategy. Well, meet your new BFF to help you close a sale!

“Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence.”

Leonardo DaVinci

How to use awkward silences in your sales
How to use awkward silences in your sales

There are three different types of silence to help close your sales that incredibly powerful, and you can use them every day. They’re really simple to use, but you do have to practice them and learn how to stop talking … really.  

The first type sales tool silence is listening.

I am a talker, if you haven’t noticed. However, I’ve learned to bite my tongue and listen. Sometimes silence in a room where you’re not alone is very uncomfortable. It used to make me want to fill the silence … now I’ve learned I can sit it out and wait. 

I am sure that, in the beginning of my career, I lost sales because I didn’t know when to stop talking. When I believed that when my prospects were too quiet, AKA AWKWARD SILENCE, that that was my cue to explain more about what I wanted to sell them. I was sooo wrong. And I know I talked myself right out of a few sales.

Think about the people in your life that you consider very wise.

From my experience they usually don’t speak much at all. And when they do, such wisdom pours out of their mouth.

I have found that they don’t speak because they’re actually listening. They’re taking it all in and deciding if it’s worthy of their time to contribute to the conversation. And if they decide it’s important, then they share their wisdom. 

Let’s think about that wise person. Do you also consider them an authority figure? In a sales situation, YOU want to be the authority figure. 

As salespeople, talking is our job. It is important to ask our clients questions so we can learn where they are and what they want. If you ask questions that they find valuable – that’s where they talk. 

You are their guide to keep them on track.

Guide their journey through learning and confirming to themselves what they already know they want. By being that person who listens to them. They will learn to trust you in you, because who doesn’t like someone that listens to them talk about themselves? 

If you ask someone a question and you feel you need more information and they’re either holding back from you or they’re just not talking then, then wait a few seconds after they finish speaking.

It may feel like forever, especially at first. But most likely, your prospect will probably keep on answering the question you asked. Because they, like most people, are very uncomfortable with silence. After listening to them, you, the wise authority figure, will give your solution (your proposal), with their permission, of course.   

Once you give your proposal, allow silence. Listening—silence type number one.  

The second type of silence is active silence.

The definition of active silence is, the strategic use of silence to achieve a result… it can be antagonizingly painful, but do your best to wait after you present your proposal. Wait for your prospect to speak first. 

I know I’ve said this before and so have many others, I am sure. But, he who speaks first looses. It’s not that they’re loosing. Because  they’re going to get the benefits of what you’re offering.  

The point is don’t talk.

Smile at them, nod your head like you’re waiting for them to talk. Maybe even write something down on a piece of paper, and eventually your prospect will talk. They may answer with a question or maybe with a comment. Maybe with an “Okay, let’s do this”. 

Your silence gives them a chance to think.  It forces them to think about your conversation and process the information. Remember your silence is your new sales BFF.

We don’t get a lot of silence these days.  Information is constantly being processed by our brain  in massive quantities,  so much that we never have time to process it. So give your client a chance to process . Active silence—silence type number 2.  

The third type of silence is the dramatic pause.

I didn’t do that right. Let’s try that again. The third type of Silence today is … … the dramatic pause. Use this during your conversation or presentation to grab your customer’s attention. 

It’s about 5 seconds of silence. You can count – 1000, 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005 – do that in your head, not in front of the customer. Just think about your new sales BFF and remain silent.

What you say next really needs to be pretty valuable, so that you reward the customer for waiting for you to speak.

Use it sparingly, before you say something that you really want them to remember.  

If you use it too much, it looses it’s drama.

Another good time to use the dramatic pause

is if you feel the person you’re speaking with is drifting away; you can use this short dramatic pause. It pulls the person back, it gets their attention with your brief silence, and gets their attention back with you. 

If you are talking so much that you’re loosing someone, it’s also time for some interaction and questions to get them back involved and engage with you, 

Because most people are very uncomfortable with silence, when you become comfortable with silence by learning how, when and where to use it, it provides you with a new sales tool that you can use everyday in your interactions with people.  

You can also use it when someone asks you a difficult, or even a not so difficult question.

It’s okay to wait several seconds before you give your answer. It either gives you a chance to form your answer or gives you a chance to just help keep control of the conversation and keep the conversation moving forward in the direction that you want it to. 

Silence is Your BFF in Sales - Using Awkward Silences to Close the Sale
Silence is a powerful sales tool when you know how to use it.

Let’s review the three types of silence you can use to increase your sales.

Listening, to learn information from and about your prospects. 

Active silence—to allow your client to think.

The Dramatic Pause—to emphasize your point and keep your potential engaged and in control.

Try using one or all of these this week. They do require practice.  and sometimes nerves of steel, but in the end you will find that allowing silence to be your new BFF will increase your sales and get more referrals. Through these silences, people will come to know you as a listener and someone that truly cares for their best interests.  

When you find yourself talking too much in your sales presentations, remember your new sales BFF, silence, and stop talking.

To learn more about other types of non-verbal communication skills to help you close sales, you can watch my YouTube video by clicking here.

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