Best Sales Technique
Silence is an often overlooked communication tool that top salespeople use to keep their customers engaged and moving toward the close.
On today’s show you’ll discover…
- …when to use silence to convert shoppers into buyers;
- …how to avoid common mistakes and
- …why silence is One of the Best Sales Techniques Ever;
You Can Benefit from Staying Quiet
In sales we spend a lot of time talking about talking. What words should you use, how is your tone, which questions should you ask and so on. All of that is important but we often overlook how effective silence can be during a sale.
Staying quiet at the right time, can help you be a better listener, can encourage your customer to stay engaged in the process and help you close more sales.
Be a Better Listener
It’s pretty obvious how being quiet helps you be a better listener. It’s what our mothers used to tell us…you can’t listen while you’re talking and listening to your customer is vital to learn about their needs, wants and desires.
Engage Your Customer
Silence also helps engage your customer. When your customer is participating in the conversation they are more interested and excited. I can often guess, pretty accurately, the outcome of a sales presentation simply by observing how engaged the customer is through-out the discussion.
Encourage a Decision
Finally, when you use silence at the right time, you encourage your customer to make a decision. And that’s really what sales is all about isn’t it? Helping your customer make the right decision, the buying decision…and your silence provides the space for them to do it.
All of this may sound very simple, and it is, but despite that I hear salespeople misuse silence all the time. Here are some of the more common mistakes I hear salespeople make when it comes to keeping quiet during the sale.
1 – They don’t do it at all!
Some salespeople seem to think that if you rain information down on the customer non-stop they will eventually give-in and buy. One such salesperson is Matt “The Mouth”. And even though Matt is convinced if he keeps talking long enough he’ll make the sale nothing could be further from the truth.
Remember those long boring lectures you sat through in high school and college….you know when the teacher talked on and on for a full 40 minutes?Remember how you tuned out? …well that’s what happens to customers when someone like Matt doesn’t keep them engaged. They tune out and they walk out….without buying. So don’t be like Matt “the Mouth”, use silence to keep your customers engaged and excited…let them tell you their story.
2 – They talk through silence.
I’ve heard this mistake too many times. Noisy Nancy does a great job building value in the product, she presents the offer and then uses an effective close but instead of pausing and being silent…she talks right through it and it sounds like this….
“…and you get all of that for just $157.95. Now, where should we send your new hamster wheel Tom?…I mean we could send it to your office or even your home if you want. Or if you’d rather just leave it here and pick it up you can do that too, I mean whatever you think makes the most sense, it’s really up to you.”
Nancy had a nice close but because she talked right through the spot where she should’ve been quiet she let the customer off the hook. Tom didn’t need to make a buying decision after all…..
3 – Using silence in the wrong place.
Roger “Wrong Spot” closes the sale but the customer objects so he rebuts, and everything is going great until he pauses, before the close, …oh, Roger….you were so close!
“I understand, Tammy and it makes sense to involve your husband in this decision. He’s going to have two questions: 1- How much is it? and 2 – Is it going to work for you and help you sleep through the night? Well, the best way to see if it’s going to work is to try it and that’s why give you a full 30 days to try it in your home and experience the benefits for yourself………[pause]”
….and that’s where Roger pauses….the customer is left to fill the space but because they haven’t been asked a closing question a lot of times they simply object again.
However if Roger placed a pause after the tie-down he would keep Tammy involved in the discussion and by staying quiet after he closes Tammy would be prompted to make a decision.
So when are the best times to be quiet during the sales process?
Well, one of the best times is right after you ask your customer a question. When you ask a question and then stay quiet your customer feels obligated to fill the space, it’s natural and what we do in all of our conversations.
In fact, even after your customer answers, staying quiet can prompt them to give you more information. Try to hold off a second or two even when you think they’re done. They might decide to keep going and elaborate providing additional information and insight
Another great place to use silence is right after a tie-down or a minor agreement question. Again, this prompts your customer to speak, helps you maintain their attention and keeps them involved in the discussion.
Finally, an important place to stay quiet is after using an assumptive closing question. When you use silence after you close your customer needs to make a decision. Even if it feels like an uncomfortably long silence don’t speak, wait and let the customer speak first.
….and that’s it. Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as being quiet can have such a profound effect on your sales?
- Stay quiet after you ask a question
- After you tie-down
- and After you close
- get more information from your customer
- keep their attention and interest
- help them make a buying decision.
Today’s One Two Punch:
Use Silence to Encourage a Buying Decision
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