A successful sale is a rewarding experience for both the client and the sales professional. But what does it take to be successful? Although a number of elements such as building a trusting relationship and credibility contribute to making the sale, being silent is an especially important technique. Silence can make or break the deal because as the card player in the The Gambler sings, “you have to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em and know when to walk away.”
Silence is powerful in any important relationship. In sales, being silent provides an opportunity for you to listen to your client; learn about their needs; and provide them with the space they need to make their decision to buy from you … over and over again. Use these three strategies to yield powerful results for you and your client:
Focus on yourself
As you prepare to meet your client, especially for the first time, find a quiet space to focus on yourself. By being silent you can calm yourself with deep breathing techniques. You can also use visualization to focus on a win-win outcome, which can provide you with more confidence to make a great first impression.
When you are silent and in a curious state of mind you:
- Offer your full presence to your client
- Calm the many distracting thoughts that may come into your mind
- Create the space for clients to outline their challenges while you listen to their expressed and unexpressed needs
Ask the question and then give them space
Asking questions is a way of exploring if what the client has outlined as the challenge is their real need. An open question that needs a thoughtful response requires enough space for the client to be comfortable. Silence at this time can often feel awkward for both parties and if you can provide reassurance that the client can take the time they need you will get a less rushed, more informative answer.
Selling is a process of building a meaningful relationship with your client. They buy based on emotional needs and clients want to trust you when they talk about how to meet those needs. Silence, offered strategically and authentically, has the power to make or break the deal. Which card do you want to play?