Shut Up – The Power of Silence

by Brian on May 4, 2010

“The first person to speak loses.”

That’s the first thing my first sales manager taught me.

He had been selling for a solid 25 years and it was one of the first things his first sales manager taught him.

It took me getting a few sales under my belt to really get it. But once I did, it became the most powerful tool in my arsenal.

The power of silence is awesome.

So what does “The first person to speak loses” mean?

When you ask a question, shut up and wait for an answer. Don’t say ANYTHING.

If you do, you automatically give up control.

  • Your goal of any negotiation should be “WIN/WIN” where both you and the other party walk away happy.
  • Typically your buyer is looking for a “WIN/I don’t care about you” negotiation.

Buyers want what’s best for them. No matter how much rapport you think you have with a client, they will take a discount over your friendship any day of the week.

When you present price for a product or service, present it, then shut up.

The power of silence is amazing. When you ask a question then look at the person and slightly raise your eyebrows like you are anticipating a response, it’s very hard for the other person not to respond.

If you present a price and the other person is silent, wait until they speak before you open your mouth.

Too many salespeople get anxious when there is silence and feel there is a need to fill the void with the sound of their voice… that’s wrong.

If you have to sit in silence for 10 minutes, so be it… If it takes 30 minutes, who cares? Sit there and keep your mouth shut.

This will help you stay in control of the sale.

If you lose control of the sale, you’ll either leave money on the table or lose the sale in its entirety.

The second thing that same manager taught me was…

“You can talk your way out of a sale as fast as you can talk yourself into one.”

So once a person says, “Yes,” they want to buy… SHUT UP and fill out the order.

There’s no need to go over any more details or to keep on listing features and benefits. There’s no need to talk about the weather or what they are doing this weekend. There’s no need to talk about sports, religion or politics.

If your prospect says “Yes,” accept it for what it is… a “yes.”

It doesn’t matter if you are face-to-face or over-the-phone… Shutting up and using the power of silence will increase your sales.

“You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, you should use them accordingly.” Covey

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