Is This Killing Your Sales?

It’s no secret that many people struggle in sales. In my 20 + years in the sales industry, I’ve found that there is one very specific area that even some of the most seasoned sales veterans struggle with.

Have you ever heard the phrase “the silence is deafening”? This unequivocally applies to sales, and more specifically when you are closing your sale. Most sales people really struggle with that little space and time when they make an offer to a potential client, and then the client doesn’t respond right away. This silence is where your prospect processes the information you’ve provided in order to make a decision. The reality is that we as salespeople just tend to get really nervous during this time. If we don’t get a “yes” right away, we assume it’s going to be a “no,” and we want to start battling against it before it’s even an obstacle. Not a good move.

We end up trying to give our prospect more information to help lead them to the “yes,” but truthfully, this is the last thing they need. Giving more information is likely to create resistance, not defuse it. When your prospect needs more information they’ll ask a question, or they’ll have an objection. What they need in that moment of silence, is exactly that – SILENCE.

Let’s say I was going to go old school and do the classic pros and cons list in my head to figure out whether I should purchase. Well, if that process gets interrupted, it throws everything off. If you’re the person that’s interrupting your potential client’s thought process by throwing more information at them, you are likely to irritate them, and you’re probably going to lose your sale. The worst thing about that is you’ve probably done a great job up to that point if they are ready to make a decision.

Why shouldn’t you be nervous about the silence? What typically happens is if it’s a “no,” it’s a “no” right away. If there’s a pause or a hesitation your prospect is more than likely trying to process things to determine how they can make the purchase, how do they get the funds, or how does it impact them from a scheduling perspective. You’ll want to note, these are all buying questions!

The bottom line is, silence sells. You must be okay with the silence as a salesperson. So your prospect has a question. Give a response, and just shut up. Cover your mouth if you have to (this is hard to do subtly when you’re in person or on a video call…)

I remember the first time that I offered my coaching for the rate that it is today. My high-level VIP Coaching is not what I would call “inexpensive”. In fact, it’s a significant investment. I was terrified when I quoted the price. This was on a video call, so I simply stared at my own image, ensuring I didn’t show any type of emotion (fear or excitement). I knew I had to keep the silence. After I began my stoic stare. the prospect sat there thinking, for what seemed to be hours (I think it was closer to 2 minutes if I’m being honest, but it felt like forever). He processed the value I had presented and compared it to the investment.

Finally, he broke the silence and said, “That makes a lot of sense.” He followed with questions about how to make payments work. There wasn’t a single negotiation around the actual price or investment for the program. The conversation was around things like payment schedules and timelines. There was no resistance to the actual offer!

The silence sells. That’s the bottom line. Once you make an offer, just shut up. If you’d like a good example from a movie, go back and watch Boiler Room. There’s a scene where Vin Diesel’s character dives in to close a doctor as a new client. After a brief chat where his whole focus is about intriguing the doctor and playing on his fear of missing out (not a strategy I’m recommending, but it makes for a great movie scene) he makes one final statement, “Now I have a million other calls to make to a million other doctors who are already in-the-know. I can’t walk you through this, I’m sorry” and then he holds the phone receiver up toward the training floor indicating he is waiting for the doctor to break the silence. After a few seconds, and then the doctor comes back with the decision to buy.

Next time you make a sales call, pay attention to yourself. What are you doing? How are you hurting your sale?

And if you really want to up your game, go ahead and grab my 5C’s of Successful Sales Conversations to guide you through converting your prospects into 5-figure sales.

Get Uncomfortable. Get Results.
– Jeremy S. DeMerchant, The Sales Strategist

Permission To Sell Blog