Rocket Fuel -Silence is Golden
Today’s Rocket Fuel is about the most powerful closer of all. In this excerpt from my book, TOP Seller, Bob Stephens, alias Rocket-Man, is meeting with Jay, his manager, to talk about the best ways to motivate clients and prospects to respond to his recommendations:
After a moment Jay starts again. “So Bob, exactly how do you ask them to act?” I think to myself and then begin. “There are a number of ways you can do it. You can cut straight to the chase and say, “Based on what we have learned about your situation, we both agree there is a problem as well as a solution. I would like to take the next steps to put that solution in place. Does that sound fair?” Or, if you have presented a couple of different solutions, you might say, “These are two possible solutions to your problem. Which solution do you feel best meets your needs today?” Another possible way to get them to act is to simply assume the sale is made. If they agree with their need, and understand how your solution solves their problem, you can assume you have made the sale and start by taking the appropriate steps - like completing the paperwork.” “Great ideas, Bob. After you have asked the question, what’s next?” I sit there, saying nothing. After a long and pregnant pause, a smile spreads across Jay’s face, and he is smiling when he says, “You’re right Bob, silence is the most powerful closer of all. Once you have asked them to act, you have to shut up and wait for them to respond - the silence can be uncomfortable, but you have to hang in there. After all, if you have given them all the information they need to make a decision, there’s nothing more that needs to be said.”
Silence truly is the best closer of all. You see, as long as you are talking, you will never know what your prospect or client is thinking. Here are some tips on using silence to your advantage:
Be clear when you make your request whether it be in the form of a question or a statement. For example, "Based on what you are telling me, it appears as though you have some needs that should be taken care of. What do you think would be the best way to address them?". Once you have made your point, be quiet. Don't jump in to add more detail or more information.
Be careful of eye contact, silence is a powerful tool to draw people out by itself. You might consider breaking eye contact to give the individual time to reflect. Stay totally relaxed while they search for the words or the answer.
Finally, he/she who speaks first, loses! Don't underestimate how difficult it can be to remain silent during a pregnant pause. If you have made your point, you need to stay silent until they respond.
So, when you ask that closing question, remember, silence truly can be golden!
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