Using silence

I like smart people that always find ways to sell something without being pushy.  That tempts me to think of ways of doing some of it myself. I keep reading a lot on that and write some myself.  Sample my earlier pieces here

Recently I read a very insightful post by Jill Konrath on the topic of selling.  It’s a long post, but I would excerpt and edit the moot aspects for the sake of contextual brevity.

All managers would love to but struggle answering the question “What is the one single thing that you or your company could do in the upcoming 12 months that would dramatically impact your sales?”

It makes them stop and think, “Hmm. What would that one thing be? New offerings? More calls? Additional allocation to our marketing budget? Which would have the most impact?”

When they answer you’ll learn a whole lot about what’s going on in their organization, what the big challenges are, the decision maker’s perspective on the issues and solutions and so much more.

But they can’t think of all that in just two or three seconds.

They need much longer to ponder the question, to play around with it in their mind and to sort through their options.

In fact, research shows they need 8-10 seconds to formulate the start of their answer. And once they get talking, they think of more ideas.

If you’re like most sellers, silence drives you crazy. When you’re talking with a prospective customer and there’s a brief lull in the discussion, I bet you jump right in to fill it. When you cut them off at only 2-3 seconds, you lose in more ways than you can imagine.

  • You don’t get the benefit of your good question. You never learn all the good stuff they could be telling you if you’d just kept your mouth shut a little longer.
  • When you don’t learn all this info, it’s so much harder to sell anything because you don’t know how your offering can make the biggest difference to your customer.
  • Besides that, your customer thinks that you’re self-serving and only interested in achieving your own objectives. (Isn’t that what you think when people keep cutting you off?)
  • You don’t establish a positive relationship with the person, so they really don’t want to meet with you again.

And all this happens because you don’t know how to count beyond three.I think it’s a great insight.  The value of silence in selling is rarely talked about. Mostly people focus on what they’re going to say. 

Get Jill’s full post here.  Anyways tell me what do you think.


2 Responses to “Using silence”

  1. sundara Says:

    Lord Dakshinamoorthy explained to his disciples , the ‘Sanakaathis’ , the essence of ‘Gnana- the absolute Knowledge’ through His divine silence. The sloka runs thus ‘mouna vaakya prakatitha Brahma tatwam uvaanam…….swaatma ramam muditha vadanam Dakshinamoorthy meete’
    Ramana Maharshi observed silence for years, a time most of his diciples enjoyed his presence and togetherness
    The lion observes silence (thapas) as it judges the movement of its prey and the leap following such a silence wins his bread
    The silence before the storm!
    Thus the silence is golden. Its dynamic. The energy then conceived is pregnant with potentiality.

  2. krish Says:

    Great points… I liked the lion analogy that helps it survive…Ramana maharshi is a great saint (hence not for all) and the Storm causes devastation ( I love peace).

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