When you pause before you speak, it compels your prospect to listen, open up, respond, and engage. Pausing is one of the secrets to influencing buyer behavior.
The Power of the Pause
Used wisely and strategically, the pause – and the moment of silence it creates – helps you influence buyer behavior. In sales, what you don’t say can often be more impactful than words. There are seven key places in the sales process in which you should pause before you speak, allowing silence to do the work for you.
After you say your prospect’s name
Once your prospect hear’s her name, she tends to listen closely to the next 15-20 words. It’s a habit that has been honed into us from birth. By pausing before you speak, after using the person’s name, you grab their attention and cause them to engage.
After you ask a question
After you ask a question, give your prospect space to respond. Discipline yourself to be quiet. They will fill in the space that your pause creates, and give you the information you need to close the sale.
After a trial close
With trial closes and confirmation questions such as, “Does that make sense?’ or “Are you following?” pause before you speak to allow the question to sink in and allow your prospect to respond. Let the silence do its magic. Listen closely to the tone of the client’s response. If it is hesitant and unsure, stop and go back by saying, “Jeannie, I hear some hesitancy there.”
After an objection
When you get an objection remain silent for a few seconds. First, it gives you time to process the objection and develop an appropriate response strategy. Secondly, it suggests that you are giving the objection fair analysis. This positions you as a thoughtful and respectful sales professional.
After handling the objection
Similarly, use the pause after you answer the objection. If you respond to a price or product objection, conclude by asking, “Does that answer your question?” Pause. Wait for the response. Listen to the tone. Evaluate it. Respond accordingly.
After you make a key point
It is wise to use the pause after you mention a key feature or aspect of your product or service. This allows that feature, fact, or offer to sink in. This creates a sense of significance. It’s kind of like verbal underlining. The pause will often compel your prospect to comment, ask a question, or reveal buying signals.
After you ask for the sale
Pausing and leaving silence after asking for the sale is powerful. It is the most important place in the entire sales process to pause before you speak. The silence gives your prospect time to think and respond. It helps you avoid talking past the close and introducing objections. After you ask for the sale, shut-up.
About the author
Jim Domanski is president of Teleconcepts Consulting and works with B2B companies and individuals…