The silence was almost deafening.
I could here him over the phone shifting in his chair. He grunted. He let out an audible, low sounding groan.
I could almost see him sitting in his house rubbing his forehead trying to make a decision.
The silence had lasted like this 20 seconds.
A whole minute.
I glanced at my iPhone.
"Has it really been almost two minutes?!" I thought to myself. I thought back over the tens of thousands of sales I've done in my life. "Have I ever really let it be silent this long?"
Two and a half minutes.
The breathing on the other end of the phone was growing heavier. I could practically hear the wheels turning in his head.
I almost couldn't wait any longer. I knew I should, but this was a bit much. And I started a dialogue in my own head about how long to wait when all of a sudden...
"Okay. I'm going to do it."
From the other side of the phone I felt the relief and bated joy in his words.
"Okay great!" I responded, feeling the ease and happiness he let out as he said the words.
He grunted as he stood up and got his card from his wallet.
"Do you take American Express?"
"I sure do," I said, glad I hadn't given into the silence.
I ran his $5,000 payment for coaching.
And ten weeks later he was singing praises to my name because his business and his life had been forever changed.
Silence can be hard in conversations. And never more so than in a sales conversation. But, if you're going to be successful at in-person or over the phone sales you have to learn to love it.
Really no questions asked here.
You just have to learn to love it.
When I was younger (and still sometimes when I'm off my game) I forget this Eternal Principle of Sales:
Keepeth Thy Mouth Shutteth.
The more you talk the less likely you are to make the sale. The more they talk the more likely you are to close them. And when they ask questions, tell them the bare minimum. Don't give them a backstory, your life story, or any story. Just answer the question and don't ramble.
Marc Wayshak, author of Game Plan Selling: The Definitive Rulebook for Closing the Sale in the Age of the Well-Informed Prospect, says this:
Most salespeople talk way too much. In today’s market, chatty salespeople are champing at the bit to swamp prospects with information. My research shows that the average salesperson talks over 81 percent of the time in a selling situation.
Not only is that approach ineffective, it’s losing you sales. You can close more sales, simply by talking less.
Is this you?
If so then it's an easy fix.
You just have to start being comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
It's not easy. Even for the most seasoned person in sales.
And in the story I wrote above it wasn't even easy for me.
But it works.
When you give someone the final price of your product or service the key is then to just wait.
And wait. And wait some more.
Almost as if it's some vocalized poker game, the Eternal Principles of Sales here is to never be the first one to speak.
When they finally speak make sure that you answer their questions and concerns and nothing else.
And if you do this you'll see your sales begin to change and your closing ratio begin to soar.
So go practice being uncomfortable.
You'll be glad you did.