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The Effective Use Of Silence In Closing
By Jim Kasper, President & CEO, Interactive Resource Group

It has tremendous significance in our approach to sales negotiations and closing. To depict the point, we've used the phrase silence is closing in many of our sales training sessions.

"After asking for the order, he who speaks first........... loses!"
-Anonymous


Those of us who are professional salespeople can relate to the above quotation. It has tremendous significance in our approach to sales negotiations and closing. To depict the point, we've used the phrase silence is closing in many of our sales training sessions. What is it about silence that makes us feel that we must fill the airwaves with words? To illustrate how speaking too much or overselling can kill the sale. Let's review a field case study.

Case:
Fred was a veteran sales representative for All Points Paper Company, a manufacturer of bathroom paper products. The company had just come out with a new product for restroom sanitation and a large university in the mid-west had requested more information and a demonstration from Fred and the local distributor. After a successful demonstration, the sales manager for the distributor asked for the order. There were a few very brief moments of silence and then old Fred began selling, again. The university buyer became annoyed with Fred's babble and asked the local distributor's sales manager to quiet Fred. The university buyer told the local distributor sales manager that he was already sold. He liked the product. He already knew how it was going to save staff time and shave off a big piece of the university's operating budget. Fred kept right on going, spewing the product features faster than a speeding bullet. Finally the university buyer stood up, excused himself, and never ordered.

What transpired here is a classic example of what we see everyday with both veteran and new sales people. After you ask for the order, let there be silence! Silence gives the customer time to think about the proposition and give you an answer. It shows respect. When you are trying to close a sale, you are asking for the buyer's opinion. Let him give it to you. If you speak first, answer your own question, or continue to sell, you will disrupt and possibly derail your sales cycle. 

Silence will also give you time
to anticipate any objections or stalls. It is true in the profession of sales, that both:
  • Silence is golden (at closing).
  • You will lose (the order) if you speak first!
Keep these rules in mind at your next close; they'll help you from being shown the door like our friend, Fred!


Jim Kasper is the Founder and President of Interactive Resource Group. Mr. Kasper has over 26 years of practical experience in direct sales, sales management, sales training, and marketing. Contact him at www.salestrainers.com or call 800-891-7355

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