I’m about to reveal to you a sales technique that will make you more money, close you more deals, and bring you more sales opportunities than any other sales technique that I know of. If you master its usage and can bring the emotional and mental discipline to bear to use it, you will profit. It’s that simple.
Yes, that’s the technique. Shut up. I have seen more salespeople lose deals or carve themselves into unprofitability from nervous speech than from any other sales technique failure. Marketers are especially bad at not shutting up. Once you’ve shared some information that should provoke a reaction, learn to keep your speech turned off (and I say that because it includes text chat, email chains in your inbox, replies on Facebook, and conversations on the phone and in person) and wait for the reaction.
Why shut up? Because people think and process at different speeds. I’ve sat through sales presentations of mediocre salespeople that are literal 25 minute marathons of speech, uninterrupted. No chances for questions, conversation, or thinking, just a long run and a hope that by the end, the prospect is ready to buy. Rarely ever works out that way.
Why do we do this to ourselves? One of our failures as content generators, as content creators is the mistaken belief that we need to be providing speech as content all the time to keep a prospect engaged. Nothing could be further from the truth, but constant content seem like something we should be doing because of our online culture. Sometimes it’s from nervousness or a sense of awkwardness, but more often I think it’s from a sense that we should be constantly providing content as speech.
Here’s the even more secret flip side: if you master the ability to shut up and wait for the other person to say something, chances are their own nervousness at uncomfortable silence will provoke them into saying something first, and then it’s your game.
So how do you shut up? How do you subdue that sense of awkwardness, anxiety, and discomfort that comes from silence in a world that is anything but? Everyone will have their own methods that work best with them. My favorite that I picked up from my sales training days is to have an earworm stuck in your brain that you can invoke when needed. This song and video will buy you 5 minutes, 7 seconds of silence, more than enough to win any deal. Just replay it in your head:
The bonus of something funny like this video is that it will put a smile on your face as you replay it and enjoy it. Instead of playing a virtual or real staring game with sweat pouring down your face, you can mentally relax yourself in the middle of a meeting and reset any anxiety you’ve built up.
Learn the power of shutting up, and you’ll have an advantage that very few people are prepared to deal with.
And with that, I’ll shut up and let you talk in the comments.
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