A guest post by Mark Trinkle, Chief Sales Officer, Anthony Cole Training Group
Hello, darkness, my old friend.
I’ve come to talk with you again.
Because a vision, softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping.
And the vision, that was planted in my brain,
Within the sound of silence.
So, that is the answer, courtesy of Simon & Garfunkel…And the question is this: “What song, released by a duo over 50 years ago, can help salespeople today?”
Yes, the unmistakable sound of silence. Wait a minute…does silence make a sound? If you are a professional salesperson, you would say it absolutely does. Susan Scott, the author of the wonderful book, “Fierce Conversations”, offers up some great advice when she suggests making your conversations more impact-ful by allow the silence to do the heavy lifting.
I think what Susan could have in mind are the hundreds of thousands of salespeople who treat silence like it is the Zika virus…they instantly run away from it. But, what if silence was good within the context of having a powerful conversation? What if silence led you a deeper level in a conversation?
Most salespeople are afraid of silence because they perceive it to be a) awkward or b) a sign that the prospect has checked out on them. But, remember that you can speak much faster than people can listen…so sometimes they just need to be given time to allow their internal processor to catch up.
Here’s one more thing I have observed with salespeople. They ask a great question….a killer question… the prospect goes radio silent…and then our salesperson ruins the moment by collapsing like a poorly dug prison tunnel.
Let the silence do the heavy lifting. I know it will be a strange feeling at first, but sometimes strange is actually a good thing. Give your prospect some space to process the questions you ask them.
Thanks for listening. Now, go do some heavy lifting…actually, let the silence do the heavy lifting for you…and sell like a champion today.