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etailinsights eCommerce Data and Sales Blog

Sales Hack: Use Silence in Sales Conversations

By Darren Pierce on Jun 29, 2016 3:27:38 PM


etailinsights eCommerce Data and Sales Blog

Sales Hack: Use Silence in Sales Conversations

posted by Darren Pierce


2006-08-23 - Road Trip - Day 31 - United States - Oklahoma - Route 66 - Missouri - Quiet Zone - Cutout - Sign - Yellow

I’m a middle school boys basketball coach at a Quaker school in Durham, NC. Although I am not a Quaker, I’ve learned a lot from those who worship under the “Religious Society of Friends.” They are brilliant, confident, and peaceful people. Each day school begins with a period of “Settling In,” where everyone sits in a circle in complete silence for approximately 5 minutes. Quakers value silence as a time of reflection, to consider what you are going to do, have done, want to do, and more.

Obviously, hearing someone talk doesn’t allow us to truly reflect and ponder the future. We can learn a lot from this practice and apply it to our sales conversations.

Sales Hack:  Use Silence in Sales Conversations

In a SaaS sales demo, we are doing the majority of the talking. But this doesn’t mean you have to spew as many words as possible at a prospect in a 20 minute demo. Remember, the person listening can’t truly reflect on what you are saying if you don’t give them time to “settle in.” You are throwing an amazing amount of material at them in a rapid fire pace. If you don’t stop talking for 5 to 10 seconds, and let them think, they will never have time to decide to buy.

Of note, this does NOT mean you stop talking and ask them a question. Doing this prompts them to think about an answer, then talk … again giving them no time to reflect on the past, their pain, your product, and the future. Constant break-pumping with questions in the middle of your demo comes across as choppy and bush league. Using silence is much more effective than abruptly asking a stupid question such as “Does that make sense?” Or, “Do you agree?” The time for asking questions was before your demo, when you were diagnosing the pain. Now is the time to show off your product and use silence to let them “settle in” to it.

Take a note from the Quakers and try sitting in silence at least 4 times during a 20 minute SaaS sales demo. You’ll be surprised what happens. Often it prompts your prospect to wake up, speak, ask a question, or tip their hand as to how they are feeling so far.

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Written by Darren Pierce

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