VALUE OF SILENCEDirk Zeller
The difference between great and good is very little. It’s the last inch, or two, that separates great from good. It could be the smallest detail that gets overlooked by most people, but to the person who wants to achieve greatness, it is never overlooked.
In selling, it’s the little nuances of what we say and how we say it. It’s the properly selected words we use to convince the client to move forward. Too often, we wing it without spending the time to properly craft the questions. When the questions are delivered well, they will elicit the response we desire. In selling, we need to be a wordsmith. Just as a master silversmith works with silver to craft an elegant tea service, we must work with our words to craft a compelling reason to do business with us. A master silversmith spends time refining the silver over fire. The heat of the fire removes the impurities from the silver. The mold is then built for the silver to be poured into. Once cooled, the silver piece is polished to brilliance.
Your words must go through the same steps to achieve perfection. As a good salesperson, you must think, write, and rewrite your words; especially the key words contained in your prospecting scripts, listing presentation, and objection handling scripts. You then need to mold these words into a comprehensive and cohesive presentation. The presentation needs to address the benefits of doing business with you, versus anyone else. It must focus on the client and clearly answer the question: Why should I hire you? Just as the silversmith will fail if the mold is inferior, so will the salesperson. Check your mold.
Next, you must polish the presentation. You need to spend hours perfecting the delivery. The silversmith polishes the silver until it shines with brilliance. He will spend hours upon hours making it perfect. Then, when it is perfect, he stamps his logo, or signature, on the piece. When was the last time you practiced your scripts? When was the last time you taped your listing presentation? You stamp your signature on every presentation. How good is your signature?
One of the key areas between good and great in the presentation is the silence. It’s the silence after a direct question. Too many sales people fear the dead space in a conversation and think they have to fill it up. That need to fill the void will keep you from greatness in sales. The void of silence causes our client or prospect to think. At this moment the sale is made.
Arthur Rubenstein, the world famous pianist, was once asked, “How do you handle the notes on the page as well as you do?” He responded, “I handle the notes no better than many others, but the pauses…ah! That is where the art resides.” Your sale process needs to be like a great piece of music. It causes a reaction and emotion from your client or prospect. The real artistry is in the pauses. It’s in the void of quiet after the question. Don’t run through the pauses with another question or statement. Let the power of the pause take over. Rubenstein would let the note resonate throughout the hall. Let your question resonate in the conference room, living room…wherever you are making your presentation.
If you step into the pause you invalidate, or soften, the last question. You are at the moment of truth. You will find out valuable information about your client or prospect at that moment. The power of silence is deafening. Make sure to use it to your advantage. Becoming a great salesperson requires watching the little things. Spend time daily breaking down the words and your delivery. Invest your time into practice. Perfect your craft of sales. Lastly, work to create and leave the pause in the presentation. There is immense power in the pause.