Successful sales conversations don’t always flow seamlessly. While you may panic at the thought of “awkward silences,” they actually can be a good thing. According to a recent HubSpot post written by Emma Brudner, a bit of silence should be embraced. She shares seven reasons why you should keep quiet when the other person goes silent, a few of which are below:
Silence helps you stand your ground. By not letting the silence get to you, you are less likely to throw out a freebie or discount. “Don't undercut yourself before your buyer states their objections,” Brudner explains. “There will be plenty of time to make concessions, but don't make offers you'll regret later just because you're afraid of a little silence.”
Silence encourages the prospect to lead. Listening is vital to successful sales. By staying silent, you encourage the other person to speak up, giving you the chance to listen and gain vital insights (and build trust).
Silence allows the other person to think. Not everyone is quick to reply. Some people want time to thoroughly consider what the other person has said before choosing their own words. If you’ve made an offer, silence may be a good indication that your proposal is being considered. Your haste to fill in the silence may disrupt his or her thinking process.
Silence reengages. If the person is zoning out or distracted, total silence will pull him or her back into the conversation. “Once your silence has accomplished its goal, touch base with your prospects and ask if you're still on the same page, or if there's anything you can do to make the conversation more meaningful for their business,” she suggests. “The result is a more fruitful conversation for them, and a more engaged audience for you.”
These are just a few opportunities presented by silence; it’s up to you use lapses in conversation to your advantage. So the next time you’re faced with an awkward silence, avoid the temptation to fill it with rambling. By giving the other person space, you are giving your own words more impact.