“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” -- Mark Twain
Most of us were placed in our current position because we are “talented talkers.” We have become very good at knowing the right thing to say to move someone to buy. The challenge has been that the success we have seen was mostly selling tangible items. Selling a tangible product requires the emotional connection the customer experiences when they see something that moves them and then we describe it in terms that take them from interest to desire. Selling a tangible product demands creating desire. Selling an intangible item requires discovering a need! Top-performing salespeople ask good questions and listen carefully to the responses. However, those who have mastered the art of helping customers buy employ the skill of the “intentional pause.” Here are a couple of the benefits of knowing when to be quiet and pause:
Interruptions are Interrupted! Interrupting the other person tells them you are not listening to them and not interested in what they are saying. The level of trust in a conversation determines the outcome. And when you interrupt, the trust level that may have been built earlier is destroyed. When you pause after a customer answers a question, even for just a few seconds, it will put a stop to interruptions. And many times, they will continue talking and tell you more about themselves and their circumstances. The ability to help someone make the best decision is dependent on our understanding them and their situations. So we must listen much more than we talk.
We mistakenly think that when a customer stops talking, they want to hear our response. Many times, they are thinking about what they just said and deciding whether to talk more or listen to your response. Pause with them, and let the moment determine who talks next. The pause is more powerful than the push!
Pausing Compliments the Customer! When a customer stops talking, pausing gives everyone an opportunity to see the value in what was just said. When we take a few seconds, take a deep breath, think about what the customer said to us, it is a compliment to them! Most of us, whether we are a customer or the one selling, feel that no one listens to us. When someone finds a true listener and someone that considers what is being said, it opens the conversation up, and key information comes to the surface. And it can lead to better decisions and a better ownership experience.
One of the most appreciated compliments you can pay to anyone is to listen to them! When they talk more, you gather key information that will help them self-discover their need for your offering. They need us to guide them through the maze of what they should buy and why they should buy. The more information we have, the more effectively we can do that. Nobody wants to be sold, yet they love to buy! They need help, they need someone who knows the power of the pause and the power of listening. Seeing higher levels of profit and income is based more on our ability to listen than our ability to talk. Stop, listen and pause, and your customers will appreciate your professionalism and how helpful you are in the buying process.
There are three levels of performance in any selling position. Amateur, professional and master. The master knows one of the most important parts of communication is the listener’s intentional pause. You become more valuable to your customer, and that is a refreshing experience for them. They love you, you love what you do, and everyone loves the results! Let’s pause on our way to the top!
Rick McCormick is national account development manager for Reahard & Associates.
Originally posted on F&I and Showroom