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Silence is often underestimated. Interestingly it serves two purposes in a business discussion. It can allow the other person to talk, or even force them to speak.
Regardless of the application of silence, when used with effective listening, you can drive a business conversation into a successful outcome.
Anxiety and excitement can easily drive you down the rabbit hole of offering solutions without having a clear understanding of the business situation/problem. Unfortunately, a solution is only valid if it meets a known problem or business situation.
Never be in a haste to speak, listen to understand the business context so you can gather your thoughts and drive the conversation towards a meaningful outcome.
There’s nothing worse than rambling for hours only to realise your audience was completely misunderstood or uninterested. What’s more frustrating is when you’re unable to tell what point the disconnection happened.
Find opportunities to pause and ask for feedback. Ask if there are any questions so far, or if clarity is required. Pauses also allow you to get a reaction from your audience and use their feedback to determine your next move, or words.
When speaking becomes over-speaking, you risk losing the opportunity you have already secured. This is particularly important in sales especially when the prospect has shown interest in buying or made a verbal decision.
Don’t talk yourself out of a deal by sharing information that is relevant after a deal is won. Focus on what matters and if there’s nothing else to say, thank them, clarify next steps and call it a day.
Built a CRM Tool. Company Founder. Consultant for Customer Service & Customer Experience
There’s a thin line between speaking and overspeaking. Sometimes it is best to be the listener. Recognising the importance of silence and how to use it as a tactical tool in business is an art a lot of successful salesman have mastered. So here are some of the practical tips I have taken into my business that have also worked for me.
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