Persuasive power of silence or the kryptonite for salespeople: If there were a kryptonite for those who need to persuaded daily on a one to one basis that would be silence. There is a saying that “silence is golden” and nowhere else is that truer than in the persuasion process. Most salespeople who have to deal with silence get weak results just from no words coming from a client or perspective client because they do not know how to deal with it.
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The fear alone from the silence costs persuaders and companies plenty of money every day of the year.
Now you may think that silence on the part of a buyer or purchaser is a bad think but you may want to rethink that situation for a few moments. Buyers sometimes need silence to make their decision and your constant talking is stopping them from thinking, even worse it may show a lack of confidence in your product or service. The stall in thinking causes the buyer to now think about a few things and if you could step inside their mind you would probably hear:
“why is that guy or girl talking still I just need a second to work out the finances in my head” and then “you know who talks too much, my cousin Jimmy and you know who will give me grief for getting this super charged widget Jimmy’s dad Steve now I don’t want to deal with Steve so how do I get out of buying this widget I will say I wanna think about it”.
Silence in the persuasive process one on one can be your best friend if you know how to set up the situation correctly. Maybe you learned covert hypnosis and or the ability to lead to the decision through the use of presuppositions and found how productive you could be from being silent.
Silence as a negotiation strategy
Do you really want to see how good a persuader is? You will know by how they deal with their own silence or the silence of the person or the people they need to get to make a change, write a check or to get an answer. You can literally use silence to negotiate on your behalf. The next time that you go to buy something after the number of the product or the service is rolled out just be quite for about 20 – 30 seconds and the seller or rookie persuader will find their kryptonite and will start dropping their price or start giving things away as a way to squash the silence.
Most sales people don’t realize how the silence can be their friend and how much pressure it puts on their buyer, people being persuaded or even a group. In general people don’t know how to deal with a quiet pause for as little as 15 seconds.
Persuasion home work:
So you want to get people to your way of thinking? As a simple strategy the next time that you are asked a question just pause for a second or two and see what the reaction is by the person who is asking the question. You may see them get frustrated, annoyed, complaint or even surprised that you didn’t automatically react to the question or the request. Over time you will be able to wait longer between answering questions or even be able to become silent longer after asking a question.
A word of caution, you will want to use silence in low value conversations that do not matter not for items or conversations that matter. When someone asks you where you want to go to lunch would be a low value conversation. Now on the other hand if a significant other asks if you love them and you have told them yes before pausing to answer will cause some interesting issues.
Be patient with others in the persuasion process to learn more and how to become more effective, for most people instant knowledge does not ever happen.
Now go implement!
Scott Sylvan Bell
Persuasion kryptonite and the power of silence: Video Credit persuasion expert Scott Sylvan Bell