On Tuesday August 18, I will be in Framingham, Massachusetts delivering two half day seminars at a conference center. That’s my shameless plug. This week’s sales tip has to do with making the arrangements and choosing the location.
Framingham is a strategic location. Within a one hour drive is southern NH, Boston and the surrounding communities, Providence, RI, and even Hartford, CT (if you drive REALLY fast!). So, I found a few hotels and made some inquiries.
The sales manager from one conference center called me with a price for the online request that I had posted. He reviewed the specs, asked a couple of questions (like, “Do you want to rent a projector and screen for $600???”) and then submitted the price and asked, “How does that look?” As I was writing it down, there was dead silence. I was writing it down! But the silence must have rattled him because he blurted out, “I can probably do better if you need it.”
I almost laughed out loud. He exemplified the old saying, “After you ask for the order, stop talking. The next person to speak, loses.”
Silence is a powerful tool. It can work for you, like when you are giving a speech and you want to get people’s attention. It can work against you, like when you can’t see the customer’s reaction.
This <<brief gap>> was only five seconds. Didn’t it seem like more? That’s how powerful silence is. As hard as it is to want to fill the dead air, resist the urge to speak. If you are in front of someone, calmly look them in the eyes. If you are on the phone, keep your mouth shut. It might seem like an eternity, but believe me, you’ll do more harm than good by being the next one to utter a word.