He who speaks… A time to be…

He who speaks…first probably loses

If we hope to succeed in the end goal of our sales presentation, we obviously have to understand the importance of delivering a solid close at its’ conclusion.

And we know that a good sales close means posing a question that can’t be easily answered with a simple “no”, or the (artful) application of an assumed agreement to buy. Of course, we might also present one down the middle of the two, like a choice of installation dates.

For the most part we’re pretty disciplined about delivering one of those options. What we’re prone to not doing is being quiet after we present one of them. Admittedly waiting for that prospect to reply can seem like an eternity. As Einstein once opined, “Two minutes spent watching a pretty girl can seem like a few seconds, while two seconds sitting on a hot stove can feel like two minutes.

Admittedly waiting in silence is a pressure cooker for you – but remember the other party feels it too. Speak and take him off the hook after waiting that two second (that feels like two minutes) and you likely just derailed your sale. Being silent after delivering that close is hard. It may not be what the creator of “silence is golden” had in mind when he coined it, but it sure fits.

Next up: Rinse and repeat (that close).

A time to be …really invisible

So you’re knee deep in your pitch and the prospect’s cell rings. He answers and it becomes immediately apparent that the topic of that call is not good news. Let’s say it was a vendor telling him that a critical delivery won’t be coming as promised. And from his comments it’s clear that’s beyond bad news. In fact he’s really miffed. As he ends that call your instinct is to comment on what you heard and commiserate with him.

Big mistake. Do that and your sales presentation is probably finished. Let’s start with what you should have done immediately when he answered. Your find a spot on a distant wall and stare at it. You become invisible. And while you’re waiting you get set to repeat the last sentence you uttered before that call or, an in-person interruption.

And as soon as he ends it, or the interloper leaves you begin with, “As I was saying earlier ….” And go on with your presentation as though the interruption had never occurred. Now it may be that his mood is so soured that you’re going to have to wave off the attempt and come back another day. But chances are fair to good that by picking up exactly where you left off you might just save the day. One thing’s certain, jump in the middle of that muddle and you’ll likely regret it.