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Things Harvard Doesn’t Teach You! Silence

Chapter 7. Silence

Whatever arises, love that. — Matt Kahn

The meeting went very well.

We are in London,

one of our leaders has just delivered an excellent presentation

to British businessmen.

And I’m sure we made a pretty good impression on them.

Then there was a dramatic silence,

each looking at the other to see who would answer first.

But just as one was about to speak,

the presenter spoke up summarizing the positive aspects of the concepts just presented.

Finally, I laughed and said to the presenter:

“Oh, how happy is the silence…” Let someone else speak.

There have been many articles written about the role of silence in sales.

In most sales negotiations,

there will be times when one person has to speak

and times when no one will.

It will be difficult to get to this point

if you don’t know when to shut up.

In sales, silence has many uses.

If you stop talking and start listening,

you will be able to understand something,

and even if you don’t understand something,

you will have a chance to gather your thoughts.

Silence helps you say only what is necessary

and makes the other person talk more than you intended.

Knowing when to keep quiet has a powerful effect on impressing others.

In addition, you will not be able to achieve any commitments

if your interlocutor does not have a chance to speak.

Silence has two purposes,

either letting the other person speak or forcing the other person to speak.



The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see. — Mary Davis

I often pretend not to know the features of a situation

to get my interlocutor to speak.

I was invited to participate in the final phase of a renegotiation of a tough dispute.

The situation became serious,

lawyers for both sides arrived.

As a “newbie”, I asked the opponent to start over and explain to me,

in my own words, what he understood about the dispute.

He started talking and talked continuously for 20 minutes

(I could see his lawyer wince several times).

By the time he was finished, he had

or convinced himself

agreed to most of our previous suggestions.



The world is full of magic things,

patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. ― W.B. Yeats

If you ask a question and the answer is not satisfactory,

do not do anything.

If you need more information,

ask by keeping quiet.

Silence is empty, and one feels the need to fill it.

If one person has just finished speaking

and you do not respond but just sit still,

after a while, the other person will automatically explain more.

Over time, they’ll probably say what you want to hear.



Nothing the heart gives away is gone… it is kept in the hearts of others. — Robin St. John 

The ability to be silent

(which must be learned, almost imperceptible)

has two very important but often overlooked effects in sales.

First, it allows you to focus your thoughts and,

therefore, to be more cautious and limited in what you say.

Second, it reduces the possibility of saying more than you intend to say.



Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better. — Albert Einstein

Recently, I attended a session with a colleague

and he was looking to get a future sponsor for the “Chevrolet Women’s World Golf Championship”.

After bringing out all the positives of this sponsorship (and receiving a positive response),

he moved energetically on to televising the tournament.

He said that despite facing the Men’s Professional Golf Association championship,

his company and the television network

both predicted the tournament would be highly rated.

Despite facing the Men’s Professional Golf Association championship?

I can’t believe I heard that from my colleague.

My colleagues might have assumed that as mentors,

this is exactly the kind of fact we need to bring up to clients.

However, I think this is an event that should be ignored.

The main point is to broadcast the event

and predict the high ratings, not to list the competitors of that sport.

However, my colleague feels it is ethical to address the issue at the outset,

before presenting the positives.

If you sell a battery-powered watch,

I think you don’t need to mention that the battery life is 21 months

or after about a year there will be a better,

cheaper watch.

Say the positive and ignore the negative.



You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. — Buddha

The calculated silence in sales is like catching fish with a net.

You drop the bait into the net

and silently wait for the fish to swim in.

In a sales negotiation,

when the time comes

commitment is required,

stay silent until the partner responds.

Don’t give your opinion, sit still

and don’t let them see that this is an important decision but

The client may be struggling over a decision and is talking to himself.

Don’t help them get out of the situation and if they have a question,

just say yes.

Although the silence is scary,

let the silence reign.



Only in a quiet mind is an adequate perception of the world. — Hans Margolius

Often, after the sale has been agreed,

the salesperson creates suspicion by fully praising the buyer’s decision.

“You will dry

You will never regret this decision.”

“This is the best deal you’ve got.”

Even the most gullible people begin to wonder, “Am I wrong?”

After the sale, you can say anything

but compliment the customer on how wise it was to buy from you.

Worse still, there are salespeople

who keep asking for a closer look at this or that place: “That’s great.

Now let’s review these points to make sure we’re in complete agreement.”

This can reduce the customer’s trust or destroy the contract.



Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. — Rumi

If the deal is complicated and it takes time to negotiate,

there may be points or details that are not clear to both parties.

Don’t mention them right away.

Confirm the deal in writing first.

This allows to end the meeting on a good note.

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Angel Cherry

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