I’ve reached number 11 in my list of must-have strategies for successful negotiating.
Use silence to your advantage.
Being silent is a great way to compel the other party to make concessions. After you make an offer, remain absolutely silent, regardless of how tempting it might be to say something.
I have said that time is the most effective negotiating tool. Well, silence is the second most effective tool. Few things will cause the customer to ponder something as much as the salesperson merely being silent.
The easiest way to use silence is in the course of the conversation, but it goes beyond merely the conversation. You can also use silence when you follow up after a meeting or in response to an email.
Challenge in using silence effectively is you must feel confident.
This is why so few people use it. If you’re not confident in your position and in understanding where the other party is coming from, then you’re going to hesitate using silence. This is just one more reason why the concept of “sell first and negotiate second” is so important.
If you do your job during the selling phase, you’ll know where you can leverage the customer, because they will have told you their needs. What this does is allow you to be more confident and thus comfortable in using silence.
Never think you need to respond to every question or every statement.
In many situations, remaining silent and not responding will cause the customer to say something else. As they share more with you, what they’re doing is weakening their position and their level of confidence, all the while you’re merely sitting there not saying anything.
The amount of silence you use is going to be in direct proportion to the level of confidence you have.
And don’t forget to see all the tips on infographic 12.5 Critical Factors for Negotiation. For more in-depth strategies for negotiating, check out Breakthrough Sales University!
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.
You are dead on Mark. Silence and selective response is key to strengthening your position. If you take the step of creating white space in your discussions you will close deals at a higher rate with greater margin. Selective response is key as well because if it is really important to the client they will ask it again.
I wrote a recent article called Talk Less / Sell More and it discusses the power of proper listening. The sad truth is many sales people spend most of their time talking and crafting a response that they really never hear the customer.