Silence on the line. When is it a good thing?

Tips for inside sales reps when contacting leads.It’s been described as awkward, painful, uneasy and empty. But it’s also something else, and for a sales rep, the word to describe silence is powerful.

When it comes to questions we, as salespeople, are an impatient breed that want an instant response. We want to move things along in the process and get the sale. But sometimes we forget that it can be a good thing to wait for them to answer and not push for an immediate response.

The time to wait is when you are on the phone having a conversation with a prospective client. When you ask questions expect a response, they’ll give it to you if you exercise a little patience.

Even when silence is uncomfortable or awkward after you have asked a question, remember to give time and let the person on the other end of the line respond. Your silence keeps you in control, don’t go filling it with things that don’t apply or distract from the answers they are thinking of giving you.

I once timed one of our successful sales reps as she was on a call. One of the longest stretches of silence she had was 45 seconds while she waited for the prospect to respond. Needless to say she was in control of the sales process and was able to close the deal.

To be successful in sales technology you need to be comfortable with silence, and during those moments be productive by making a mental checklist of what is going on in the conversation. If things are going off topic or away from where you want, silently plan on how to steer it appropriately back.

To get the information you want, you need to bite your tongue and let them talk. Remember, all good things come to those who wait.

Of course there is a point when as a sales representative silence is not what you want. During the communication process when things go black on the other end, like in email or voicemail for example, silence may not be the best. Remember, inside sales is not a one-way conversation. Instead of cutting off the conversation and waiting for them to come to you, keep the ball in your court and keep reaching out to make contact with those resistant prospects.

Quick review of tips:

  • Anytime a question is asked there will be silence – that’s a good thing
  • Learn to be comfortable with the silence and waiting
  • Sometimes it’s a good thing to hold off on pushing
  • Don’t fill the silence with things that don’t apply
  • Know the difference between good and bad silence
XANT Whitepapers

Free Whitepaper: 15 Time Wasters to Avoid

Learn the best practices to overcoming these typical inside sales and lead generation time wasters.

Receive email updates from the Sales Insider

Related Posts