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Posted: April 15, 2011

Learn to take “Yes” for an answer

Use silence to avoid sabotaging your sale

Liz Wendling

There is nothing worse than salespeople who just cannot take "yes" for an answer. They cannot believe their ears when customers say that magic word. They are so accustomed to hearing "no" that it is hard for them to believe someone actually wants to buy. They continue to sell after the sale is over and talk themselves right out of the sale they just made.

Being successful in sales is not simply a matter of how much you know about your product or service or if you are an industry expert. It is your ability to shut up and downshift from "sales" mode to "acceptance" mode. You need to learn to take "yes" for an answer.

Hearing a yes is such a beautiful sound that some salespeople make the customer say it over and over again. It is an irritating habit that creates doubt in your customer's mind.

I recently went with a friend to purchase a new car. The salesperson was addicted to hearing the sweet sound of yes. He made my friend say it four times: "Yes, I'm sure," "Yes, I'm certain I want the upgraded package," "Yes, I'm positive on the color," and finally, "Yes, my mind is made up." If he only knew how close he came to "un-selling" that car.

It was hard to watch because rejection was so common to him that he did not know what to do when he heard the word "yes." This inability to downshift from sales mode to acceptance mode results in business owners losing sales and leaving money on the table.

The first step in reaching acceptance mode and taking yes for an answer is taking a vow of silence. Isn't getting your customer to say yes the ultimate goal of any sale? There is absolutely nothing else you can do or say at that point, so why try? Once you have made the sale, shut up and accept it. This is the precise moment when many salespeople become afraid of the awkward silence and decide that saying anything is better than saying nothing. Silence, even if it is awkward, is better than the awkwardness you will feel after you have said something that makes your customer rethink the commitment.

Well-placed silence is important throughout the sales process but it is most critical at the end, after the sale is made. This type of silence is priceless. Salespeople who refuse to use this powerful technique had better get used to hearing the not-so-sweet sound of "no."

Some salespeople are so afraid of silence that they attempt to fill the space with useless sales chatter. There are two old sayings in sales to remember: "After asking for the sale, he who speaks next, loses!" and "Silence is golden when closing!"

Talking after the "yes "is a curse for sales people and there are many reasons why this bad behavior exists. Some of them include; not having a defined plan, being unprepared, feeling stress or anxiety after the word "yes," an ineffective thought process, all the way to being completely unaware.

So get comfortable with taking "yes" for an answer and use the power of silence to close more sales. It doesn't matter what type of business you are in or what product or service you sell; the ability to downshift from sales mode to acceptance mode will produce a significant impact on your bottom line.
Remember, it's not what you sell, it's how you sell.
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Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant, sales strategist and emotional intelligence coach. Liz is driven by her passion for business and generating results for her clients. Liz understands the challenges that business owners are facing building a business and selling their professional services in today's market.

Liz shows clients how to tap into and use their innate strength, power and confidence to develop highly successful businesses. She teaches them to create effective, dynamic and fluid client conversations that turn interested prospects into invested clients who keep coming back.

Go to: www.lizwendling.com or email Liz@lizwendling.com

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Liz, another in your series of excellent articles! One of the best sales people I know (top 1% in her industry) has trained herself to literally put her fingers over her mouth in her designated silent moments. Silence in the right spots is so powerful, yet as you point out, often uncomfortable, but if you, the extroverted Jersey girl can do it, we all can learn! By TC North on 2011 04 18
Thanks for another great reminder. I like how you tell it like it is. By Jane on 2011 04 15
Great article! By Lynne on 2011 04 15

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