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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Your Timing Is Everything

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Know the time to talk and the time to stop.


On Sales Strategies: Your Timing Is Everything

BY SHANE DECKER

Published in the October 2012 issue.

There’s an adage in sales that he who speaks first after the close loses. Not true. Rather, it’s all about timing and reading your customer.

Yes, after you’ve closed all the way through the presentation and you make your final close at the end, you should give the client a moment to think about it. Sometimes, before he’s ready to say yes, he will have questions and need reassurance. This is not a sign that your presentation was not awesome. The customer may have an objection he needs handled before he feels satisfied with his decision. Or, he may just need to think about it for a moment.

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If you speak too soon after you close, and you try to use another close, the client may think you are being pushy. That is a sale killer. On the other hand, if you wait too long to speak, the client can become uncomfortable and wonder why you’re not speaking. This is a sign that he needs reassurance, and the reassurance close is the one used here.

Salespeople who are natural listeners (not talkers) have to be aware that this situation might require a smooth, professional T.O. (team opportunity).

Why?

Because listening skills are awesome, but when the client needs reassurance, a more natural talker may be needed. So, you bring in another salesperson to work with the client on the same side the client is on (this makes it a friendly position, not a power position). Your teammate provides the reassurance your client needs, and your sale is closed.

But how do you know how long is the right amount of time after the close to wait before speaking?

The proper time to wait to speak is between 7 and 10 seconds. Practice this until it becomes automatic. You may need to say something like, “I can tell you’re thinking about something, and if you tell me what it is, I’m sure I can help.” Most of the time, your customer is thinking about how to give the gift, how to pay for it, or “Is she going to like this?”

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In any case, he just needs a little reassurance — but don’t wait too long to give it. Remember, timing is everything!

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