When to use it?
After deploying the Utility Close and the merchant asking for you to repeat the terms (you’ve already described.)
What does it sound like?
Describe the terms again and then shut up (until the merchant jumps back in).
So, basically, silence.
How it works?
You are describing the terms of the product once again, slower this time, so all can be completely heard, understood and processed.
Then you are deliberately stopping to talk, in anticipation of a favorable response from the buyer.
There is an old saying in sales that goes “he who speaks first loses.”
Now, there is value in this old saying, but it is a bit outdated for us because if we are truly Funding Pros, and advising them through their Key Business Outcomes, no one loses.
Only win-wins all the way around. To update this old trope, “he who jumps in to break the silence with sound first is the most eager to make a deal at that time.”
Why it works?
The truth is most people are very uncomfortable with silence, and will almost always try to get back into dialogue as soon as possible. It is almost a subconscious automatic reaction, unless the merchant is practiced in negotiation.
It is in that silence that you can listen for important cues from the merchant. This is the time they can jot down the terms, crunch numbers, think it through their head and make sense of what you were able to handily provide them with.
If there are any hangups that could prevent the merchant from moving forward, you can listen in for these. Many times, merchants will actually crunch numbers while you’re deliberately listening in the silence.
Give them that space to do so, they should be crunching numbers – these are Business Outcomes with direct financial impacts being funded/financed.
If the rep instead breaks the silence out of nervousness, the merchant will sense an opportunity to procrastinate, come up with an objection or ask for concessions.
You are not asking another question, they have yet to answer your initial closing question.
They wanted clarification on terms, now let them lead you to where they want to take the talk-track.
Allow them to take you to any of their questions or concerns so you can now clarify and consult.
Seasoned merchants who are able-bodied negotiators are fishing for concessions wherever they can get them. Be congnizant of this – if the silence becomes unusually long, hang in there.
The discipline will pay off – but just know that if the merchant allows the silence to become quite lengthy, the merchant has just telegraphed that they are deliberately engaging in the sport of negotiation with you (whether you play or not), therefore keep your wits about you throughout the process.
This is a prospect who obviously has the time to go back and forth with you, look at the numbers from various angles, and shop around for the the option they feel will absolutely be best for their business. This is where your role as a Trusted Advisor will really separate you from the crowd.
Put the Silent Close to work and Fund on!