Strategic pausing in scripting
So often in the Sales and Telemarketing business, we feel that to sell we need to talk and talk. Many sales people overlook listening skills, instead believing that if they are not saying something they will lose control over the sales process and therefore lose the sale.
Ask a question – PAUSE – Listen
Telemarketing skills include asking qualifying questions, listening actively, and using strategic pauses. Qualifying questions are used to separate those prospects that meet specific criteria and will likely say yes to an offer. Listening actively enables you to identify and understand the potential customers’ needs and concerns.
Whenever you ask a question or make a comment that is intended to get the prospect to respond, this is an excellent use of strategic pausing because it allows the potential customer to think before making a final decision. Importantly, without strategic pauses you run the risk of talking yourself out of the sale.
Listening skills and pausing go hand in hand.
Consider how this approach impacts your potential customer and ultimately your result. Showing a lack of interest in your buyer, in their thoughts, their needs, their experiences and expectations is a signal to them that you don’t care about them, you are just after a sale.
It is also a lost opportunity for you as without that very personal information, you cannot know how to meet their specific needs. If we are doing all of the talking, we will not have a chance to establish and build rapport with prospects. This is because rapport is developed by listening to your buyer.
The best way to develop good listening skills is to ask good questions allowing the buyer to communicate their needs to you.
Notice when a prospect pauses, is it hesitation or confusion? Listen to their tone – this is one way the prospect will communicate their emotions. Also pay attention to the speed and volume of their voice. What do they emphasize? What excites them and what disappoints them?
Many times telemarketers feel uncomfortable with pausing. But a pause often gives your buyer time to reflect and to clarify their concerns. A pause can be powerful and can invite dialogue. Don’t rush to talk just because silence is not comfortable for you.
By asking good questions, developing active listening skills and knowing when to use strategic pausing, we can collect valuable information from potential customers and close the sale.
Pausing and listening are two of your most powerful tools to utilize when selling.