There is power in silence.
When you feel uncomfortable, you may continue talking when it no longer serves you.
Continuing to speak can give the impression that you are not confident in what you are saying. Worse, it can prevent your dream client from processing a question or statement for themselves because you are answering it for them (or because you are just making noise).
There is power in the pause.
A pause creates space. Your dream client can use that space to process your well-placed question and think through the answer for themselves. This is important when you are asking powerful questions. It’s also important when your question is a question that they haven’t yet answered for themselves.
You might ask the question, “You’ve shared three big areas that you believe need improvement. Which of these areas is compelling enough for you to do something different to improve your results?” If you want to know how to compel your prospects to change, find out what is already compelling them.
You might assume that you are supposed to be solving all three problems, and maybe you will. By pausing, you create the space for your prospect to process the question and decide what is important enough to pursue.
Time to Process
One area where it’s easy to make assumptions and speak for your client is when you are helping them identify risks and resolve concerns. Because we have proof providers, we assume that what we have is what the client wants. A question and a pause can be a more effective choice.
You might say, “What concerns do you still need me to address for you now?” No matter what the answer is, ask a powerful question and pause. Say, “How can I help you feel confident about that issue and what would you need to see from me?” Maybe they want references. Or they might be more confident with a site visit, or simply meeting and vetting the team that will handle their business.
There is no reason to guess what you prospective client needs from you when you can ask them and pause long enough for them to think through their answer.
If you provide the person you are speaking with more space, they will fill it with what’s important to them.
Being a great communicator has much more to do with the quality of your listening than it does your ability to speak.
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Filed under: communication