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The silent close

By Bruce King | 18 June 2021

In this video, I give you the number one rule you must apply, every time you ask someone a question that moves the sales process forward and when you ask them to make a buying decision.

Here's my Number One rule on closing.

Whenever you ask a closing question, keep quiet.

And by 'closing question' I don't just mean the question you ask when you ask for the order. I mean any question you ask, at any stage of the sales process, that will move you on in the sales process. Whenever you ask that question that moves you on - that 'closing question' - you keep quiet, and for two reasons.

Firstly, because the other person is probably thinking of their response, and it's just as rude to interrupt someone when they're thinking, as when they're speaking.

And secondly, because if you speak first after asking that closing question, you are likely to be losing control of your sales process.

So, let me repeat that instruction. Whenever you ask a closing question - keep quiet!

Here's a great story of a time I used the silent close recently.

I was in the process of selling an in-house sales training program to a large organisation. I had two previous meetings with the managing director who seemed keen to go ahead, and now I had to have a meeting with the Sales Director who would make the final decision.

My aim was to close the deal at that meeting, or walk away, and I'm sure you realise that when you are selling sales training, you have to demonstrate you know how to sell.

I used my normal process which was to establish rapport, summarise the problems they had outlined to me, summarised my solutions to their problems, and then asked if they were certain my proposals would solve their problems.

He agreed they would. And then I asked one of my two favourite closing questions - 'so what happens next?' - followed by the silent close.

There was a pause of about ten seconds and then it was like a neon sign lit up on the MD's forehead. It said: 'he's using the silent close on me!'.

And a neon sign lit up on my forehead which said: 'I know you know'. And we sat there smiling at each other.

From time to time I deliberately looked at my watch, looked up again, made eye contact and smiled.

And he smiled back.

After eleven minutes and fifteen seconds he burst out laughing and said - 'Bruce - I just wanted to see how long you could keep that up for'.

And I said - 'so will we be starting in April or May', which is an alternative question close, followed again by the silent close. Within five seconds he said 'April Bruce'.

That's the power of the silent close!

So from now on, whenever you ask a closing question, that's anything that moves you on in the sales process - remember to use the silent close.


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