Making Sure It Sticks


“Close then shut up!” my first sales manager said to me, “He who speaks first loses!” While my take on business has changed and become collaborative rather than adversarial, there’s definitely some truth here. For many people, holding a silence after asking is a challenge: they feel the need to fill up the silence with something, anything – usually talking without purpose. In psychology, it’s known as deflection: behavior that reduces the perceived awkwardness of the moment.

Silence after asking is important because the person you ask may need to think things over, depending on their decision-making type and the kind of decision type you’re asking them to make. Don’t interrupt their decision process. A ...

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