The previous three tips have focused on being an active listener. We’ve examined the pace, inflection, and even words used in speaking. What if you hear silence? How can you build rapport and close more sales?
For many people silence stops communication. But it doesn’t have to. You can still listen closely and discern meaning behind the lack of words. It helps if there are visual signs. However, let’s focus solely on verbal information.

Turn up the volume of the silence. Is it a pause? Or is it a signal of being turned-off? Listen and judge whether the other person is thinking, pondering, and forming a response.

Some people need more time and are not quick to reply. They choose carefully the right words or phrases to express their ideas. They’re very diplomatic in articulating their thoughts and feelings. Giving them time and space, i.e., silence, is extremely beneficial to building rapport. They will respect you for your patience and tolerance. Match silence with silence and you’ll be in rapport and on the way to a healthy business relationship and closing more sales.

What if . . . the silence is a reply to something you said and was a rapport buster? Look for Part V in this series of tips for building rapport and closing more sales.

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