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The following article is courtesy of Brian Tracy, best-selling author, and world-renowned speaker, trainer, and expert on success, as well as the owner of the multi-million-dollar training company, Brian Tracy International. For the past 4 decades, Brian has dedicated his life to the study of success – and to share his findings with success-oriented individuals. Read on to discover THE most important listening skill utilized by top salespeople everywhere.

What do you think is the most important listening skill that all top salespeople use?

ALL top salespeople ask good questions – and listen carefully to the answers.

[/inlinetweet]But did you know that one of the most important skills of listening is to simply pause before replying? When the prospect finishes talking, rather than jumping in with the first thing that you can think of, take three to five seconds to pause quietly and wait.

Becoming a Master of the Pause

All excellent listeners are masters of the pause. They are comfortable with silences. When the other person finishes speaking, they take a breath, relax and smile before saying anything. They know that the pause is a key part of good communications.

Three Benefits of Pausing

Pausing before you speak has three specific benefits. The first is that you avoid the risk of interrupting the prospect if he or she has just stopped to gather his or her thoughts. Remember, your primary job in the sales conversation is to build and maintain a high level of trust, and listening builds trust. When you pause for a few seconds, you often find the prospect will continue speaking. He will give you more information and further opportunity to listen, enabling you to gather more of the information you need to make the sale.

Carefully Consider What You Just Heard

The second benefit of pausing is that your silence tells the prospect that you are giving careful consideration to what he or she has just said. By carefully considering the other person’s words, you are paying him or her a compliment. You are implicitly saying that you consider what he or she has said to be important and worthy of quiet reflection. You make the prospect feel more valuable with your silence. You raise his self-esteem and make him feel better about himself.

Understanding With Greater Efficiency

The third benefit of pausing before replying is that you will actually hear and understand the prospect better if you give his or her words a few seconds to soak into your mind. The more time you take to reflect upon what has just been said, the more conscious you will be of their real meaning. You will be more alert to how his words can connect with other things you know about the prospect in relation to your product or service.

The Message You Send

When you pause, not only do you become a more thoughtful person, but you convey this to the customer. By extension, you become a more valuable person to do business with. And you achieve this by simply pausing for a few seconds before you reply after your prospect or customer has spoken.

Action Exercises

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, take the time to carefully consider what the customer just said and what he might mean by it. Pausing allows you to read between the lines.

Second, show the customer that you really value what he has said by reflecting for a few moments before you reply.

If you like what you learned here, and you want to take these lessons even deeper, you may be interested in this complimentary special report from Sales Success Expert Brian Tracy, “Everyone is a Salesperson.”

In it, Brian reveals how whether you’re a salesperson by profession or not, you can dramatically improve the quality of your life by using the power of persuasion to sell yourself and your product or service.

In the report, you learn:

  • The ONE skill at which the very best influencers, persuaders, communicators and salespeople excel – and tips for mastering it so you close more sales, more often;
  • The definition of GAP Analysis – and how you can use it to make prospects feel less satisfied with their current situation and more inclined to buy the solution you’re providing;
  • Specific questions you can ask prospects to widen the gap between where they are now and where they’ll be once they get their hands on your product or service;
  • How to use the theories behind great selling to improve the quality of your entire life;
  • And more.

Sign up here, now to receive this complimentary special report, and start putting these strategies to work in your life today. Get instant access here: “Everyone is a Salesperson.”

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