The Power of Pauses

April 15th, 2019

People understand in the pauses.

There are several important aspects to this statement. One is that people can’t buy whatever you are presenting unless they understand it enough to be comfortable going forward and two, when you explain something to people, they need time to absorb each key point.

If you run the key points together without any pauses, there is a great likelihood that the customers don’t really get what you are saying and won’t be able to make a buying decision.

This is a big difference between understanding the words someone just used to explain something and actually understanding the concept being explained.

If you ask your customers if they “understand” what you just said, they will usually say “yes”, which often means they understood the words you used. If you ask them again if they really got the concept you are sharing, they would probably ask you to go over it one more time.

The great test of understanding is to say to people after each key point in any presentation, “Before we go on with our discussion, tell me what you have heard so far,” or “Tell me what you are hearing.” 

You will often be surprised at how little they are really understanding aboutwhat you are presenting. Don’t hesitate to have people tell you what they heardnumerous times in an explanation or presentation.

A quirk of human nature and especially a characteristic of salespeople is that we are quick to forget we may havetaken months to learn what we want someone else to get in ten minutes.

I’m not saying it isn’t possible for our customers to understand in tenminutes, just that most of us tend to talk too much without any pauses andthink our customers understand our every word. 

We tend to think that, because we understand something, our customers willautomatically understand after we have explained the concept. Again, assumingyour customer understands what you just said may be hazardous to your wallet.

Keep your explanations dirt simple and test for understanding more than you think you need to. 

People understand in thepauses.

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