The Power of Silence

The Salesmanager ⇦ The Power of Silence ⇨ How to say "No"

Watch out for silence!

Silence is very powerful, it will be used on you AND you should use it on them.

The whole point of the dealing process is that it will result in one thing – you will be asked to buy the car. This is known as “the close” of the sale and the salesperson and/or the salesmanager will “close” you as many times as necessary. They will keep doing it until, hopefully, you say “Yes”.

There are umpteen ways of “closing” the sale:

Even though there are loads of variations on this, it should be quite obvious when they are closing you. Particularly noticeable should be the silence that follows the close. All salespeople, not just car salespeople, are taught this Golden Rule – “Once you have closed… SHUT UP!”

The silent close

This silence places extra pressure on YOU. They have asked you a closing question and then they don’t speak… for however long it takes… all you can do is say “Yes” or “No”. Sometimes the silence is deafening! You are being asked, in a quite powerful way, to agree to their deal, to say “Yes”.

Quite often, this spoken “close” is accompanied by an outstretched hand – they want to shake your hand on the deal… This also places great pressure on you to accept and agree. It’s very, very hard not to accept someone’s outstretched hand in offer of a handshake. Try it yourself! When you next meet a friend or colleague, offer them a friendly handshake. They might give you a funny look but they will not be able to stop themselves from shaking your hand!

However, the “friendly handshake” that you get from the car dealer at this point is not just a handshake – they are asking you to agree to buy the car! They have just asked you a closing question, are offering you a handshake and are now staring into your eyes without saying another word… it is surprisingly powerful psychology!

What are you going to do?...

... here’s your answer… just say…


Tell them that you like/want the car but that it’s too much, you can’t spend that much per month, etc… but that you WILL sign an order if they do it at... (whatever YOUR proposed deal is!).

YOU use the silent close

What have you just done? You have said “No” to their offer but added that you will sign up now if they do the deal at £xxxxx. YOU have just “closed” THEM! So, you must also now shut up. A close is only effective if it is followed by silence.

Also, if you have got the nerve… offer them your outstretched hand at THIS point. You have just closed them – so offer a handshake on your deal… then just stare silently at them. Be careful though: if you DO offer them a handshake on your deal DON’T withdraw your hand until they have either agreed or turned you down. If you take your hand away before then, you are admitting defeat!

They will either agree to your deal or say that they can’t do it and give you loads of reasons why, and that the deal they are offering you is already excellent etc etc. Then they will either close you again or say that, unless you can agree to what they are suggesting, they won’t be able to do a deal with you. Ignore it if they say they can’t do a deal with you! They will make it sound very final but it is just a tactic to try to weaken you!

Either way, they will then go silent again.

Don’t lose your nerve... simply stick to your guns… just give them another reason why you can’t do that but that you will buy the car now if they do it at xxxx. Then YOU go silent again.

If, at this point, it’s still the salesperson you are dealing with and they are saying that they can’t do any better, get them to bring the salesmanager so that you can talk to them.

If you already have the salesmanager in front of you, close them in the same way that they close you! Tell them that you will do the deal at xxxx and offer your handshake to them! The salesmanager will often (if pushed hard!) do a much better deal than a salesperson, but you MUST push really hard. The salesmanager will not want to fail in this situation.

However, they are expert at dealing with people like you so you will probably have to do this several times but remember… they want to sell you the car!

If you keep your nerve and keep pushing – they WILL move: they WILL come down in price.

Think about it:

You are a prospective customer of theirs, they have spent quite a bit of time with you, you are saying that you will sign up there and then, you have got your part exchange documents on the desk to give them, you have got your money/cheque book out in front of them… what are they going to do? Are they just going to let you walk away without buying a car?

Of course not! They will do everything they can to get your business and that means coming down in price: accepting less profit but still selling another car.

At some point in this close and counter close negotiation you should start shaking your head and pick up your documents and cheque book and put them away in your pocket, making it look like you are going to walk away, but still saying that you would buy the car at xxxx and then close them again.

Just remember, they will tell you all sorts of stories to try to get you to sign up on their terms. Why?... because they want to make the maximum possible profit from you, it’s as simple as that! They will try to make you believe that, if they came down any further on the price, they would be making a loss! Don’t believe them! They will come down further than you think.

At this point you need to know how to say "No!"...

The Salesmanager ⇦ The Power of Silence ⇨ How to say "No"