Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When Silence is Golden

Last week, my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Napa Valley.  We stayed at the beautiful Carneros Inn.  It had amazing views and impeccably friendly and professional staff members who knew exactly how to provide great service.

Our first day in Napa, we checked out the resort grounds and wandered into the spa.  We started talking with Denise Spanek, a former esthetician who is CEO and founder of Air Repair, a skin care system created to combat the effects of flying and travel on your skin.  I smelled a sales pitch and was ready to feel uncomfortable and back away.  But I didn’t have to.

Ms. Spanek was an energetic entrepreneur working hard to establish and differentiate her product in a competitive marketplace.  It was fun to hear about her hard work and subsequent success.  But I was especially impressed with how she interacted with us. 

Although we were all actively conversing, each time my husband or I started to speak, she stopped.  Abruptly.  Immediately.  Her silence gave us the opportunity to provide our experience and insight while she listened.  It made us feel like what we thought mattered.

I love to get excited and talk.  I show people I’m interested by asking questions and speaking words.  But in this case, silence was golden.  Silence showed me that Ms.Spanek cared about us.  It allowed my husband and me to justify our need for her product together.

The silence was perfect.  It was respectful.  It closed the sale.


  1. great post, thanks! Interestingly, your point is at least as relevant in our non-business relationships as it is in our business relationships.

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting, John! You raise a great point... definitely something worth trying more of in both areas!

  3. Thanks Beth! I would agree and add that a high-level form of respect is to get quiet and listen. You may learn something new about your client, a peer or maybe even something about yourself in the exchange. This simple behavior of elevating someone else becomes a gift to all parties and makes the world a kinder place to operate and succeed. Namaste.

  4. So true Ann! Very insightful... I love it! Thank you for the comment!