Silence Can Be Golden and Good for Small Business

I heard a recent development in small business. Or rather, it was something I didn’t hear. It was Nothing. I was talking with a small business owner today and he was confident and, well, quiet. I’ve made a number of large purchases over the past few weeks and I’ve noticed that the owners and (even!) the sales guys were down-right subdued. And they let Me do all the talking — which is all I care about anyway. This is new.

And a contrast to the traditional fast-talking tycoon or used car sales rep.

Your Business Blogger once sat near Alan Greenspan with Andrea Mitchell in the President’s Box in the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He didn’t say three words all evening.

Simply silence; not a quite a snub. And I know snubs. No, this was Alpha Male silence.

Some called Greenspan circumspect. All I heard was silence.

George Will reported on his marriage proposal to Andrea. She said that Greenspan had to repeat his marriage proposal three times before she understood what he was getting at.

Subtlety. Silence. That sells.

I was once coached by a headhunter. To keep my mouth shut. To use silence. The recruiter instructed me to use silence as a tool.


[1,001; 1,002; 1,003; 1,004]

…commands attention.

A confident quiet, ….of four seconds…


Deveil wears PradaEconomy of words. Economy of movement. The subtle seen in the movie The Devil Wears Prada by Miranda Priestly. Meryl Streep was acting out Anne Wintour the former editrix of Vogue Magazine.

Charmaine and I previewed the movie for our three girls. Meryl/Anne was perfect.
Commanding leadership that was understated. And sociopathic.

Meryl Streep expressing disapproval would (barely) move her lips. An eyebrow raised a millimeter or so.

There seems to be an inverse ratio: Small movements/Big command.

So. If you want to command and communicate and persuade. Be quiet. Be still.

Nuance and Silence can Sell for your small business.


PS I didn’t get the job, although it was not the headhunter’s fault. Your Business Blogger is such a slow learner…

Full Disclosure: Charmaine once made the pages of Vogue. Described Fully Dressed.

Jack Yoest John Wesley (Jack) Yoest Jr., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America. His expertise is in management training and development, operations, sales, and marketing. Professor Yoest is the president of Management Training of DC, LLC. A former Captain in the U.S. Army and with various stints as a corporate executive, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources in the Administration of Governor James Gilmore of Virginia.