Many salespeople like to talk. And at times; way too much. While it’s certainly part of the job to clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas in sales, oftentimes we go on too long with clients, and that can have negative consequences on our likelihood to win a sale. Whether you’re new to sales or an old pro, it’s easy to slip into “overselling” if you are not careful.
There’s no shame in admitting that most of us like the sound of our own voice. In fact, neuroscientists at Harvard University found that talking about oneself can trigger pleasure sensations in the brain, same as those caused by food and money.(I knew there was a scientific reason why I love to talk so much!)
The phenomenon correlates to sales professionals as we passionately hype the company we represent and the value of our products and services. Yes, talking is in the DNA of many salespeople, and our intentions are good, but it’s a professional miss when we overdo it. We won’t get to “yes” by talking until we are blue in the face and providing every bit of detail possible about what we are selling. Instead, we should first engage in a consultative dialogue to dig deep to get to know our customers’ needs and from there we need to tailor the conversation in a way that is more meaningful.
Lopsided Conversations Are Not for Closers
Talking too much may seem harmless—and it is if we’re just shooting the breeze in our off-time—but during the sales interaction, we’re doing ourselves and the customer a disservice. Attempting to sell on the merits of the words we like to hear, without engaging the customer about what’s important to them, sets us up for failure.
When we use up all the oxygen in the room, the customer is not feeling the important connection every sales professional must achieve. It’ll cause the buyer to become frustrated for not being heard or having their concerns part of the conversation.
We’re also likely not clueing into the foundational issues and roadblocks to progress that the customer feels and needs help resolving. They’ll feel ignored when faced with a sales professional who fails to cultivate an atmosphere in which a true back and forth dialogue is possible.
Guesswork Doesn’t Get You Anywhere
Over-talkers neglect to unearth the customer’s unique needs. They wander in the wrong direction when they proceed from the standpoint of “I’ve seen this before, let me share how I can help”. Yet without cultivating a give-and-take dynamic, they won’t be equipped to determine what the buyer truly needs and ensure the buyer feels listened to. So don’t proceed from a place of assumptions. If we do, we’ll most likely fail to understand what products and/or services create the most value for the customer.
Finally, if we do all the talking, we will talk ourselves right out of a deal. Rather than putting the customer at ease about our proposed solution, we might be causing them agitation about what we have to offer. We might leave them feeling confused by offering too much information. Additionally, they may become unwilling to ask questions they need the answer to because they don’t want to add to a pile of information that is already overwhelming them. This could cause them to stick with indecision and the status quo.
During customer interactions, use your words wisely and be strategic not only about what you say and how you say it, but for how long. Give the customer the floor while your ears take over for your mouth. Simply put, we’re talking about a consultative, back and forth, dialogue not a product or service centered monologue. And always remember, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason; to listen more and talk less.