Think about the last salesperson who called on you. Whether it was a phone call or face-to-face interaction, there's one important question to ask. Did that salesperson talk:
- Not enough
- Just the right amount
- Too much
- Way too much!
Now think back on your own last conversation with a prospect or customer.
Where did you fall in terms of how much you talked? Was it a real conversation, a back-and-forth exchange of information, opinion and perspective? Or was it you, in full sales mode, pushing full steam ahead with your sales pitch?
It’s a sad fact that most salespeople talk too much and therefore often talk themselves out of a sale. These are the top five ways this happens:
Too much talk, too little listen
Your exchange with a client is more than a presentation — it's about understanding a customer's opinion and perspective, and soliciting and addressing his/her concerns or objections as part of the process.
Too much features, too little benefits
What benefit do you bring to the table? Many salespeople talk about their experience, but I consider this more so a feature. Think in terms of how the knowledge connected to that experience is the benefit.
Pitching vs. storytelling
In a presentation style, the seller tells the buyer about products, services or capabilities. In a consultative style, the seller asks the buyer about wants and needs. Simply put, what does the customer actually want to know vs. what you want him/her to know.
Making it all about price
“Would you like to save money on your printing?” and “If I match that price, will you give me the order?” are not value questions — unless you think value is only about the lowest price. Would you rather have something that costs less or works better? Though there are printing/graphics buyers who come down on the side of lower price, in my experience, they’re the minority.
I’ve seen far too many salespeople talk themselves out of a sale through blind persistence (ongoing contact that adds nothing to a relationship). Many will call and email and call to the point where their message gets deleted the second they’re identified. Wouldn’t it be better to be the salesperson who engages through creativity and differentiation?
Read the full article on these five “selling sins” and learn tips that can help you talk yourself out of fewer sales in the future.