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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

3. Talking Too Much

By Steven J. Schmidt (2/16/09)

Talking too much can always hurt the sale, unless the customer is asking questions and you have to answer them. I have lost sales and have seen sales reps lose sales because of talking too much. Talking too much can make yourself look desperate for a sale. When looking desperate, a potential customer will question your authenticity.

If you are trying to sell a car, a Mercedes for example, that may take a littler longer than a newspaper subscription. Selling a car on that type of level may take a week or two. The commission, of course, is much greater and worth taking the time to make the sale. However, you want to ask the customer as many questions as possible, so that you can point them in the right direction as to what their exact needs are.

That does not mean that you need to talk about yourself, where they say to themselves, "I want to buy a car, not this guy's life story." The fact is, they are there to buy a high-priced car, and they will spend a lot of money doing so. Additionally, the more questions you ask them, the more they will tell you about themselves. The more you know about people, the more trust that they have in you, because you get to know them a little better. That is the way to develop a relationship, and once you develop a relationship, they feel that you will be honest with them and they will want to buy off of you.

However, if you sit there and talk about yourself too much, that will just make them want to buy a car from another sales rep. The customer is there to buy a car and to feel like they are getting their money's worth.

Now, suppose you are selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door. Knocking on someone's door to sell them a subscription requires the salesman to convince the customer to buy the subscription, of course. But you must remember that you are the one who came to their door. They did not come to your door, asking how they can buy a subscription. So, not only do you have to convince them to buy the newspaper from you, you have to be friendly enough to do so. But, not too friendly, to where you talk their ear off, and then all of a sudden the customer thinks, "Why is this person talking too much? Is this a scam? Is she telling the truth, and am I really going to get a subscription?"

You do not want any of those questions entering the mind of a customer. In order for that not to happen, you must walk a fine line. You must talk enough to them to develop a relationship in order to gain their trust, but not too much. Remember, if you keep asking questions, the customer will have to do most of the talking. Once they start asking you questions, then it's more than OK to engage in conversation. But, whatever you do, just remember that you are not Jay Leno!

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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