Stop Talking So Much! It Kills Deals.

Last week I listened in on a call between a company executive chasing a deal and a prospect that was considering whether or not to buy services from the company. The prospect was asking a ton of great questions so he could truly understand what the executive was proposing, his capabilities, qualifications, etc. All the typical stuff during a sales call. For each question asked the executive provided thorough responses to the satisfaction of the prospect. But as the conversation continued, I could tell the executive was 'losing' the prospect. The frequency of prospect’s questions decreased dramatically and the conversation became disjointed. The call concluded with the prospect saying, "thanks for the conversation, I reach out to you if we have more questions". I knew the deal was lost. I'm guessing this has happened to you before? There may be several reasons why this happens but one reason this happens is because YOU TALK TOO MUCH.

Yes. You. Talk. Too. Much. Let that sink in for a second. Deals can be won or lost over the most simple things like talking too much. While listening to this conversation between the executive and prospect I noticed something subtle, but important; when the prospect asked a question, the executive replied and gave excellent answers. Then there was a pause, perhaps because the prospect was taking notes. But for whatever reason this pause in the conversation, which must have sounded like dead space to the prospect, made the executive feel uncomfortable. So the executive felt compelled to fill the space with words. It was during this 'dead space' time in the conversation where he was introducing new information that was irrelevant to the questions asked. And the prospect began honing in on this new information to the detriment of moving the deal forward. Has this happened to you? If so, I'll encourage you to not talk so much and learn to become comfortable with silent moments during a conversation. It takes practice but you can do it! One thought I'll leave you with from a classic sales book titled "The Sandler Rules: 49 Timeless Selling Principles and How to Apply Them". Rule #5 in this book is "Never Answer an Unasked Question". David Sandler definitely got it right! And he understood that, as soon as you start answering questions that were never asked, you're inserting new information into the deal that could possibly place the deal in jeopardy. Remember this rule the next time you're in a sales conversation where there’s an extended period of silence. Stop talking so much because it kills deals!

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Jamail Carter