Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Do You Talk Too Much

Writen by Tim Connor

One of the biggest mistakes poor salespeople make is THEY TALK TOO MUCH. The second is: THEY GIVE INFORMATION BEFORE THEY GET IT.

When you make these mistakes, you will tend to turn off most potential customers or clients. I remember my first sales position back in the early 60s. I worked for one of the top 5 insurance companies in the world. They fired me after 6 months. When you don't sell anything for 6 months…….well, I am surprised it took them so long. There were a number of reasons why I failed, and I don't intend to bore you with all of them – just one, to illustrate the point of this week's tip. (By the way, the industry at that time had a 90% turnover rate in new agents in their first year, so it wasn't just me. As a footnote, several years ago I was asked to speak to a group of sales agents from that company. Isn't life interesting?)

Back to the story. The way they taught me to sell was to memorize the sales presentation that they had developed, and then go out and deliver it 4-5 times a day. Their justification at the time was that selling is a numbers game. (We'll save that subject for a future tip.) This is what I call a product or organizational-driven sales approach. It doesn't work. The message you send to a prospect when you go into this feature dump is – all prospects are the same and buy for the same reasons. Not so, and you and they know it.

The key to your success is not in the delivery of a pre-planned message that covers all the features that some genius in your organization has decided are important. The key to your success is to discover what your prospect's needs, issues, concerns, problems, wants, desires or attitudes are. Then, deliver only that information that they need to make an intelligent buying decision now. Give them the rest of the stuff later – if they want it.

When you talk too much, you will give unnecessary or wrong information. Learn to let the prospect drive the process; not the control of it, but the information portion. Another myth or way of stating this is the outdated sales axiom: Plan your sales calls.

Don't plan the information you are going to give. If you have been selling your product or service for a year or more, you shouldn't need to do this. However, plan the information you need to get – the questions you are going to ask.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That's Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at tim@timconnor.com, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com.

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