Is Nervous Talking Sinking Your Sales?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Some people clam up when they encounter a stressful situation. Others start talking. And, they keep talking. They can’t force themselves to be quiet, even when they sense their audience has heard enough. If this is how you’re trying to close a sale, you could be driving away your prospects.

According to Anett Grant, some of us are driven to be excessively chatty because of our genes. True enough, but we don’t have to accept our biological bent to talk too much. If you suspect you have this problem, watch how your audience is reacting to you. If you notice people are glancing at their phones or out the window when you’re talking, you’re losing their attention. Those behaviors are a clue that you’re wearing out your welcome.

Once you realize you’re monopolizing the conversation, try to get to the bottom of what’s driving this behavior. Maybe you’re not as prepared as you’d like to be for a sales presentation. If you’re worried that a prospect is going to ask you a tough question, you may start talking continuously. That way, the prospect can’t ask a question you don’t have the answer to. If poor preparation is root cause of your excessive talking, spend more time practicing your presentation in the future.

You might also worry that the prospect is going to say no to your pitch. As your worry builds, you talk faster, and maybe in a louder voice. If your prospect suddenly leans back, it’s game over. And, you lost.

You can avoid this scenario by mentally reviewing the situation ahead of time. Accept that every prospect won’t say yes right away. Accept that some prospects will never say yes. The mental review should help you relax.

Promise yourself that you’ll do the best possible job to follow your proven sales process. A big part of that process involves listening. During each meeting or interaction with a prospect, ask a key question. Then close your mouth. Give the prospect time to consider what you’ve asked.

When you rush to fill a silence, your prospect has less time to consider how your product could help them. Instead of hastening the sale, your talking is giving the prospect a reason to say no. Remember that detail the next time you’re tempted to give a monologue.