Your Prospects Want You to Stop Talking

BY Jessica Helinski
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Salespeople can be their own worst enemies. Despite stellar sales skills, unprofessional behavior or attitudes can undermine a rep. Inc​.com recently posted an article, by Peter Economy, that highlights seven common bad habits of salespeople. “As every salesperson knows, it's not always easy to convince people to buy things — especially things they don't want," Economy writes. “You can easily come off as too sleazy or too eager, too pushy or too uninterested.” He goes on to explain why reps should avoid each habit, and what to do instead.

For example, do you immediately discuss cost with prospects? This is a no-​no, according to the article. Divulging the price too early can make you appear pushy and not empathetic to the prospect’s needs. Rather than immediately discussing money, focus on gaining a clear understanding of what he or she really needs.

You can get a clear grasp of those needs by avoiding another habit: Talking more than you listen. If you talk more than you listen, you risk not really hearing a prospect — thus not fully understanding him or her. Not to mention, not listening is not a likeable trait. “While it's important to market what you want to give your buyer, not listening — or responding — to his or her questions and concerns is a huge turn-​off for any potential buyer,” Economy writes.

Personalization is important because prospects want to feel understood. Not customizing the presentation is a bad habit that should be nixed. Canned presentations won’t cut it with today’s customers, who want a seller to speak directly to their personal needs. According to Economy, “making the buyer into just another person to sell to reeks of unprofessionalism.”

With all of the hard work you put into selling, don’t let a silly habit stop your success. Economy’s article can clue you into some unprofessional habits that you may not even realize you are making.