Salespeople Talk Too Much (And How to Stop)
In the last month, I was fortunate enough to have most of my Friday’s open for scheduled creative thinking time. With my Linkedin account hovering around 30,000 connections, I am no stranger to getting cold connect requests followed by a sales pitch from salespeople that talk too much, to be added to their funnels, and disappointed after a few weeks.
So, with too much time on my hands, I decided to agree to unlimited meeting requests on Fridays for one month straight. My goal was simple: discover what salespeople are struggling with, potentially learn a new style or grab a few golden nuggets of wisdom.
The typical sales cycle I observed went like this:
- Custom invitiation from a salesperson to connect on Linkedin
- Up to 24 hours later, I would receive a Linkedin message from the salesperson stating something vague about synergy and a link to book a conversation with them.
- I would book the appointment, no more than 30 minutes.
- On the call, most salespeople would ask me one question and then jump into their product, solution, demos, and how my business could grow with their widgets..
The call usually began like this:
“Hi Klyn from Linkedin. I see you’re a speaker and glad we could set up a call. I help clients with lead gen to get more high paying speaking engagements.”
Not a bad intro, per se.
Then they would ramble on and on and on and on.
And on. and still on.
Features, features, word vomiting.
Not once did any of them ask any relevant questions. Not once did their pitch make sense nor was it customized for me and the line of work I do. Most salespeople never even bothered to check my website.
It was awkward, unrehearsed, and in order to overcompensate for lack of preparation, they comforted themselves with the sound of their own voice.
The Magic Number of Questions a Salesperson Should Ask A Prospect
It’s been stated that the average number of questions a salesperson should ask is 6. However, almost every single conversation I had, the most ever asked was 2. Most salespeople started rambling about the election, about how rare it was to have a female in sales, or overly personal details about their home life.
The gift of gab is not a gift. Salespeople talk too much about themselves and forget there’s a prospect who is looking to buy on the other line.
My intent to have introduction calls turned into the most unproductive use of my time.
I don’t think that sales is becoming increasingly difficult. There are theories out there that the amount of saelspeople make it harder than ever for your product or service to be seen and heard in the marketplace. I disagree. The problem in most organizations is that all salespeople sound the same and have the same strategies. It takes less effort than ever before to be great at this profession. Out of over 50 calls with salespeople, there was only one that stoodout.
How One Salesperson Stopped Talking too Much and Won Me Over:
One guy, after sending a custom invitation to connect that made me think he at least researched my website started the phone call with:
“Hi Klyn, glad we could book a time to speak from Linkedin. As you saw, I specialize in XYZ, but I notice you have quite a few different skillsets. Which one is your biggest priority right now?”
BOOM. Instantly, I had buy in. I shared with him my biggest priority is increasing the amout of live sales keynotes for the next calendar year. I tell him which part of my business is most exciting and which ones I’m struggling with. He asks more questions about that particular segment and adds a ton of value. He becomes an educational consultant to me, and not once does he launch into the demo phase of his call and the pitch phase.
Not once does he try to sell me. He then says, “I’m not actually sure my company is the best fit for you. Here’s what we do and I’m not sure if there’s complete alignment for you, but I will send you a recap email and we can book another time to discuss.” He is now in the most powerful place a salesperson can be in. He is in complete control of the call and is qualifying ME, the potential BUYER.
The end of the call happens and within a 24 hour window, I have a great recapped email from him suggesting potential next steps or to learn more about how his company could help the specific need he strategically uncovered.
And you know what, I have referred him to so many prospects at this point, that we have a great business relationship.
Salespeople Stop Talking Too Much
- STOP! discussing elections, the news, and your personal situation
- STOP product and feature dumping in attempt to fill the silence
START asking questions and approaching every prospect with proactive conversational points. Add an educational approach to helping your prospects uncover a solution they didn’t know they needed.
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