There you are sitting face to face with a salesman. They’re talking. Rambling. Preaching. Lecturing. And talking some more. They’re talking so much you’re wondering if they’re ever going to stop talking. You literally start thinking to yourself, “maybe being deaf isn’t all that bad.” You’re actually not even sure what they’re talking about. At this point you’ve been zoned out for a few minutes thinking about more important things like what the hell is going to happen in the last season of Game of Thrones?! Or even better how to escape.
You wonder should I interrupt? No, that would be rude… maybe you can just turn around and run away? But you don’t want to seem crazy. Oh wait, you don’t want to seem like you’re not listening so you throw out a head nod with a smile showing you clearly care. Then, right back to your internal monologue. Where were we? Oh yeah, how in the hell do you escape? Now, you’re trying to send mental signals to someone passing by to get some chloroform to knock this guy out. To no avail. Mental note: start practicing telekinesis… You think, “how are they still talking? That’s it I’m going to have to kill them.” Eh, too extreme. In the end, you chicken out and let them ramble about specs, random facts, personal information, and so on that you don’t give two shits about. When reality all you want to say is…
Or maybe Billy Madison style…
You could throw some Reynolds sarcasm in there…
Get all charismatic with the gentle Gossling…
Or maybe you like being all politely sassy…
This one’s my personal favorite. Rude yet perfectly confusing…
I want every salesperson to know that this is what customers experience and think about when there’s a salesman rambling on about nonsense. Everyone’s experienced that salesperson that talks forever. If you haven’t, you’re one lucky bastard. But, this salesperson destroys the customer experience. This is a type of old age selling when you need to adapt to the new age of sales. If you haven’t read my post on the new age of sale you can check it out here. Some salespeople think this style is a form of “connecting” with their clients. I’m going to have to break some news to you if you’re that salesman… it’s not. You’re losing sales, your coworkers make fun of you, and your customers secretly can’t stand you. You need to learn to SHUT UP AND CLOSE! Which is very easy to do and I explain how in a little!
“Everyone was born a salesman but not everyone was born a closer.”
Learning how to shut up and close is imperative because if you’re talking too much you’re losing sales. This is due to the fact of you accidentally shooting yourself in the foot, losing someone’s interest, devaluing what you’re selling, etc. Losing these sales could mean the difference of you hitting your targets, making money, living the lifestyle you want, having a job, etc. It’s super important. It’s costing you more than you know.
How to Tell if You’re the Rambler
In order to change this behavior you need to know if you’re the problem or not. So, the question is are you the salesman that talks forever or the one that gets your point across and then moves into the close? There’s a little rule that I call the 60-40 rule. This is a great indicator to know if you’re talking too much. Your clients should be talking 60% of the time and you only talk 40% of the time. No ifs, ands, or buts. Cut and dry. I would even recommend more of a 70-30 rule but most people prefer 60-40.
If you know you’re a salesperson that rambles on, you can move to my next section. If you’re not sure if you are this salesperson or not, you can try out these tests:
- If someone’s told you in the past. If someone has told you that you talk to much in the past you probably do.
- Record yourself. If you need to know if you’re talking people out of buying try recording yourself and seeing. This is also great to determine exactly how you’re pitching your product or service. Very effective.
- What do you know? Do you leave customer interactions and they know more about you than vice versa? If so, you talk too much.
- If your close rate is average or lower than average. Low close rate equals inefficient salesperson.
- If you talk even 1% more than the maximum 40%. Remember no excuses.
- If you typically command conversations whether inside work or even outside. You’re a people person and most likely a salesperson that talks too much.
- If you have a feeling you talk a lot. If you have any inclination that you talk too much you’re probably right. Listen to your instincts.
- If you’re not sure, have someone listen in or watch you. There are people that want to help and support you. Have a coworker or loved one do a role play with you or listen in on a real customer interaction. The real deal would be the ideal scenario but some people can’t do that.
If you have done any of these 8 tests and failed then you are a salesperson that talks too much. You’re losing sales over it and taking money out of your pocket. You can’t afford to do this! It’s time to take action and quit being that novice salesperson that no one likes! But don’t worry change is good.
How to Shut Up and Close
You’ll pretty much need to become very aware of everything you’re saying and asking your customers. Every word matters. I already gave you my number one rule in the 60-40 rule. If you stick to that you’ll be well off. Sticking to that rule is easier said than done. You need baby steps if you want to change.
This is a bitter pill to swallow but for you to make a breakthrough you need to understand that your information is 100% unimportant to your client, with one exception. Yes, even your new puppy, or little baby Frankie, or your life problems, or exciting vacations, etc. are all unimportant. No one cares about them. Your own friends and family hardly care about them so you can pretty much guarantee that stranger you’re telling random things to doesn’t either.
The one exception to the above rule is if you have a piece of information that connects you with your client. This’ll be a piece of information that both of you can relate to. For example if your client talks about their dog and you have one, you can mention yours. But then go right back to having them talk about their dog with questions. This’ll be shared information that both of you can relate to and connect with. This is super important because people buy from people that they like and people they connect with. Psychologically, if a client is happy talking about their dog and they associate you with a their dog (that makes them happy) then they’ll be happier and more likely to buy from you because they like you. Simple yet mind blowing.
The best way to get your customers talking 60% of the time or more is by asking the right questions. I have an entire post on the best questions to ask your customers and you can check that out here. But questions are the gateway to the close and should take up the majority of your 40%. Use them wisely. They’re needed to get you closing more sales. Think of asking questions as you gathering ammo for a battle. The questions aren’t the ammo but the answers to the questions are. This is where most salespeople fall off because most are bad listeners!
Final Touches to Master Shutting Up and the Close
If you are truly listening to your clients you’ll be able to adapt, solve their problems more effectively, add value, add so much value that your clients but and pay any price, provide great customer experiences, etc. This all happens from something as simple as listening. Solving the problem is most important because most buying decisions are derived from solving a problem. If you need help on why people make decisions I write about it here. Then you can properly transition to the close and more smoothly.
The toughest thing that salespeople encounter is overselling. Overselling is basically the scenario I mentioned to start this post. It’s where you don’t know when to shut up and close the sale. When you’ve provided a perfect solution and enough value for the close is when you ask to buy. Most salespeople don’t ask their clients to buy. If you aren’t doing this then you’re missing out big time!
You might be asking, “how do I know when it’s time to close?” Only one person knows the answer of when it’s time to close and that’s your customer. That’s why it’s so imperative to always, always, always ask for the sale. They’ll tell if you if they’re sold or not. But only if you ask. If they are sold, shut up and close. If they aren’t sold then continue to sell or overcome the objection that arose.
A Few Great Ways to Ask to Buy
Sometimes people get foggy or confused when asking consumers to buy. This need to be black and white. Here are a few of my favorite ways to ask for the sale:
- Do you want to go ahead and get that today?
- Will you be paying with cash or credit today?
- Have you seen enough to make a decision? Also a great question to ask anytime in your interaction to prevent yourself from overselling.
- Will you be taking the package with (x) or (y)?
Keep it simple, short, concise, clear, and for the love of god shut the hell up and close!
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