There are numerous ways to kill a deal.
But let’s focus on the most important deal breakers of all. In addition to not listening, talking too much is the no.1 deal killer. Not just in sales conversations, it’s also a deal breaker in networking and in other business settings. I bet you can remember a time or conversation where you can’t wait to run away from the talker!
Can this be improved? Absolutely!
If your sales and business growth are not where they should be, it may be time to put some effort into your business communication etiquette.
You hear that right!
Talking too much or god forbid, talking too loud is a major faux pas. It’s up there with swearing like a drunken sailor. At least, that’s how it is perceived by most people. It’s disrespectful.
TO CHANGE SOMETHING, ONE MUST FIRST UNDERSTAND WHAT’S BEHIND THIS BEHAVIOR.
When people talk too much, they are either:
- A narcissist who thinks they are important and entertaining, unaware of others’ importance.
- Shy people who lack self-esteem and try to babble out their nerves talking. They want to prove they are worthy.
Nervousness and lack of self-esteem trigger anxiety and can cause people to talk too much to compensate. We FAIL to listen when we spend a big part of the conversation talking.
I used to do this when I was starting out. I was nervous and felt I had to talk and impress people.
Then I met someone that made a big impact on me.
He was charming.
People were drawn to him. Whenever he spoke, people would surround him and they would listen attentively. He wasn’t annoyingly boastful.
He seldom spoke about himself. He simply granted everyone the opportunity to speak and he listened.
He also did his best to compliment people around him.
That’s when I become aware of my bad habit and decided that he was going to be my model. I wanted to be him when I grow up!
Ever since then, I made an effort to get better.
When I got better at my craft and raised my confidence level, I didn’t feel “I had” to fill in the conversation. I was able to relax and enjoy the conversation without feeling like I have to make a good impression with my talkative self. I was able to silence that persona in my head.
This was a major shift in my life and business.
Now I let the silence linger–and it’s okay. No anxiety there. I can let others dominate the conversation while I listen. This allowed me to pick up the cues, and really know the person I am speaking with or the people around me. I got to know more about people.
Recently, someone had mentioned to someone else (who later informed me of it), that she thought I was charming and very intelligent. This surprised me because I hardly spoke at that event. I was actually enjoying everyone’s chatter. How could anyone say that I was intelligent when I hardly said anything?
That, my dear, is the power of silence!
How to silence the beast in your head and raise your soft power.
Listening is more powerful than being a chatterbox.
Change your approach, change your life
- Get better at your craft and at what you do. You’ll raise that confidence at the highest level, and gather the right energy to project the right posture. You’ll feel like you’ve “arrived” and you don’t need to impress, convince anyone or make apologies. You are you and you are awesome the way you are. No need to prove anything to anyone. When you reach this point, you’ll know it, because, at this level, you no longer have the urge to tell people that you are good at something, or that you have this and that, or you know so and so, and that you can do this and that. You’ll just casually mention it at the right moment.
This quote says it all for me by former UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher:
“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
- Raise your awareness and presence. Because when you DO, you’ll be able to respect the settings and will not dare speak too loud or too much. You will be fully aware of who’s who, what they do, and how you can help them just by listening. And when it’s time to pitch, you’ll be able to use what you’ve learned in your messaging so it lands beautifully well in their ears. And because you listened, they’ll respect you when you speak.
It’s understandable that salespeople have a lot to say. We try to unload a lot of things all at once to cover all the bases.
This is a mistake.
No one wishes to experience information overload. Verbal vomit is a problem. Don’t be a problem. You don’t want to be remembered as “that person who talked too much”.