When you’re involved in a high-stakes sales conversation, do you ever do things out of the ordinary?
Do you talk fast? Add extra details? Embellish the stories? Go off on tangents?
Although this is very normal, it is a massive hinderance to your desired outcome.
Adding extra ‘noise’ into your sales conversation adds complexity and distraction, which leads your prospect to either opt-out, or move to a position of in-action, or doing nothing.
The caveat I will put around this is that many of us do this simply because we’re nervous. Our speech speeds up, we become less comfortable with silence and as a result, we fill in those gaps with stories and details.
A confused mind always says “no” – especially in sales.
So the more confusing your sales conversation is, the less likely it is that someone will buy from you.
Keep your sales conversation clean.
We are often enthusiastic about our product or service and we are keen to help someone solve their problem, so we tend to forget about engaging the necessary skills that guide the conversation towards success.
All these extra details, additional stories, bonus case studies and testimonial details you’re sharing, are the equivalent of setting off fireworks, balloons, streamers and confetti behind you… your customer is so distracted and confused, they don’t know where to look!
Your sales conversion ratio then drops, because you’re not positioning yourself as easy to buy from.
Let’s play tennis!
Imagine you were about to step onto the court and play in the Wimbledon final. Now, imagine you had a hockey stick, ballet shoes and a snorkel on. Aside from being hilarious, would you win? Of course not!
I frequently use this analogy in sales training when teaching my clients the Infinite Sales System.
If you stepped onto the court to win a professional sports game with the wrong equipment or skills, you won’t win. So why then, do many people enter a sales conversation or a negotiation with the wrong skills and equipment?
If you want to win your sales conversation or your negotiation, you need to bring the winning skills and equipment to your game. So, turning up and talking a lot, adding case studies and details will only help you to lose.
To win more of your sales and negotiation conversations, you need to keep them clean.
Most people have the best of intentions with these extra details, but what is does is make your sales conversation confusing.
To remedy this, we’re trying to have good, clean sales conversations so that our prospects can properly connect with us and see the benefits of how we can help them.
True story: when I’m selling, my sales conversation is 100% deliberate and purposeful. I resist the temptation to interrupt and share stories of my wisdom and experience!
By doing this, it allows the conversation to be calm, logically flowing and collaborative. It also allows my prospective customer to share more with me, rather than me stealing all the air-time.
I see it all the time. A salesperson takes up most of the air-time and the prospect says little. This is also a losing formula for converting sales.
How much air-time do you take up when you’re selling?
Instead of doing the “show up and throw up” (which is when you get in front of a prospect and simply vomit your greatness all over them), try this instead:
- Follow a structure for your sales conversation by using a set agenda (please ask me and I’ll happily share mine with you).
- Inject plenty of strategic silence, which will connect you better with your prospect and naturally slow the conversation down so it doesn’t feel rushed.
- Ask good quality open-style questions to learn as much as you can with each answer given.
- Provide a short summary of what you heard as the key issues to be solved.
- Provide a clear recommendation that makes it easy for your prospect to see the solution.
By keeping these principles in mind, you’re giving each sales conversation or negotiation the best chance of going your way.
Bonus points: You’re also positioning yourself to play the game better than any of your opponents (ie your competitors).
To read more about why this is so important, check out my previous blog post: “I’m not a salesperson”. Plot Twist: We’re all in sales. 6 attributes that will kill your sales.