In sales it is amazing how many people think talking more is going to sell more. Most of the time you will find by saying less and listening you accomplish more. It is tempting when meeting with clients to rush into conversation and fill any dead air with useless banter. The thing is with this method it comes off as a turn off for the client and usually leads to the client thinking you are a scammer. While being the king or queen or gab is considered to be a good trait in sales is important to know when and how to use it to your advantage and when and how it can negatively affect your sales.
Let’s go over a few examples where talking to much can burn you. The first example I learned at a recent sales training course I took with Cole Hatter in Southern California. The scenario is your selling a car and the client comes onto the lot and point out a car. Before you even ask the client their needs and allow them to tell you what they want or to build up why they want it you run right into the features. Since it is a hot day out you immediately tell the client how nice the power windows work and how cold the A/C is. After that you continue your way along feature after feature letting them know everything this car will do for them. The strange thing is the further you go the more you see that they are losing interest. As you stop to see what is wrong the client says “ You know this is not the car for me. I was planning to ship the car to my farm in Alaska and thought it was a good deal, but now knowing all the features and the fact that it has such a nice air-conditioner, which I don’t need, I do not think I need to spend so much money.”
The moral of that story is sometimes we try so hard to sell an item that we forget the most important thing; that is to find out the client’s motivation for making the purchase. If the sales person there had taken a little more time to listen to the client and learn they were sending it to Alaska instead of talking about the A/C, which is not needed in the cooler climate, they could have made the sale on the all-wheel drive they never mentioned. Too often as salespeople we think of what we would do with the item and do not think what the client wants in that item.
In real estate this happens far too often from mortgage companies to real estate agents all trying to find a sale. If they were to allow the client to talk more then they would learn what the client is looking for and up-sell the features that the client most desires. Another example of talking to much is after a home inspection in both the seller’s agent seat and the buyer’s agent seat.
After a home inspection is over and it is time to review the report most buyer’s agents read the report over and prepare themselves for how they are going to talk with the client. While it is important to read over the report it is most important to learn not to inject your own emotion. When you are talking with the client never start with “in my opinion they should fix XYZ” or “a reasonable seller should have no problem with blank”. As soon as you do this you have set an expectation for the buyer of how the seller should act and truth is you do not know enough about them to do this. There are two reasons why. One the buyer may be able to fix the items or two the seller is not going to do anything. If the seller plans on not doing anything and you say these things it means that you are going to have a buyer that, based on your words, thinks they are dealing with an unreasonable seller.
Take the situation the opposite way and you are working for the seller. The buyer puts in their requests and you respond “this is totally unreasonable, but they requested XYZ” then you read the list to the seller. If you had not mentioned it this way to the seller, they may have fixed the entire list since their uncle is a contractor and they could do it cheap or since they were done with the home and had high equity and just want out. When we set expectations like this, we set our self-up for failure that never would have happened if we had not said so much. Learn to read the requests and then wait, watch, and listen to the seller’s feelings on the request then work to make the situation work for them.
With all this I am not saying you should not work to protect your client but much like an overprotective parent some times we must let our clients choose their path. My father always told me growing up “you have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth so use them accordingly”. What this means is listen and watch more often than you speak and more often than not life will go the way you want. We can not control everything in the world and certainly talking more does not change that so learn to listen to your clients and you will close more deals right away.