The 7 Deadly Sins in Sales

Talking too much

Do you want to improve your closing rate? Learn to talk less…

Talking too much gives an impression that you’re nervous, anxious and desperate. All these are traits that negatively impact your sales.

Many sales people have talked themselves out of deals every day. In fact, in a survey conducted by Web Strategies, a whopping “95% of buyers stated that the typical salesperson talks too much, and 74% of buyers said they were much more likely to buy if that salesperson would simply listen to them.”

How do you know if you’re talking too much?

Marty Nemko, a psychology expert and author, recommends using the Traffic Light Rule. This rule implies that you have 40 seconds to speak before your client gets bored.

During the first 20 seconds, you get the green light. This is where the client is quite interested in you and wants to hear what you have to say.

For the next 20 seconds, you are in the yellow zone. Your client is beginning to lose interest and feels like you’re becoming long-winded.

At the 40-second mark, you’re in the danger zone. Your client is no longer listening to you and wishes you could end the meeting.

Although Nemko’s theory is a good baseline, I recommend you analyse the situation for yourself. Here are signs that show your client has had enough:

  • There’s a lot of fidgeting
  • The client frowns on multiple occasions
  • They’re smiling for way too long
  • They are not mirroring your body language

It’s understandable that you may be excited about your product, it’s the best thing since sliced bread right? But what if I told you that speaking less allows your client to see that?

How might you ask?

Here are six things that happen when you talk less:

  1. Your clients reveal more about themselves
  2. You can listen to your clients and understand their needs better
  3. You have less of an opportunity to say something stupid
  4. There is more time for you to think about your answers
  5. You appear more confident and knowledgeable

How to train yourself to talk less?

The first way is to practice asking follow-up questions to initiate new conversation and to get the client talking more about themselves. Your main goal with a client meeting is to learn more about them and asking questions is a great way to do that.

Prepare a list of standard questions you will ask and drop them during the conversation as time allows. This will also help you to stay focused on the purpose of the meeting and avoid going off on a tangent.

The second way to talking less is to add extra-long pauses…. in your…. conversations…. with…. a client. This allows a client to fill in the gaps or finish your sentences for you.


Remember that practice makes perfect. Focus on avoiding this pitfall by practising with a friend or colleague. If you can do that, you will be on your way to closing more deals.

We have studied the art of selling for over 10 years and through our experience, we coach and mentor business owners, sales representatives and marketers on how to become more effective in sales. For your free consultation, we are just a message away. Contact us here.

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