Save the speech for your awards banquet

Sometimes the best way to close a deal is to close your mouth.

Mark Hunter ( says he has been both a victim and a perpetrator of the “talk too much” salesperson syndrome.

“There have undoubtedly been more than a few occasions where I’ve talked too much and, as a result, sabotaged or delayed closing a sale,” he says.

Hunter chalks it up to one thing: insecurity.

“Salespeople who talk too much are simply insecure and the way they deal with being insecure is by never giving up control. This means one thing. They do all the talking…and talking…and still more talking.”

He offers these tips to nip that talkativeness in the bud before it happens:

•  Measure the amount of time you’re talking versus the amount of time the customer is talking.

•  Be conscious of the number of times you interrupt the customer. Salespeople do this more than they realize, mostly out of fear that the customer is going to get control of the conversation.

•  Skip the sales speech. In fact, even skip the script. Make the sales call a conversation. If that sounds creepy, it could be a strong indicator of a lack of confidence.

“As I look back on some of my past sales calls that came across more as sales speeches, it was my lack of confidence,” Hunter says. “The correlation is scary. The lower the level of confidence, the higher the likelihood the sales call will be a sales speech.”