Beliefs that limit sales people - Good salespeople are good talkers
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"He has the gift of gab. He'll make
a good sales person." It's been a while since I last heard that
expression. The idea is, of course, that sales people are good talkers.
If you are a good talker, you are well on your way to having the
necessary qualifications for a sales career. While that figure of
speech isn't popular today, the idea behind it continues to have
That idea is, like so many other
pearls of conventional wisdom, completely and utterly wrong.
Good sales people are not good
talkers. Rather, they are good listeners, good thinkers, and hard
Good talkers generally make mediocre
sales people. They commonly delude themselves about their
effectiveness, and see their sales calls and customer relationships
through a distorted perspective. Since 'talking a lot' is one of their
core personality traits, it makes them feel good when they exercise
that trait. Since they feel good, they think the customer must feel the
same way, and therefore, it was a successful sales call.
I once made a joint sales call with
a sales person who spent two hours talking about a range of subjects.
When he finally left, he hadn't gotten to the subject of the sales
call. In debriefing after the call, he actually felt good about the
call, which was, by any measure, a disaster.
Good talkers often see themselves as
the repository for product knowledge, and believe that their job is to
disseminate as much product knowledge in the sales call as possible.
I had the ultimate example of this
in one of my sales classes. We were role playing "presenting" a product
- what should have been at most a ten minute exchange. This classic
"good talker" turned it into a 35 minute monologue, which ended when I
mercifully intervened and called time. The person playing the role of
the customer had actually begun to nod off.
The "sales person" saw himself as a
product knowledge expert and good talker. And so, he lived up to that
vision of himself. I, on the other hand, saw him as a disaster. In my
evaluation after the class, I asked my client to consider whether he
belonged in a sales position.
Unfortunately, the large quantity of
customer contact that comes with the job of the sales person is an
attractive source of ears, and leads a lot of "good talkers" to a
career in sales. So, they have a tendency to gravitate to sales
careers, where they have lots of opportunities to exercise their
personality trait and talk to a lot of people about a lot of things.
Alas, that doesn't have a lot to do
with what makes a sale happen or the processes and skills required to
become good at the job.
Good sales people, on the other
hand, are better listeners than talkers. They instinctively understand
that the customer feels better when he/she is able to share with them
what's on his mind. In the communication process, the customer's
conversation is far more valuable than the sales person's, and the best
sales calls are characterized by 75 percent of the conversation coming
from the customer and 25 percent from the sales person.
Good sales people understand that
the essence of the job is to provide the customer what the customer
wants, and the necessary prerequisite is to discover what the customer
wants in depth and detail. In this process, you can never discover what
the customer wants when you are talking. That only happens when you are
That's why "good sales people are
good talkers" is one of those ideas that have a debilitating effect on
sales people and sales teams.
About the Author
Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written ten books, presented in 47 states and eight countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level.
You may contact Dave at The DaCo Corporation, PO Box 523, Comstock Park, MI 49321, or email@example.com
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-05-12 14:07:15 in Marketing Articles