I was once told by my boss, that when he saw me cruise to his office doorway, stand silently and look at him, that he needed to resign the fact that it was probably going to be a 20 minute conversation….. yes – I talk too much.
Is talking too much really a detriment to sales? My first instinct is that yes, “talking too much” can be a problem….. the problem being that monopolizing your end of the conversation usually means you are not listening as a result!
Rather than “feature dumping” on your prospective clients – start gently. Increase your awareness of others by paying attention to the impact your pitch has on your prospect. Most of the time, they are not interested in hearing everything you have to say. Watch for body language cues that signal when they’ve had enough. (Refer to a former blog of mine about body language.)
Practice empathy by putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Start by asking them, “What is the end result they are seeking? How can you help them improve the success of their meeting/stay for their life or business? What would success look like in what they are after?” When you do this, you are armed with important information that will help you define what you need to say, how you need to say it, and how much you need to say about it. Remember to take notes while the customer is talking. You want/need to remember their key points and specifically address those points!
Great salesmanship also means “selling yourself against your competitors”. What other hotel is your customer considering? Why? Don’t be afraid to ask them what they “like” about the other hotel! By knowing what their trigger points are – you become the driver of the bus because you can feature/benefit sell your product KNOWING what they already like in a hotel.
Imagine a customer saying that they like Brand X Hotel because of their proximity to their office. Bingo! You have now uncovered the fact that location is a key factor and a huge selling point. While you might be located in a less than desirable driving distance to their office, maybe the route the client would take to their office might be less congested, more direct, less construction, with easier access in and out of the parking lot. Find a way to one up your competition. Why don’t you make a generic cheat sheet: 3 columns – PROS, CONS for each hotel you sell against and a column listing your hotel’s attributes. Post it on the wall and refer to it when talking to customers.
So, my advice – pace yourself. Be a good sales person by talking and listening, and find the right balance. Knowing your product and how to verbally present it is 100% of the battle.