The very best sales advice I can offer is that once your clients or customers agree to buy from you, stop selling. Period. (And know that there are no exceptions to this rule.)
It doesn't matter what you are selling . . . or how you're selling it. It could be marketing and advertising (what I do every day). Or it could be plumbing equipment, office furniture or software. You might be selling in person, or by phone, or online. As soon as the customer says "yes," simply say "thank you." And stop your sales pitch right there.
Then, just say "thanks" and celebrate your achievement.
Shooting yourself in the foot
I have seen terrific salespeople do this time after time: They make the sale, and because they can't stop, they un-sell an already closed sale.
The way this occurs is that even when the sale is done, the salesperson goes on pitching benefits, opportunities and deals. It's so sad to watch them go down, over-selling . . . even when the client has already agreed to buy. It's like these salespeople are wind-up toys with batteries that never stop, even while they keep going and going and going.
The thing that keeps people from stopping
The problem could stem from insecurity combined with nerves. Perhaps these salespeople are not confident enough in their ability, so they keep at it.
When I first started my agency, I was nervous in presenting new creative and marketing ideas and websites to clients. I practiced my sales points over and over, until I felt sure I had them down. But then, I went into the presentation and couldn't stop. I couldn't even tell when the client loved the presentation and bought in on our ideas; I just kept going.
Luckily, after a little more experience and practice, I figured out when the sale was complete, and I learned to stop.
The problem could also originate with what I call "the yakkity-yak syndrome." This is when people talk compulsively, nonstop. They just like to hear themselves talk. So they ramble on and on. Sometimes they aren't even aware of it. They careen down the hill chatting away, until they hit something (or someone) that stops them.
Then again, the problem could simply be inertia. People have a prepared pitch. They want to deliver it in full. So, even when the client agrees to the sale, the pitchman (or woman) continues with the pitch and cannot stop.
Maybe it's just that people hate quiet. When there's a lull in the conversation, they feel the need to fill it with unnecessary talking. It's almost as if they think that if they keep talking, the client can't say "no." But, believe me, they can always say no!
The lesson here is that no matter what the reason, being unable to stop selling is unfortunate and may jeopardize the sale.
When to sell and when to stop . . .
Before you start on your presentation, find out exactly how much time you have. Then, stick to the limit the client has set. It's a monster mistake to go over your time limit and a sure way to lose the client's interest.
During your presentation, be sure to:
- Build a rapport . . . focus on helping.
- Listen carefully . . . pay attention to what the client is saying and the questions being asked.
- Don't talk too much . . . sell by doing, not telling.
- Address any objections and concern.
- Be sincere and authentic.
- Don't push . . . allow the client to discover the solution.
- Acknowledge that you want the client to buy in on your products or services.
Then, when when clients agree to the sale: STOP. It's that easy. Don't let nerves, insecurities or even quiet tempt you to keep going. Learn to let the silence do the talking for you.