One of the many ways that a salesperson can sabotage a sale is by talking too much. A good salesperson needs to recognize the cues that a client gives, and when to go in for the close. If the prospect is ready to close and you go on talking, you might end up talking yourself right out of the sale.

How long are your sales calls?
While there is no set time limit for a sales call, the amount of time you spend talking with your prospect can be the difference between a successful close and a missed opportunity. It’s important to remember that you are only one in a list of things that the prospect has on his plate for the day. If you have been given a specific amount of time by scheduling a block of time for an appointment, it’s best to aim to close the sale about 2/3rds of the way into the meeting. This gives you time to negotiate the finer points of the sale. If you aren’t sure how long you have to close, ask a few questions. Make small talk with the client, or even better, get the information directly from a secretary. Remember that time is just as important of every other factor on a sales call.

What cues does your client give you?
When you talk to your prospect, make sure to take note of nonverbal cues. If, as you are working on the close, your prospect starts looking at his watch or starts fidgeting in his seat, it might be time to speed up the preceding. The most important cues, though, are in the feet. If at any point during the sales call the client’s feet point toward the door, it’s time to go in for the close. The client is already thinking about his or her next appointment.

How do you get the sale back if you’ve gone on too long?
If you realize that you have been talking too much and have failed to make the closing pitch in time, all is not lost. You can still reel the client back in by doing a quick summary of the main points of your sales plan (this should take no more than 1 to 2 minutes) and then immediately go for the close. If you try to go for the close without the summary, you run the risk of the client forgetting the reasons your product had them excited in the first place. By delivering a power packed 2 minute close, you can reinvigorate the client and get them ready to sign.

Talking may be one of the strengths of a top seller, but not knowing when to ask for the sale and over selling it can end up being the downfall of an otherwise successful salesman.