Controlling the Talkative Customer

Customers who talk an excessive amount can be a particular problem for the inexperienced sales person. Customers who are excessive talkers do not listen to your sales people talkingpresentation; they frequently interrupt you and often take the leadership of the sales discussion completely out of your hands. One of our sales trainers gives the following tips for sales people on how you can stop the excessive talker and maintain control:

1. Make an early attempt to interrupt
If you know that your customer is an excessive talker then you need to find a balance between attentive listening and interrupting. The longer you let an excessive talker talk, the harder it can be to regain control and bring your sales talk back on track.

2. Use their name
Our brains are very sensitive to hearing our own name. Research on how the brain responds by Carmody & Lewis has shown that hearing our own name results in unique brain functioning activation. So one way to get the excessive talkers attention is to interrupt them by addressing them by their name.

3. Give reasons for your interruption
Interrupting can be considered as rude, so you should always give a reason for interrupting the customer:
“I am interrupting because I think I already know what you are telling me.” Or: “Excuse me if I am cutting you short, but before you carry on I have got a question to ask.”

4. Set a good example
Instead of being long-winded yourself, learn to express yourself briefly and precisely. Even if the customer does not respond straight away, in the long run they will follow your example and so start to speak more briefly themselves.

5. And a high risk strategy…
This last suggestion is a risky strategy, but one that can be effective in certain sales situations. If you openly show the talker your lack of interest by either looking away, or by noting something down or by calmly drinking your coffee, then they are likely to stop talking.

Effective communication with customers who are excessive talkers requires great skill and much practice. Successful selling relies on you developing exceptional communication skills, so we will be publishing more blogs on the subject of communication training for salespeople shortly.