Seven Reasons why talking heads seldom reach their quotas

In 1987 a TV series called Max Headroom broke onto the scene. It was a futuristic show about a network reporter who gets caught up in an experiment and becomes a computer-generated personality. The series only lasted 14 episodes, but it was fun to watch.
Unfortunately, many sales people are talking heads, too. And they aren’t so fun to watch—or listen to.
A talking head sales person is someone who shows and throws up. A few years ago I took a call with a sales person who ended up talking endlessly about his product. Although he had a great product, he lost the deal because he spent far too much time talking
Here are seven reasons why talking head sales people seldom reach their sales quotas.

1. They talk too much

As obvious as is seems, many sales people don’t get this. I recently attended a networking meeting with small business owners and I found it fascinating as I listened to people talk, talk, talk and interject their opinion at every available opportunity. I could see people rolling their eyes, yawning and trying to figure out what those people were trying to say.

2. They can’t articulate the value of their product

At the same networking meeting I mentioned above, each person had several minutes to introduce themself and explain to the group who they were, what they did, what type of business they were looking for and how they might help other people in the group.
Not surprisingly, the talking heads were unable to do this. In most cases, they rambled incoherently without giving the rest of the group a clear picture of what they did and how we could help them.

3. They talk about the wrong stuff

Talking heads tend to talk about what is important to them, not what is of value to their prospect. This approach usually results in a sales pitch that is unfocused and that fails to demonstrate the value of their product, service or offering.

4. They don’t ask questions

Talking heads seldom ask questions because they are…too busy talking, of course!
When they DO ask questions they usually interrupt their prospect before they have had a chance to fully respond or explain their situation. That prevents them from uncovering potential problems and identifying how they can actually help their prospect improve a particular situation.

5. They don’t hear the prospect

Because they are busy waiting for their turn to talk, talking head sales people often miss key information. They may nod and smile as their prospect is sharing key details of their situation but they are usually just waiting to present their solution or talk about their product or service.

6. They present the wrong solution

This becomes an obvious outcome after considering the previous points. If you don’t ask the right questions and listen to the responses, it is extremely difficult to present the appropriate solution. Enough said.

7. They miss cues and clues

Years ago, I met with a talking head sales person who spent the first 15 minutes of our meeting talking. While he was pontificating, I looked at his product and figured out—on my own—how I could use it. When he stopped to take a breath, I said, “I’ll take it.”
However, rather than say something like, “Great. I’ll send you an invoice” he kept talking. In fact, after telling him three times that I wanted his product I seized it from his hands, stood up and said, “Send me the bill.”
He was so intent on telling me everything he wanted to say that he was oblivious to my not-so-obvious buying signals.
Talking heads are passionate about their product, solution or offering. They are very effective at developing great relationships with people. And, they are usually really nice people. However, they seldom reach their sales targets or quotas.

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