Are You Guilty Of Overselling?

The deal you worked so hard to secure has just slipped through your fingers and you can’t understand why.  You have the gift of the gab and the prospect was in the palm of your hand, but then everything unraveled in seconds before your very eyes.  This is a salesperson’s worst nightmare and one of the most common causes is overselling.  It’s entirely possible that you talked too much – a huge turnoff.

You may well be passionate about your company’s products and services and can’t believe why anyone wouldn’t want them.  But if you don’t know when to stop talking you are going to lose deal after deal.

Top salespeople know that selling is not about persuading people to hand over their hard earned cash for their latest gizmo, but about listening to a prospect’s needs and problems and responding with an ideal solution.


So, have you talked yourself right out of a sale because of your verbal diarrhoea?  Are you guilty of making some of the below common overselling mistakes?

You don’t know when to keep schtum – fear of rejection stalks many a sales conversation.  The average salesperson worries that the moment they stop talking, the other person will fill the silence with a “no”.  Yet the prospect was ready to sign on the dotted line ten minutes ago, now they’re just wondering if you have something to hide because you keep on trying to sell to them.  If you don’t stop talking, you’ll miss the cues that the person is ready to buy.

You can’t resist showing off – some salespeople think the job isn’t done until they have rattled off a long list of their qualifications and demonstrated just how much they know about what they’re selling.  All this achieves is that a prospect is bored to tears.

You promise more than what the prospect needs – you swamp them with information about things they gave no indication of needing.

You use too much technical jargon – blinding a prospect with science is not going to impress them.  If they can’t understand what it is you’re selling them, you have failed.


Here are some of the key ways of avoiding the overselling trap:

Understand your prospect’s pain points – listen attentively to the problems they face and take the time to understand them.  A prospect is looking for solutions, not to be sold at.  If they are unable to articulate their challenges, draw out the information with open-ended questions (these typically start with what, how, who and when).

Show empathy – don’t just nod blithely when your prospect is telling you about their problems.  Ask questions that demonstrate you understand what they are saying and how they’re feeling.

Understand what success looks like for your customer – don’t assume that you know what goals your customers are looking to accomplish.  Ask them.  Clarity will help you to deliver a stellar service.

Don’t be scared of the silence – avoid labouring under the false premise that silence means the prospect is going to say “no” or mention some kind of flaw with the product you’re selling.  People need time to think and let things sink in. Read our short blog here about The Power Of The Pause

Talk less and listen more – talking too much comes across as desperate.  If what you’re selling is good, there’s no need to lay it on thick.  Listen more, and we mean this politely, learn to put a sock in it.  Sometimes, silence is golden.


Open dialogue and communication creates a win-win scenario, not a river of sales spiel.  When you have demonstrated you can deliver exactly what your prospect needs to help solve their problems and achieve their goals, then you can move in to close the deal.

Our programmes are all about understanding the customer’s world and creating a solution that is going to make their world better. If you want to explore what training options there are available to you, please call us on 0207 043 1582.

For now, here are some questions you can ask your clients to really understand their world, which will get them talking…not you.

Good Luck!!

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