Are you talking yourself out of a sale?

I used to think that a sales person was a person who had
‘the gift of the gab’.

Sabotaging Sales

Image credit Gary Jones

And that if you could talk a lot …

you’d just reel in those customers!


It wasn’t until I noticed that sometimes, right when I thought I had the sale, I lost it.

Right when it was an absolute certainty, in the bag, for sure!

And then I started to hear myself talking all the way out of the sale.

Right at the time the person was making a final decision and was saying – okay I’ll take it – I’d get excited.

Too excited.

Words would come streaming out of my mouth. Things that I just had to share, like

that has been our best seller today!


that is my favourite as well!

But here is the thing.

I took me a long time before I actually noticed that my customer wasn’t sharing the same enthusiasm as me. It was almost as if they lost interest in their purchase.

How could this be?

Surely they wanted me to tell them what a fantastic decision they had made?

Then one day the unthinkable happened.

I was happily sharing how many sales I had made that exact same day of that exact same handbag, and how popular this style was, with a new customer. Until she said

oh, well, I was really looking for something unique. Thanks for telling me, um, I won’t take it now.

Aaahh! What!

And it was at that moment I realized, that my excitement was focussed on the sale. It was about ME! I was in a dialogue with myself.

I realized that when I was talking, I wasn’t listening. And when I was talking, it was all about me, and my opinion. And the customer really didn’t want to hear that.

Because when they are buying, they want it to be all about them.

So how did I fix this?

Now, when I’m in the middle of a sales dialogue, and the person indicates they want to make a purchase, I do talk. But in a different way.

Firstly I thank them. Briefly.

And then I ask a question.

It might be:

is this for yourself or a gift for someone?

or it might be:

you look a little familiar? Have I seen you before?

or even:

how did you find my company?


did you come here today looking for a handbag in particular?

or many others.

You see, not only now do I make it about her, the customer. But I also use this time in the dialogue to learn something. 

Because this is the perfect time to find out some details that might have been hard to come by earlier. When she is purchasing, she is often ready to share information that is really useful to me. Useful to my business. Useful to my future product development.

So the questions are shaped around what I need to know for my business growth. And they change from time to time.

And now I achieve two things.

  1.  I get to listen to my customers and learn
  2.  My customers feel important and feel listened to

If you would like a list of great questions to ask, then you’ll get a list of them today when you sign up on the mailing list at the bottom of this blog. 

Have you ever hear yourself talking too much?

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  1. This is such a helpful post, and you don’t know how much it means to have some alternative dialogue lines to get us started. I still find myself getting over excited but now I catch myself 9 out of 10 times…currently aiming for a perfect 10 “its all about you” :) thanks again for your generosity!

    • Thanks Cynthia.

      I’d love to have some other questions that you have tried to add to my list.

      Let me know what happens when you ask these.


  2. I’ve only done one market, but I have already found that because I am nervous about talking to people who approach my stall, I tend to overcompensate! I will practice learning when to stop. :-)

    • Jenny Spring says:


      Being nervous can turn me into a nonstop chatterer.

      I find that if I start asking questions them it settles me down as well as helping me learn more.

      I’ll be keen to hear if it works for you.


  3. Thanks Jenny. Great advice as always! I too am a serial jibber-er when I’m on edge sometimes even after doing markets for 3 years :-)

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