Research demonstrates that 81 percent of persuaders talk more than necessary during the persuasion process. They are talking too much,7 and you are likely talking too much.
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When we talk too much and fail to allow our audience to ask questions, it increases the thickness of the brick wall of resistance. Consider the doctor analogy to persuasion, meaning you have to listen and ask questions before you can diagnose the problem. The doctor does not come into the examination room and try to sell you on a prescription without first asking questions or trying to discover what you really need. Like a physician, you need to step back and be able to absorb and evaluate everything your audience is saying. While monitoring persuaders, I have found a constant epidemic of overpersuasion and regurgitating too many features.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you ever overpersuade or flood them with too much information:
- Do you interrupt your audience in your eagerness to highlight another point before they have finished?
- Are you worried about making the sale or satisfying a new customer?
- Do you ever lose their eye contact or get a glazed look?
- Do they seem stressed, indifferent, or agitated?
- Does your audience seem overwhelmed or confused?
- Are you concentrating on what you need to say next instead of listening?
- Is your audience giving you excuses and objections that you’ve already covered or that you know aren’t really true?
- Do their nonverbal signals tell you they are getting ready to run?
- Are you talking about yourself instead of discovering their needs?