When I was a little girl and my parents had some visitors, I would sometimes go and hide in the closet. Doing this, I could avoid their overwhelming displays of affection – ranging from wet, sloppy kisses to smothering, inescapable hugs. So, why am I being self-revealing here? – To show you that this is not what it appears to be: fear of intimacy. Deep down, it’s about being in control versus not being in control. I felt more comfortable calling the shots rather than someone else imposing what they wanted upon me.

Isn’t this what sales feels like at times: that we’re forcing people to listen to and buy from us? We perceive each person that walks through our “door” as a potential sale. And how does that make the sales professional within us feel? Not so warm and fuzzy, right? That’s because we’re seeing our prospective clients or Joint Venture (JV) partners as objects of our potential control. Furthermore, because our prospects will sense and feel that about us, they’ll engage in a fight or flight response, therefore making our strategy a no-win situation. We’ll lose our prospect – perhaps forever!

What’s the alternative then, you ask? Read on, about our quick tips and example provided below.

Make your work or business about:

- Blessing instead of pre-judging others
- Getting to know, understanding, and qualifying your prospect
- Asking for, rather than demanding the sale from your prospect
- Becoming more accepting of “what is”, and also becoming emotionally resilient and patient
- Exercising your listening, conversational, and creative problem solving skills
- Spreading love and joy to others

So, which one of the above is your weakest sales link? Now, dare to make it the focus of your personal development for 2010. For example, when asking for the sale – and only after you have qualified the prospect – you could say, “Are you ready to commit to product/service XYZ today?” Or when engaged in a JV Negotiation Discussion and your mind, heart and gut are telling you this partnership feels “right”, don’t be afraid to ask: “Are you ready to commit to and solidify our partnership today?” This approach works well when your prospect has already demonstrated strong interest (usually verbally or visually) in your offer. If she would prefer to sleep on it (i.e. the decision), then you could ask: “When would you be ready to announce your decision: Friday or Saturday at 7 pm (or whatever the next two days would correspond to)?”

Depending on what’s going on in your prospect’s life (e.g. other decisions, vacations, business trips) and whether the decision also needs to be run by someone else, then the timeline may get pushed back even further. Based on my experience, giving a maximum of one week typically works fine. The secret is to fully respect and accept your prospect’s decision-making style and circumstances. Before you end the conversation, don’t forget to invite your prospect to call or e-mail you anytime about any further questions that may arise in the meantime. And last but not least, mean what you say! Or else don’t say it at all.

Keep practicing the above techniques and that feeling that you need to force something onto your prospect will quickly vanish. Then when your perfect prospect naturally walks into your life and introduces herself, you’ll wonder what the big deal about selling really was. You may just fall in love with the process! – Because it’s about meeting (in person or online), conversing with, and helping others. What’s not to like about that (smile)!

Author's Bio: 

Monique MacKinnon, Creativity Expert and CEO of Energetic Evolution, has over 20 years of combined marketing, management, training, consulting, and coaching experience. Monique’s specialty is helping ambitious entrepreneurs -- including those who feel temporarily lost, disillusioned or discouraged -- who need more direction, focus, and accountability to translate their ideas and talents into concrete actions that ultimately bring them financially- and-soul-satisfying business and life success. Monique uses a multi-dimensional approach that marries the best of both worlds: the practical + the esoteric. Plus, she is trained in the art and science of hand analysis with the International Institute of Hand Analysts (http://www.handanalysis.net/) and as a Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner with the WEL-Systems Institute (http://www.wel-systems.com). Most importantly, this is how her clients describe and like most about her: She’s dynamic, visionary, creative, astute, and quick to deliver on her promise!