Don't make customers feel like they have been sold in your sales process

A sale is made in every business interaction – either you sold your client on your idea and got the deal, or they sold you on their excuses and no deal was done.

A sale is defined by Brian Tracy in The Psychology of Selling as “a transfer of enthusiasm.” The best sales training I have received agreed, and added that “sales is a battle of wills.”

Battle is a strong word, although sometimes the sales process can feel like one. Perhaps a game of chess is a less violent, though still effective, visual of the confrontation involved in sales. In sales as in chess, the confrontation is undeniable, even when the process is friendly. This month’s focus is the power of YOUR will.

If YOUR will is such a key to success in sales, must you become belligerent and bullheaded? Must you dominate or trample the opposing will of your client in order to succeed? Nay, but as in chess, a great process results when the winner has used the actions of the opponent to his own advantage.

What actions of your client can you use to your advantage? In a perfect world, ALL OF THEM! Of course none of us are perfect, but we strive for the ideal. As you consider your approach to your client, be sure you think through their possible responses, especially those excuses they will use to try to wriggle out of making a sales decision. Determine how you will respectfully use their words to further your sales process, no matter their initial responses.

People don’t like to feel like they’ve been “sold.” The cliché has a negative connotation to it – as though a person was taken advantage of. How can you have a powerful resolute WILL and happy clients who aren’t experiencing buyer’s remorse? Great question, one we salesmen face every day. Finding and following this balance will make you a powerful salesperson!

Consider the contrast between a negative experience where one feels manipulated into a corner with no way out but the uncomfortable buying decision – and the positive, even thrilling, experience where one feels as though their friend salesman has taken them by the hand and helped them up a rocky path to a beautiful rewarding vista they’d not have experienced otherwise!

The greatest salesmen have such a strong will that only a client’s circumstances will keep the deal from being done. Not excuses, not smokescreens, not made-up reasons for not making a buying decision – but only circumstances. The excuses are myriad, the legitimate reasons are few. The great majority of reasons a person gives during the sales process for not buying then & there are inconsequential.

How can you get around these excuses? (And yes, you should get around them, rather than treat them as actual concerns.) One simple method of many is to simply let YOUR WILL lead the process: Let the client know you care, that’s why you are customizing the deal to fit their “needs,” but clearly show that you are determined to not let petty excuses keep them from benefitting by this win-win deal. Let them know you care WAY MORE than their smokescreen “reasons.” Use what they say to back-up your progress in the sale. Then their words are the foundation for the deal being done.


Your WILL strategically moves you around their excuses (their pawns) and you get the chance to conquer their king and create that win-win deal!


“I know you are concerned about the price Susan, and that’s why I got permission to lower it way below normal for you – If I get it that low for you, keep it between us ok? I wouldn’t want to go that low for everyone else. Now in addition to X (name a feature they like and want) would you benefit more from including X or X to fit your needs today?”

So what WILL it be? WILL you get sold, or WILL you sell?

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