Nice people don’t force others into things. It’s not how we work.
But, if you’ve ever seen a potential client go cold right when they seemed about to say yes to your offer, it might just be that the other felt forced.
This can happen even if you have no intention of pushing an issue, if you’re completely OK with either a yes or a no, and you’re as non-pushy as can be… the other can still feel like something is being decided *for* them, instead of *by* them.
This is how many sales break down, and it’s really easy to prevent:
Ask for permission.
Oh I know, they teach you about the ‘assumptive close’ – “So let’s book our first meeting in and then deal with the contract”.
And in some cases, that works. Very often though, that one small move can give the wrong signal, and make the buyer feel as if they’re not the one making the decisions here.
And if integrity matters to you, clearly you want the buyer to make the decision.
So how do you prevent giving that wrong signal, and make sure that the buyer feels confident and in control?
Ask for permission.
“Do you want to book the first meeting in?”
“Would you like me to tell you about the programme?”
“Would it make sense to meet again and discuss working together?”
“I have an idea that might help – do you want me to explain what I have in mind?”
Hardcore sales trainers will probably snub their nose and call me a softy, but whatever. I hope they enjoy their polyester suits, as much as I enjoy hearing clients say ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘take my money’. (yes, someone actually bought whilst saying that last one).
Point is, you’re not the boss of your buyers. They are.
And the slightest signal that ‘you know what’s best’ will set off all kinds of warning signs and alarm bells in them.
But if you ask permission to ask for a sale, or to explain a programme, you’re giving the other person reign and autonomy. “Your decision – do we proceed?”
Not only is this the right, integrous way to sell, it’s also highly effective, because when a buyer steps in fully self-motivated, they sell themselves – and you’ll agree that that’s a more fun than trying to ‘convince’ or ‘persuade’.