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"How can I avoid coming across as a pushy salesperson?"

An experienced manager recently asked me this question and it's one of those fears that we all face; nobody likes dealing with the kind of person that pushes their product or service at you, probably doesn't really listen or take the time to understand their potential customer. However this fear has to be balanced with that other fear - not winning business, not closing deals or gaining clients.

My advice, at the top level, was to remove the pressure that tends to drive someone in a selling role to tend to become pushy - or desperate. That pressure can be to gain the business, win some revenue, build your business. Frequently the pressure to get the result (as important as it is to have a clear measurable goal) can mean that individuals make mistakes - they start to focus on themselves, about getting the result at all costs, closing a deal before an important internally set timeline, and it's this pressure that can create the stereotypical pushy salesperson.

So, that's why is critical to focus on your sales process - to understand the elements of your process, the metrics involved at each stage of that process and the timeframes required to complete your process. First of course, you need to have mapped your process and understand the repeatable steps and what needs to be measured. Confidence in your process allows you to take your time with the knowledge that a focused process will deliver the results you require. Taking time also means that you give your potential customer time to talk and you time to listen. These two things create comfort for your prospect and makes you not seem pushy at all.

If there is one element of any sales process which should be focused on more than any other to avoid the pressure building that could make you seem pushy, it is the prospecting stage - that stage when you get the attention of a prospect (a future potential buyer) and establish a relationship. This is also the stage that most people that have to deliver a sales result are most uncomfortable with. Sales people will tend to procrastinate over this stage and makes themselves "busy" with other elements of the sales process that seem more fun and by contrast more comfortable. However, if there is one piece of advice I would give tio almost anyone - increase the amount of time that you spend prospecting and building those early relationships. Challenge yourself - am I spending enough time at this stage of my process? What would my future results look like if a doubled the amount of prospecting activity? What could I be doing less of that is not likely to lead to improved results?

The answers to these questions will require that you understand your sales process inside out. Do you really? If not then I invite you to bring that challenge to one of my Impact Workshops where we can help you and in the day of sales coaching that follows all one day Impact Workshops, I can focus your skills on that element to ensure that results follow. To find out more about Impact on Performance take a look at www.impactonperformance.com or call me.

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