Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, author, and sales leader. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

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Stop Avoiding Minor Conflicts

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People don’t want you to cold call them. They don’t want to be interrupted while they are heads down working. They especially don’t want you to try to engage them in a discovery call that they haven’t agreed to. But there isn’t a faster way to generate new opportunities.

People also don’t want to accept your LinkedIn request and then receive your self-oriented pitch two seconds later. You like this form of interruption better because it allows you to avoid conflict. It provides the illusion of prospecting.

There’s a reason your prospects allow their phone calls to go to their email. They don’t like the conflict that comes with saying “no” to your request for an appointment. They ask you to email them so they don’t have to tell you “no,” depriving you of the opportunity to ask questions or ask again for the commitment you need.

You make things difficult for yourself when you agree to allow the people you are trying to help live behind their email. You make it worse when you live behind email. Two people avoiding each other because they are afraid of the smallest amount of conflict does not a deal make.

When you lose an opportunity, it’s difficult for your prospect to tell you that you lost. They’ll almost certainly will tell you that they were impressed and that the decision came down to price. If only you could have sharpened your pencil. It is easier to have a conversation about something that was out of your control than it is to tell you that they knew, liked, and trusted someone more than they liked you.

Selling is conversations and commitments. Like most human endeavors, there is some inherent small amount of conflict. The real danger isn’t in engaging in the small conflict that can occur as you pursue a deal. The real danger is avoiding that conflict.

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