Losing the Battle to Win the War

Sometimes you can make selling feel like a battle of wills. You can get wrapped around the axle, becoming so attached to the outcome you want that you end up doing more harm than good.

For example, you expect objections when you ask for a meeting. You’ve been taught to overcome those objections (or, more accurately, resolve your prospective client’s concerns). You can try a couple of times, but the third time you cross the line from persistent to self-oriented.

When I was very young, I once overcame seven objections in a row from a prospect with whom I was trying to book a meeting. Later, after we had hung up, she called me back to tell me that her boss was in the room and that she tried everything she could to let me go politely. I apologized like crazy, and she eventually forgave me. I was lucky she did.

If you think that it’s a battle of wills that you have to win, that belief and the actions that follow can spell the end of any opportunity you had. If you feel you have to win a “battle” of wills, you can very quickly lose the war.

You have to try. But you don’t have to “win” if attempting to win means that you lose the relationship. The relationship is more important than the transaction. If you maintain the relationship, you have the possibility of trying again in the future.

Selling isn’t something you do to someone. It is something you do for and with someone. Sometimes losing the battle is how you eventually win the war.

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Filed under: Sales

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