On Being Pushy

It's a trust killer.

Employing aggressive sales techniques doesn't work. This is true if you're selling cars, clothes, apartments. This is true if you're selling your time, hands, or brain.

But it's especially true for consultants, since it kills the most important element and requirement for selling consulting engagements: trust.

Being pushy sends a signal that you’re desperate.

And if you’re desperate, people understand that:

  1. You're probably not that good at what you do.
  2. You don't have their best interests at heart, and probably act the same way with your clients.

That's not always the case, but our instincts and emotions play a big part here. Put yourself in your client's shoes for a second.

Desperate consultants are rarely competent. If they were, they'd have a healthy pipeline and more demand for their services than they can fulfill. Competent people don't chase prospects and make everything they can to ensure they're picking the best-fit clients.

Desperate consultants are usually not reliable. If they put money and their financial compensation above their clients' interests, can you really count on them to deliver the work if someone else makes them a better offer? Will they stick with you when difficult times come?

If you act like a desperate consultant, people will see you as a desperate consultant.

The solution to selling more is not to try to convince prospects that your services are great. But to find out what they want or need and, if you can deliver it, show what it would look like to work together by guiding them through your sales process.

Actions speak louder than words. Be professional, and your prospects will trust and respect you.

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