In that time I have have come to be of the opinion that your story and your offer are the top things that are going to effect your sales. You can have everything else in place, but if you screw up the story or the offer, you wasted your time.
I'm going to focus on the offer, and I'll use an example from my personal life.
I was diagnosed with lymphoma and although the lymphoma itself did not cause me a lot of problems, I had a lot of complications from it. During that time that I was sick I met a girl and she was pretty cool. It was actually really cool because I thought I was dying anyway, so I didn't feel like I had to play any type of games, I could just be myself because nothing was ever going to happen anyway. The doctors had told me I was going to die, and I was not going to put anyone in the situation of being in a relationship with me, and having that attatchment etc. Anyway, it was really cool though because she thought most of my jokes where funny, and she gave me just as much **** as I gave her.
Anyway, when my health situation cleared up I worked up the courage to ask her on a date. It took me about 3 or 4 weeks of mini panic attacks, but I finally asked her to go bungy jumping with me.
Well, there was a huge problem with this. You see, I thought bungy jumping would be great because both of us are scared to death of heighths. I mean, I don't even like sitting in the window seat of an airplane, but I hate that. I went through so much with my illness, that I am determined to face life head on and overcome all of my fears. So, my thought was, well this would be cool cos I can ask her to go bungy jumping with me, and since she thinks I'm a cool guy she will say yes,then I'll be forced to do it.
Well, the problem is she's scared of heighths, like scared to death of heights. So, her reply to me was basically along the lines of "When they are making snowballs in hell". Now, because I'm a guy and we are not always the smartest creatures on earth, I took this as a total rejection of spending any time with me. I really felt terrible, in fact this was the first time I'd ever asked a girl being serious and really caring what she said...so to say I felt horrible would be an understatement.
Then I was talking to her a few days later and I was really confused, because we'd flurt and she was still laughing at even the stupid stuff I said. Thats when the lightbuld went off, and I was like..it was not me she said no too, it was the offer. I offered her pain, something she is scared to death of, it was a horrible offer. We'd spent all of this time building a friendship and something of a connection, and I almost totally blew it with the single most horrible offer in the history of offers.
So here is the take away to all of you who are trying to sell stuf: You can invest a lot of time, effort and emotional energy into building up a relationship with your prospects: They might even find you charming, to the point of even laughing at your dumb jokes, but if you screw up the offer, your not going to close the deal.
If you build up a good relationship with your prospects, if your survey's and communications suggest that they should be buyers, but they end up not buying from you, you need to look HARD at your offer. Take it down and come up with a better one, because the odds are good that your offer sucks, and that's why they are not buying from you.