How high-pressure selling destroys your chances.

36 replies
Do you like it when salespeople pressure you to buy?

If I put my hand on your chest and pushed you how would you react? You'd dig in your heels and push back. You would do this reflexively to maintain your balance and sense of inner control.

When you're trying to take a girl home and she is hesitant do you argue with her? Do you forcefully grab her arm and attempt to drag her out of the bar? Is it smart to be insistent and keep pushing for an action that she is unsure about? What do you think that could lead to?

When you forcefully persuade, people resist automatically. They will meet your intent with a force equal in intensity and violence of their own.

Overcoming resistance comes from demonstrating respect and treating them as a person, not a prospect. I refuse to use the word 'Prospect.' It implies that someone is now a target. Someone you hunt down, impress, or go to war with. Someone who you invariably chase away.

People do not become adversaries until you give them a reason to hold their ground. People are not stupid. They are not pawns for your use. So they are not going to let you control or take anything from them.

If people are hostile it's probably because you have stopped seeing the person right in front of you.
#chances #destroys #highpressure #selling
  • Well, you shouldn't be doing any hard selling with complete strangers to begin with. If we're going to go with your dating analogy, you shouldn't be taking a girl home unless you're absolutely sure she wants to be there and she wants to be with you. In the same sense that you shouldn't push your product or service until you're sure that what you have is what your customers actually want.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Using the dating analogy you're going to have a lot more luck
      if you're introduced to a girl by someone she knows and trusts.

      Another alternative that works well is if she hears about you
      from people who seem to have some authority.

      Watching you perform or speak or working or doing anything
      that puts you in a good light (eg helping a charity) will also help your
      chances.

      It's the same with business owners.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
    Originally Posted by Matthew North View Post


    When you persuade, people resist automatically. They will meet your intent with a force equal in intensity and violence of their own.

    Overcoming resistance comes from demonstrating respect and treating them as a person, not a prospect. I refuse to use the word 'Prospect.' It implies that someone is now a target. Someone you hunt down, impress, or go to war with. Someone who you invariably chase away.

    People do not become adversaries until you give them a reason to hold their ground. People are not stupid. They are not pawns for your use. So they are not going to let you control or take anything from them.

    If people are hostile it's probably because you have stopped seeing the person right in front of you.
    I'm fascinated with the concept of push/pull where you bring them thru a narrative you build and unfold. By creating a bit of denial and then possibility into view they will emotionally rollercoaster. I think it has similarities to a "takeaway" and if done politely, in a light-hearted way, can be powerful.

    For example, if you were trying to get Jane to go on a date but were getting resistance I might push/pull with, "Yeah, we probably never could be a good couple. But you know I bet we'd both have a great time together if we went to...."

    ^ That is hard to express in a forum post but with the proper tone, attitude and honesty applied it lightly creates a bit of tension. It plays on basic brain thoughts, not complex ones and invokes an emotional reaction that rollercoasters into a direction you decide to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Originally Posted by Matthew North View Post


    When you persuade, people resist automatically.
    Hi there,

    That all depends on how you're doing the persuading.

    All the best,

    Sasha.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

      That all depends on how you're doing the persuading.
      Bingo and I would argue that proper persuasion is not high-pressure. Persuasion works best when you make them think it was their idea. If you are truly good at it you will lead them to the water with them thinking they lead you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
        Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

        Hi there,

        That all depends on how you're doing the persuading.

        All the best,

        Sasha.
        Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

        Bingo and I would argue that proper persuasion is not high-pressure. Persuasion works best when you make them think it was their idea. If you are truly good at it you will lead them to the water with them thinking they lead you.
        Thanks. I agree with both of your points.

        I've edited the post to be more clear.
        Signature

        you cant hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket.

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        • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
          Originally Posted by Matthew North View Post

          Thanks. I agree with both of your points.

          I've edited the post to be more clear.
          Matthew, I just finished Oren Klaff's "Pitch Anything" -- which I think provides excellent perspective(s) on your topic in this post and recommend reading the book.

          I may be mistaken but I think we both do similar phone prospecting/sales work (sorry if I am incorrect on that). In any event, I found it difficult to read straight through because I was constantly relating the concepts to my real-world phone work. The bulk of the book was about more traditional, board room type environments, but I got a lot out of the ideas and working to apply them to phone prospecting and sales presentations.

          Thanks for this post --- it allowed me to directly link back into some concepts that I read about and can see how they could be fit into my approaches!
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

      For example, if you were trying to get Jane to go on a date but were getting resistance I might push/pull with, "Yeah, we probably never could be a good couple. But you know I bet we'd both have a great time together if we went to...."

      ^ That is hard to express in a forum post but with the proper tone, attitude and honesty applied it lightly creates a bit of tension. It plays on basic brain thoughts, not complex ones and invokes an emotional reaction that rollercoasters into a direction you decide to go.
      Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

      Hi there,

      That all depends on how you're doing the persuading.
      But if Jane isn't the least attracted to you in the first place, all the rest of what you do is futile no matter how well you do it. Kitty cat doesn't take the bait unless it's her kind of bait.

      That whole "oh yeah, well I was disinterested but now that he's taken that tone, I'll show him!... by being more interested" both in work and pleasure ISN'T effective unless the other party has sufficient enough interest level (51% interest level minimum).
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Whenever I hear about high pressure salesmen, I really see;

        Poor prospect selection.
        Poor qualifying process
        Ignoring feedback from the prospect
        Arguing, instead of matching your offer to their stated needs.

        If you are a prospect, and perceive pressure? The salesperson is incompetent.

        And you can still show a dominant position, and not be incompetent.

        "Caring authorities" do it all the time.

        Have you ever heard of a "High Pressure Doctor"? No.

        And how many closes does it take, for you to agree to follow your doctor's advice? None.
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        "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".....Ian Maclaren
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        • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


          Have you ever heard of a "High Pressure Doctor"? No.

          And how many closes does it take, for you to agree to follow your doctor's advice? None.
          He doesn't have to pressure anyone because he goes into the social interaction with the control and the patient as the one with low status. Everything about that situation has the patient as the beta, from the doctor, nurse and even reception.. Oh and how does it feel to be stripped except for a paper gown? lol...

          You are going in and usually kept in a beta position without any pressure applied to you
          Its the same with the police officer that has pulled you over for speeding -- the social exchange you will have has him in complete control because you are at a moral disadvantage (you broke the law speeding). He doesn't need to say anything to apply pressure to gain or keep control -- his status and your behavior established the situation and pecking order.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

            He doesn't have to pressure anyone because he goes into the social interaction with the control and the patient as the one with low status. Everything about that situation has the patient as the beta, from the doctor, nurse and even reception.. Oh and how does it feel to be stripped except for a paper gown? lol...

            You are going in and usually kept in a beta position without any pressure applied to you
            Its the same with the police officer that has pulled you over for speeding -- the social exchange you will have has him in complete control because you are at a moral disadvantage (you broke the law speeding). He doesn't need to say anything to apply pressure to gain or keep control -- his status and your behavior established the situation and pecking order.
            With the policeman, yes. With the doctor, not as much. In my speeches, I tell the audience that the greatest advancement in medicine was the appointment. The second greatest advancement was the waiting room. For the very reasons you gave.

            Before nearly every presentation, you can establish yourself as the expert/ celebrity/in demand authority.

            In fact, I'm so used to that now, I don't think I'd ever start a presentation without that positioning.

            I can tell you're a fan of Pitch Anything. And much of this is spelled out there. You can establish positioning before an appointment, or during the appointment. I've done both, but I'm getting too lazy to go through the motions during an appointment.

            Added later; The doctor analogy is so strong, I want to point out all that goes on that causes you to submit to nearly anything, without question.

            You have to call for an appointment. No house calls.
            There is a room that has other people waiting for the doctor. Social proof that he is an authority.
            Making you wait, without complaint, is a compliance technique.
            The underling (not the doctor) calls you into another little room...to wait some more. Having assistants talk to you first, further establishes the doctor as an authority figure...and you as one of many wanting his attention.
            They wear lab coats. The doctors wear lab coats. It's a costume. It signifies rank. It shows authority. And the vast majority of us never question authority...no matter what we tell each other.
            The doctor finally sees you....asks you questions...(that's qualifying), always showing concern. Never joking. Never showing that they are anything but the one in authority...a concerned parent.
            They give you a treatment. They tell you what they are going to do. (prescription, surgery, treatment). And then you go to the front desk, and pay $125 for the visit...plus whatever the treatment costs. The doctor talked to you for ten minutes.

            Master salesmanship. Master positioning. We can learn a lot from that.
            And none of this has anything to do with the quality of care, or the competence of the doctor.
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            "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".....Ian Maclaren
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            • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              Added later; The doctor analogy is so strong, I want to point out all that goes on that causes you to submit to nearly anything, without question.

              Master salesmanship. Master positioning. We can learn a lot from that.
              And none of this has anything to do with the quality of care, or the competence of the doctor.
              I am finding myself searching for these power positions in situations I may find myself in. Simple things even -- we went to a restaurant for Mother's day dinner with family and I noticed how the waitress handled a request. It was so slight and unnoticeable but I could see how the dynamic unfolded.

              Someone at our table was asked "soup or salad", which they wanted a salad. Then was asked, "Garden or Cesare?". The person replied "Garden, with Ranch dressing". But, see the waitress didn't ask her the dressing she wanted and quickly seemed to take the power position, "we don't have ranch. you can have creamy Parmesan or balsamic vinegar and oil".

              It was really seemingly nothing, but you could tell that something just happened -- she was in charge of us siting at the table. While she may have been asking for what we wanted to eat/drink, seemingly giving bits of power to each of us, I could also see just smidgens of denials that revoked the power away and taking control.

              I am not saying this is directly related to a sales process. It may be, it certainly would be situational and up to the individual to determine how to apply these scenarios to their own endeavors.

              For me what I witnessed yesterday was validation of some of the concepts expressed in Klaff's book and was quite interesting to see that whole thing unfold.
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          • Profile picture of the author socialentry
            Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

            You are going in and usually kept in a beta position without any pressure applied to you
            Its the same with the police officer that has pulled you over for speeding -- the social exchange you will have has him in complete control because you are at a moral disadvantage (you broke the law speeding). He doesn't need to say anything to apply pressure to gain or keep control -- his status and your behavior established the situation and pecking order.
            The threat of being beaten with a nightstick also works.
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            • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
              Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

              The threat of being beaten with a nightstick also works.
              That would be an unrealistic concern for simple speeding ticket (as in my example). You didn't rob a bank, you were just going 10mph over the limit is all.

              I don't think it is really that difficult to understand this -- most can relate to the stressful feelings after getting pulled over in such a scenario, watching the officer approach an anxiousness, maybe even nervous. At a disadvantage before you even had a chance to speak.

              The point is, at no point would you ever be in the position to negotiate or "win" at selling him on the idea of cutting you a break with a warning. He is in complete and total control of the situation way before you entered any social exchange.
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      • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        But if Jane isn't the least attracted to you in the first place, all the rest of what you do is futile no matter how well you do it. Kitty cat doesn't take the bait unless it's her kind of bait.

        That whole "oh yeah, well I was disinterested but now that he's taken that tone, I'll show him!... by being more interested" both in work and pleasure ISN'T effective unless the other party has sufficient enough interest level (51% interest level minimum).
        Yes -- that is assumed. I would think people here could take these high-level concepts and put them into proper context. Qualifying would accomplish what you mention andnjust moving on part of it.
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        • Profile picture of the author misterme
          Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

          Yes -- that is assumed.
          You assume it was assumed.
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          • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
            Originally Posted by misterme View Post

            You assume it was assumed.
            Hey, did you catch the post earlier today of the guy selling cocaine? <--- seriously. LMAO
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        But if Jane isn't the least attracted to you in the first place, all the rest of what you do is futile no matter how well you do it. Kitty cat doesn't take the bait unless it's her kind of bait.

        That whole "oh yeah, well I was disinterested but now that he's taken that tone, I'll show him!... by being more interested" both in work and pleasure ISN'T effective unless the other party has sufficient enough interest level (51% interest level minimum).
        Some people will chase for your approval simply because you aren't giving it to them. It's not about you, it's about restoring a blow to their self-image. Especially if they are used to getting a lot of attention. It does not fit into their model of reality. The chasing of approval can be easily rationalized as attraction because the person is reacting to you. It has the same emotional value. Which leads to exhibiting the same self-conscious behaviours they make around guys they do like. All that has changed is the stimulus.
        Signature

        you cant hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket.

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        • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
          Originally Posted by Matthew North View Post

          Some people will chase for your approval simply because you aren't giving it to them. It's not about you, it's about restoring a blow to their self-image. Especially if they are used to getting a lot of attention. It does not fit into their model of reality. The chasing of approval can be easily rationalized as attraction because the person is reacting to you. It has the same emotional value. Which leads to exhibiting the same self-conscious behaviours they make around guys they do like. All that has changed is the stimulus.
          Also, much of this happens in such a slight manner. It may not even be noticeable but sometimes seemingly unnoticable things completely change the dynamic of the situation. It can be very subtle.

          I think Jason's point about the typical reader of this thread might get bogged down in the dicussion, missing a straight-up "do this" --- his post is well recieved.
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        • Profile picture of the author squidface
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Matthew North View Post

          Some people will chase for your approval simply because you aren't giving it to them. It's not about you, it's about restoring a blow to their self-image. Especially if they are used to getting a lot of attention. It does not fit into their model of reality. The chasing of approval can be easily rationalized as attraction because the person is reacting to you. It has the same emotional value. Which leads to exhibiting the same self-conscious behaviours they make around guys they do like. All that has changed is the stimulus.
          They're are called stalkers son.
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    • Profile picture of the author bsummers
      Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

      Hi there,

      That all depends on how you're doing the persuading.

      All the best,

      Sasha.
      Agree with you Sasha. If you are too brash and too needy, the prospect will definitely back out. The trick is to persuade subtly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    This discussion has been good.

    However, it's not really relevant to the average Warrior, who knows next to zip about selling.

    You know what's worse than high pressure? Desperation.

    That's what is more common in this forum. Desperation to make the sale.

    The salesperson/owner calls up the prospect, and immediately launches into a desperate attempt to sell since they got someone on the line.

    Fun fact: the effect and results are the same as high pressure selling.

    The prospect withdraws. "No thanks," "Just looking," "We're good and don't need any."

    Turtle. Whether they do need help or not is impossible to find out, now.

    Look for good fit instead of trying to push your product or service, and you'll have a much easier time.

    People still don't understand good fit as prospects; they are going to think it's a fancy way to sell them somehow, even though they don't 'get it'. Expect suspicion. Really DO be ready to get rid of prospects who aren't a fit.

    All prospects lie.

    They lie, just as we do when we're prospects, to protect themselves from getting ripped off by bad salespeople. Can you blame them?

    Let's look at the first things you could hear in response to the beginning of your prospecting calls:

    "We're all good, thanks." Probably a lie. Prospect is afraid they're going to make a mistake.

    "Yeah we BADLY need help in that area!" Probably a lie. Prospect wants a free education, so they pretend to have a high level of interest to make you keep talking.


    I want you to notice something.

    What prospects say to you first is very likely a lie. Every time.

    Every time!

    Yet here you are, jerked around emotionally with each of these responses. Your heart plummets when they immediately say they're "not interested". Your emotions leap when they rapidly tell you how much they want to know more about what you offer.

    Lies. Remember that. Ulterior motives. You have not got anywhere close to inside their world. And that's where the real selling happens.

    So what's the lesson here?

    Ignore what they tell you first.

    As best as you're able, turn off the emotions. Adopt a 'Who cares what the prospect does initially?' attitude.

    They're probably lying to you anyway. Either they're afraid of making a mistake or they want a free education from you.

    Keep going. Run your process--not theirs.

    If they just don't want to talk right now, as on average half the people who actually answer the phone will be, don't take it personally. It has nothing to do with you.

    If they are acting excited, find out about what's really going on in their world instead of launching into a features and benefits presentation of what you do. To present now is to present to an unqualified prospect. Most often a waste of time.

    Stop caring about what the individual prospect says initially. They're probably lying anyway. Ignore and move past it.

    "We're good--we have that all under control."

    "I hear that every so often, Ms. Prospect. ...Tell me, before I go...are you just busy now and we should talk at some later time...or have you had a bad experience with being sold something that's made you wary now?" Dig.


    "Oh, I was just talking to my colleague about this! I'm glad you called!"

    "A lot of people are telling me that, Mr. Prospect. It must be on the minds of many people right now. Well, can you tell me a bit about what's going on that makes you glad I called?" Dig.


    Run your process, not theirs.

    Expect them to lie, because they will.

    Don't take it personally. It's not personal.

    Turn your emotions off as well as you're able when prospecting and qualifying. Let me tell you something: you can get as emotional and as excited as you want later. When you're actually selling. When you know you're in front of a qualified prospect who's a good fit. And especially after you've made the sale and taken the money to the bank. Then you have the right to get as excited as you please.

    But stay away from desperation. It's just as bad as high pressure tactics, and has the same effect.
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnny Mathis
      All prospects lie.

      They lie, just as we do when we're prospects, to protect themselves from getting ripped off by bad salespeople. Can you blame them?
      I go door to door everyday talking to businesses about internet marketing and this is the main reason why I hate calling prospects . It's easy to lie over the phone but when I'm in your face with an iPad and you tell me your showing up on Google .......

      Awww the look on their face .
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  • Profile picture of the author Dain
    I think there is a balance.

    At some point you need to ask your prospective customer:

    Are you going to buy or not?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dain
    I think there is a balance.

    At some point you need to ask your prospective customer:

    Are you going to buy or not?
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  • Profile picture of the author squidface
    Banned
    Wolf on Wall Street made tons of money hard selling. Wrongly, but it does work.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Originally Posted by Matthew North View Post

    Some people will chase for your approval simply because you aren't giving it to them. It's not about you, it's about restoring a blow to their self-image. Especially if they are used to getting a lot of attention. It does not fit into their model of reality. The chasing of approval can be easily rationalized as attraction because the person is reacting to you. It has the same emotional value. Which leads to exhibiting the same self-conscious behaviours they make around guys they do like. All that has changed is the stimulus.
    Their condition is called, "psychotic."
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  • Profile picture of the author celestmark
    "Excuse me, but I see you have an interest that xyz widgety thingy! I do too! May I please have a moment of your time and ask you a question?"

    IF/when they reply back, "Cool, thanks for that reply! I've been looking at that and something similar. Would it be ok to ask your opinion bout this (zyx widgety thingy)??

    Permission-based marketing is very intuitive with properly setup marketing funnels and the web makes it a breeze to automate!

    I love the book and the author's blog! May I share the (non-sales) web address here?
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    • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
      Originally Posted by celestmark View Post

      "May I please have a moment of your time and ask you a question?"
      I never ask if I can ask a question. It sounds weird and people are busy.

      ...I just ask the dang question if I have one.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

        I never ask if I can ask a question. It sounds weird and people are busy.

        ...I just ask the dang question if I have one.
        You show smarts. Yes, never ask if you can ask a question. It weakens whatever you were going to ask.

        Do doctors ever say "May I ask you a question?"?

        Lawyers? Parents? No. It's a matter of positioning.

        I did it for years, so this insight was hard earned..
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        "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".....Ian Maclaren
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I once had a doctor ask permission for everything and he was in charge of the staff.I thought he was the most polite doctor I've ever met. And I've also heard it put this way, that asking that question first (asking for permission to ask more questions) sets things up so that you can ask questions because they said it was okay to ask more questions.

    But I tend to agree about not asking for permission. It's a conversation you're having. Who asks for permission to ask a question when you're having a conversation?

    But what I really wanted to say is about that previous point of trying to get people to chase for your approval. And that is, I think it's more powerful to throw them out then it is to try and manipulate them in. They're not a good fit? Goodbye.
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  • Selling too hard is always going to result in no sales.

    Always remember to put yourself in the same place as the person you are selling to.

    Are you fine with somebody telling you that you need to buy this to enhance your business?

    Business owners don't like being told that what they are doing is completely wrong. It's too tough on you if you are struggling with convincing them and they don't even know the Beneifits of what you are doing for them. Understand that business owners will buy if you don't pressure them tp into doing it now. Creating scarcity is not the best way to go about doing this.
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