When I first started in the financial sales business I was a pushover for my clients.

I would “give ’til it hurt” to try to find a way to please the client and make the sale.

I don’t do that anymore.

I learned that this is not a winning sales strategy.

You might think that it’s counter-intuitive to not bend over backwards to make a sale but, you would be wrong.

The way to get business is to “know” with complete certainty that what you’re offering is of value, and that you are the expert that can deliver this product or service with complete satisfaction to the client, with the utmost professionalism.

Anything less is not sales – it’s chasing the client.

Remember when you were little and your mother chased you around the house trying to get you to take that spoonful of cough medicine? Each time she got near you you’d squeeze your mouth shut and bolt! Why did she do that? She did it because she was the authority and “knew” that this was the medicine you needed to get well.

Be an expert not a pushover

The problem, though, was that she didn’t communicate this to you, did she? Having her chase you around created the opposite reaction than the one your mother was after. You became more adamant about not taking the medicine and angry and annoyed with your mother for “trying too hard.” While you may not have understood the source of your anger or annoyance with your mother at the time, you can understand it now that you’re an adult.

This is the same thing you’re doing with your clients when you “chase” them. Your clients will find you annoying if you “try too hard,” and they will have very little respect for you. The next thing you know, you’ll hear that they bought the very same product or service from a competitor.

Why did they buy with a competitor?

You spent hours and hours with them answering all their questions and even taking their calls after hours or on the weekend so, why didn’t you get the sale? They chose to buy with another salesperson who came across as a knowledgeable authority, instead of a worried people-pleaser with a sign on their back reading: Kick me! If you come across as desperate and really needing that sale you’re going to turn your clients off even further.

Forget the economy

Why is it that even in this economy some sales people continue to thrive while others are barely making it? There are always leading sales people in every industry despite the economy. The difference is the self-respect of one salesperson over the other and that salesperson’s ability to come across as a self-assured professional who will do the best job for the client.

Being in sales is no different than being popular in high school. Think about it: Who were the popular kids in high school? Was it the mousy kids who stayed after class to help the teacher with a project, or the louder bossy kid that came across as more self-assured? You guessed it. The kid who came across as more self-assured was always more popular.

Stop thinking you have cater to every whim your client has to get the sale already!

Here’s how you can use your intuition to turn your business around and stop chasing clients for business and start attracting client’s business:

1. Don’t ignore “uneasiness.” When you get an “uneasy” feeling about a client stop and examine this feeling. If you’re feeling that the client has little respect for your time and will walk all over you, trust your gut. This is your intuition trying to alert you that you are going to be taken advantage of.

You cannot allow clients to call you at all hours of the day. There is no reason for a client to call their mortgage broker on a Saturday night to discuss a refinance unless they simply have no respect for their time. All businesses have business hours. You need to set the boundaries in the beginning by telling them that you’re available up until a certain hour on these particular days. Period. If they call outside those times do not return the call, and don’t apologize for not returning the call when you do call them back. Take charge of your business.

2. Weed out the the shoppers up front. If you work with a client and get the “sense” that they’re the type who will move on to the next salesperson who gives them a lower price – drop them immediately. You’re intuition never lies. It communicates via your “feelings” so, if you think they’re going to shop you until they drop you; you’re right and they will.

Trust your gut. Don’t waste time on people who will never buy from you, especially if you have truly earnest clients you’re working with. When they call be courteous but, don’t let them keep shopping you against other sales people in your business. Make them an fair offer right then and there and try to close the sale. If they don’t bite, be honest and tell them that this is the best you can do. Let them know that you’re not interested in “dating” any longer by wishing them luck on their search for whatever the product or service is you sell. Then hang up, or walk them to the door if they’ve come to see you at your place of business.

3. Being honest and direct is not being rude. Many salespeople are afraid to tell their clients the truth because they think the client won’t like them anymore and will stop working with them. For example, if you think the client is under-insured, tell them so and tell them why. If you’re aware from the get-go that the client is not going to let you do your job properly – you’re blatantly ignoring your intuition.

You need to remember that you’re the expert about your product or service, not your client despite what they say. It takes 10,000 working hours to become an expert in a field. Reading a few magazine articles does not qualify them as an expert. You are the expert and you must own it and show it.

Start using your business intuition

The next time you get a “gut feeling” about client do yourself a favor and listen to it and take the appropriate action.

When you take charge from the beginning and respect yourself enough to honor the boundaries you’ve set up while also acknowledging your expertise and professionalism – so will your clients. You’ll also attract serious clients who will buy from you.

Have you ever ignored your business intuition? Was this article helpful in showing you ways to identify how your intuition communicates to you in business? What will you do differently to improve sales now that you have this information?

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