A while back I was called on by a young financial planner. He was new to the sales game and began his pitch by touching on objections I MIGHT have. He would start with the objection and then try to explain why it shouldn't be one. Do you know what he accomplished? He GAVE me reasons not to work with him! I hadn't even thought of those objections. Yet, there they were, big as life, like a big neon sign telling me not to do business with him. Not a great idea. At another time I was called upon by a salesman who spent his few moments with me telling me all of the negatives about his competition. He never told me one thing about his product or company. While he probably convinced me not to do business with his competitors, he gave me no reason to do business with him either. Another not-so-hot idea. Today I received a call from someone I know but haven't seen for awhile. She was very excited about a new product she is offering and wanted to tell me all about it. However, her approach was to say she wanted to meet to show it to me. When I asked what it was, she told me she couldn't tell me -- she had to show me. Really? That's not the way to get me to set an appointment. It's a little manipulative. These are glaring examples of how not to behave. Let's turn them on their heads and use them as lessons of what TO DO. If we start with the premise that people buy you first, your product second and your company third, what is it about you that will be appealing? You should be attentive, honest, positive, and dependable. Attentive Don't talk so much. The best salespeople are the ones who seek information from their prospects. They ask questions and listen to the answers. They pay attention to what the prospect tells them. Honest and Positive I'm putting these together because they comprise the communication style you want to use. You want to respond to what your prospect tells you with information about how your product or service can meet their needs. You DO NOT want to say negative things about yourself, your company, or your competition. There is no place in sales for negative conversations. You also don't want to try to trap them into a face-to-face meeting. If you have something that is of value, the people who need it will want to see it. The rest will appreciate the respect you show them by communicating upfront with them. Dependable Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be on time, be present, be giving. You show you are dependable by following through with results that match the prospect's needs. Sales is not about what you want to sell. It is about what your prospect needs or wants. Your prospect will know they can depend on you when you are attentive, honest, and positive. When it comes right down to it, the best way to sell is to not sell at all. Leave the gimmicks, tricks, issues to your competition. Just maintain a positive attitude, learn what your prospect needs, and when your product or service addresses that need tell them. Treat your prospect appointments like gold. You will be rewarded handsomely. * * * * * About the Author: Diane Helbig is a Professional Coach and the president of Seize This Day Coaching. Diane is a Contributing Editor on COSE Mindspring, a resource website for small business owners, as well as a member of the Sales Experts Panel at Top Sales Experts.