One of my observations in the many years of coaching salespeople (and actually coaching myself), is that it's possible in the buyer-seller dance to fall into the category of being either too nurturing or too firm in your approach. Neither one of them is good.
Being too firm is about being in your face, high pressure, creating tension unnecessarily. Have you ever gone shopping for something as a consumer, and run into that salesperson that made you feel super defensive and uncomfortable? Your walls instinctually went up? That is the salesperson that is too firm.
Being too nurturing can make you come off as a wimp, lead to a lot of unpaid consulting, wasted RFPs, not asking tough questions, taking a lot of think it overs, being treated like the child by the prospect.
The challenge is this, how do you balance the two?
The answer is being nurturingly firm. Think of yourself at any place in the sales process (many places in life), you have to be nurturingly firm. You have to be able to plant your feet and stand your ground. You have to be able not to wimp out, but you need to do it in a way that is still nurturing. Using your tonality, using your physiology, and using softening statements. Those are the things that can get to the point of planting your feet, but not being a jerk in the process. Because when you’re a jerk and you’re too firm, people will push back and shut down.
If you had to give yourself an honest grade, where would you say you're at? Do you tend to be more on the firm, in your face, aggressive, assertive, stereotypical salesperson that creates a negative reaction in people?
Or do you find yourself more regularly being too wimpy and getting led around by the prospect?
Give yourself an honest grade.
And then what's your next step around nurturing, softening statements, physiology, tonality? What are you going to do next to make sure that you have that balancing act in place to be the most effective sales person you can be?