I hesitate to share the details of my first breakthrough in selling because I once thought I was the only salesperson with this problem and, to put it bluntly, the reason for the problem makes me look like a jerk. What follows may be of no use to you because you're probably one of the people who learned this in kindergarten or before.
Years ago, my business was deteriorating fast for lack of customers. One of my suppliers offered to become my sales coach to get me through the slump. She was a very effective salesperson, so I eagerly agreed. She had me demonstrate my pitch (I was still doing pitches in those days, but that's another story.). She then tried repeatedly to alter my approach. I kept missing the point and she kept trying to make it simpler and more basic, searching for some fundamental, common ground where we could meet and communicate. She was running out of ideas and we were both low on patience.
I sensed a shift as she willed herself back from the brink of exasperation. Phyllis relaxed her shoulders, leaned toward me, and said, brightly, in her most charming southern accent, "Tony, do you like people?"
I knew the right answer, but...
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