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Are You Risking the Relationship for the Sale – And then Losing the Sale Anyways?

Losing a sale can be disheartening, especially if you lose it for reasons you aren’t even aware of.

Traditional selling approaches tell us that sales are usually lost because of some element — price, features, benefits — having to do with our product or service.

So, when we sell, we naturally focus on what we’re selling because we feel we have to differentiate our product or service so prospects understand what we’re offering that’s unique.

But…what if focusing all your energy on WHAT you’re selling is actually the main reason WHY you’re losing sales?

“Not possible!” you say. No?

Let’s hear, in my client Ryan’s own words, what happened to him.

His story will help you realize why you may be losing sales without really understanding why.

From: Ryan
Subject: Unlock My Brain

Hi, Ari, It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, and I’m sure you were frustrated working with me because I was so engrained in traditional sales thinking. I have to admit that it has taken me quite some time to shift my selling mindset.

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve finally unlocked my brain — and consequently the game!

Here’s what happened.

Recently, my VP of sales strongly “suggested” that I push for a close with the largest account that my company had seen. We were all anxious for them to make a decision, but I knew that they needed to reach a few more milestones in their own processes first.

I tried to convey this to my VP, but the suggestion became a demand, and we proceeded down “our” path of techniques and whatnot to convince them to go with us. Of course, I had the VP on every call after this.

At the end of the day, they decided to go with someone else.

When I asked them for feedback, I got a real wake-up call.

They said that at first they felt as if I really understood their processes and problems. Our prices were a little higher than our competition, but what stood out was my approach to understanding them and not pushing the sale.

They felt as if I really had their best interests in mind, so they heard me out. But when I started to push for the close, they saw that I was just like everyone else who sells, so they had to make their decision based on price, instead of on the value of our relationship.

The relationship, and consequently the sale — which I invested many hours developing– died the moment I put on the pressure. By using traditional sales techniques, I wound up sacrificing the relationship and the sale.

This experience was what I needed to unlock my brain and realize the impact of traditional selling techniques on prospects (or should I say, “people”).

I finally feel as if I’ve found the missing ingredients that make selling a natural, productive experience that will actually bring me sales instead of losing them.

Warmest Regards,


Ryan’s story points to a very important lesson: if you don’t have an approach that is a perfect balance of nonaggression and effective penetration of your prospect’s core needs, you’ll end up asking yourself time after time, “Why am I losing sales, and why has selling become so painful?”

You can risk the relationship and lose the sale, but with an Unlock The Game trust-based mindset, you don’t risk anything at all – because you can preserve the relationship, and make the sale.

To your success,

Ari Galper

Ari Galper

Ari Galper is the world’s number one authority on trust-based selling and is the most sought-after sales conversion expert for Business Owners. His newest book, “Unlock The Sales Game”, has become an instant best-seller worldwide. Ari has been featured in CEO Magazine, Forbes, INC Magazine and the Australian Financial Review. He is considered a contrarian in the sales industry and in his book, everything you learned about selling will be turned upside down. No more chasing, no pressure, no closing.

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  1. Muh

    Extremely relevant in today’s business sales environments.
    But even as i write this, a disturbing thought does keep nagging me -“If the customer has built the relationship and value the service and the integrity of the seller, what prevents the customer from repaying the trust back by sharing inside info or details upfront with the seller like…”hey joe, sorry for keeping you hanging in mid air, but you have a very strong competitor who comes with recommendations from our group CFO, so hang in there and hope for the best” OR ” hey joe, the VP has initiated something new and therefore we are holding the buy for the next 3 months atleast. Be assured that we have you highest on our list of preferences”

    But if the customer gives a reason that he was being pushed and therefore decided not to buy from this seller, doesn’t it sound more like an excuse ? Food for thought:)

    my nagging thoughts have eased by this sharing.

  2. Carlos García

    Recalling Ari´s inter-phone anecdote, I would like to know what happened afterwards with Ryan´s VP of sales, ¿did he learned the lesson?, ¿who was to claim responsible for the lost ?, ¿did Ryan kept his job?, what would had happened to Ryan if he would dared to maintain his original position?
    Ryan´s anecdote very much relates to a lot of us, I ´m wondering if you could share anecdotes of how you convinced a non advocate or old school type of boss.

    leave you all best regards

    Monterrey, México

  3. James Wahwai

    Ari this mini lesson, could not have come at a better time. I have been losing sales by pushing sales.


  4. Kenan

    Hi Ari,
    I had a very successful and enjoyable sale yesterday, in many ways similar to Ryan’s story,but having been following your advice about ” trust ” and NOT ” hard close,I made the sale.
    I won’t say any more not to spoil his good story,and yes, those days of going for the kill have gone.
    Thanks for your ongoing advice Ari and good luck.

    London uk

  5. C.J.

    Fire the VP!

    Shanghai, China

  6. Chioma Orji

    This is very interesting and also an eye opener. wow. I learned a lot from this story. thanks so much Ari.


  7. Jamie Madison

    Excellent article Ari!

    Los Angeles, CA