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Have you ever been in a difficult conversation with someone when all of a sudden they admitted their fear or concern and then the tension just left the room? Maybe you have done this in a conversation as well.

One afternoon I was having lunch with a prospect who I was very eager to close. It was a potentially huge deal. I was so anxious about this deal that it was keeping me up at night. Sitting in front of this man I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I looked at him and said, “Steve, I have to admit I am very anxious about this deal. I really want you to be my client. But I can’t take it anymore. I just have to know…how do you feel about this working out so far?” In an instant the stress left me. It really didn’t matter what Steve said in that moment, I was clear and able to think again.

Steve’s immediate response didn’t change the deal, but it changed me. It also brought the conversation to an adult level and trust was gained. Later on, when Steve admitted his needs and concerns, I was able to assure him of my services and he knew I was being sincere. After all, if I could admit my weaknesses then my word to him was much more valid.

Sometimes we don’t want to phone a prospect in fear that we might bother him or her. However, the prospect needs the opportunity to bring their decision and their concerns to the surface. They need to self-diagnose. It is best to do that with you, their trusted adviser. I suggest you begin this crucial conversation by admitting you were hesitant to call them and that you were afraid to be pushy. Most likely they will comfort you and may say they are a bit stressed about their decision, but they will admit they need to address it. Then the trusting conversation begins.

Never be afraid to call out the elephant in the room, especially when it is your elephant. Your prospect will appreciate your honesty. However, when the time comes that they admit their own fears, that is your opportunity to assure them and show them how you can help. If you were honest with them in the beginning they are much more likely to believe you.


At RedRock Leadership we believe in growing companies by growing individuals. We also believe in challenging the status quo in everything we do. Our mission is to help individuals and companies achieve their professional, financial and personal goals. We provide non-traditional sales and business training along with on-going coaching and reinforcement. All of the training we provide incorporates the principles associated with Emotional Intelligence.

Other services we provide include: job benchmarking & talent acquisition, keynote presentations, behavior/motivator assessments, EQ assessments and 360 leadership assessments.