How many times have you been interested in a product or service, but been so turned off by the salesperson that you didn't end up buying?

Unfortunately, this happens every day in the world of sales, and network marketing is no exception. People love to buy, but hate to be sold.

Salespeople will argue that if they don't push the prospect and attempt to close him or her with a heavy hand, they won't be able to thrive and survive in the world of sales. Do you have this belief? Do your front line leaders have this belief? If so, I'm going to ask you to consider this simple yet powerful idea:

Sell the way you like to be sold.

I don't know anyone who enjoys being pressured to buy a product or service.

Think about the best salespeople you have ever purchased from. Did they push you and make you feel uncomfortable? Or did they ask you a series of questions about what you were looking for, then patiently and caringly listen to your wishes and concerns? The most effective salespeople are masters at asking qualifying questions and building their sales presentations around your answers.


Ask Questions to Locate Need and Want

Let's say that you represent a line of nutritional products that you really believe in and want to sell. You're convinced that anyone who uses these products will experience greater energy and enjoy better health. You might design a short qualifying questionnaire that asks your customers a few key questions, such as:

You can ask these questions and have the answers in 30 to 60 seconds. If the person is dissatisfied in any of these five areas, present the benefits that solve that particular problem. For example:

"If you'd like to have more overall energy, let me recommend our super-strength multi-vitamin, which is guaranteed to give you more energy. What I can do is make you a preferred customer and monitor your progress for the next 90 days. If you don't feel a distinct difference in energy, I'll refund all of your money. Is that fair enough?"

This is a low-pressure, customer-focused sales presentation that positions you as the professional you are.

People have problems, salespeople have answers--but the key to becoming a trusted advisor and problem-solver versus a peddler is to sell people the way you like to be sold. Part of this process is taking away the risk factor from the prospect by offering a 100 percent personal money-back guarantee--even if your company doesn't offer it.

Prospects are afraid of being duped by fast-talking salespeople with flashy products and exaggerated claims. Your presentation should go in the opposite direction. Under-promise and over-deliver. It's a cliché, but for a good reason: it works. Tell them you're going to follow up once a month, and then follow up twice a month. Build a rock-solid trust with your customers, and you'll generate repeat business and referrals. It's the foundation of your entire business.


Ask for the Order

After you've found your prospect's area of dissatisfaction, presented the benefits to solve her problem, and removed the risk by giving her your personal guarantee, it's time for the final step in the sales process: Ask for the order.

Here are a few low-pressure ways to ask prospects to buy from you:

There are hundreds of ways to ask for the order, if not thousands. The general rule is that the more you identify your prospects' problems and match your solutions to them, the stronger you can make your close.

Bill Gove used to call it, "Earning the right to ask for the order." Think about what that feels like for yourself, when you're in the customer's shoes. If a salesperson asks you enough qualifying questions and then makes a recommendation on how to solve your problem with his or her product or service, do you tend to view this person more as a consultant than a salesperson? I thought so.

Once you've established this level of trust and credibility, you're off to the races.

If you will sell the way you like to be sold, not only will you make more money--but you'll also feel good about yourself at the same time.

DAWN SIEBOLD is co-founder
of the Gove-Siebold Group, a training organization that helps networkers develop world-class communication skills.