In sales, you study your prospect, prepare  your business information, dress your best for success and then you are prepared for you big new prospect meeting to sell your product or services. It sounds as if everything should go fine, but 3 out of every 5 times it doesn’t.

Your shiny new prospect decides they don’t need your services or a competitor jumps in last minute and offers a cheaper deal and you are suddenly out. But those are not the worst moments, those happen on a regular basis. The worst moments a salesperson usually deals with is when during a meeting something that will cost you the sale is said, especially by you and you want to scream and kick around, but can’t.

This is called being “boxed in”. You suddenly decided to show your prospect just one more benefit of your product and turns out that is the one thing he/she doesn’t like and chooses not to buy. This is when the screaming begins.

On other times, it could be the fact that you allow your would be purchaser to think that your product or service somehow does not include what they ultimately need when in fact you do. Even more panic.

To avoid being boxed in, you must learn to listen. Listening is a difficult skill, it involves patience and really understanding the root of what your prospect is saying. Did your client just say that they need more cashflow? Or does he actually mean he needs a good family vacation? Is he talking about a  production problem or a situation that can be fixed with your services? If you manage to listen and truly understand what you client needs, you are one huge step closer to closing the sale (and avoiding the box).

In many ways, being boxed in feels like being in a “glass case of emotion” as Will Farrel brilliantly put it with his character “Ron Burgundy” (see the video below).

Don’t let yourself be trapped in a glass case of emotion or be boxed in, listen attentively and you will find that you will close more sales than ever before.

For extra points, practice asking powerful questions that lead to more information and details about your client’s situation. By doing so, not only are you taking control of the sale, but you are also learning to actually help your clients in what they really need and not just what you want to sell today.