Do you know someone who is overly aggressive or too pushy? That car salesman who approached you before you even got out of your car? Did he come too strong or too fast? You probably get turned off with that. Being aggressive or overly aggressive has its own time and place.
On the other hand, we must be assertive at times. In business, assertiveness is an important quality. Being assertive does not imply that you are overly aggressive. Even the most soft-spoken, mild-mannered people have to be assertive sometimes. Being assertive is expressing yourself to show the value in whatever it is your promoting.
So, how do you assert yourself without having to come off as a push or overly aggressive person?
1. Do not make false assumptions. If you do not want to be assertive as it may offend your prospect, then is pre-judging the prospect. This is due to the fear of the presenter because you may think one way or the other does not mean your prospect thinks that way. Let us have an example, let us say you are selling copy machines. Each machine costs $8,000 and costs $2,000 more than your competitor. So you are having a belief that your machines are overpriced. On the other hand, your prospect may notice extra benefits from your copiers and feel that your price is fair. Therefore, never assume or judge your prospects beforehand.
2. Pre-plan your presentation. You should always think your presentation through thoroughly before saying it. Come up with possible objections you may receive and how to respond to them. Try to eliminate as many objections, misconceptions, or misunderstandings before they arise. You cannot control the result but you can control your presentation. When you control the outcome, you are being aggressive. Remember that when you try to control, then you are out of control!
3. You should see the point-of-view of your prospects. Communication is actually a two-way street. There is another side in every story. Listen carefully to what your prospect has to say and concentrate on solving their problems. Focus on whatever problems they may have. You must listen whether the problem is on you, your product, your company, etc. There will be high chances that your prospect may be feeling a certain way towards your product or you due to a lack of understanding. Let them talk and ask questions. Listen carefully to the responses as this puts you in a good position to deal with their misconceptions.
4. The transaction has to be successful. Whether in business or personal, you transaction has to be successful in both parties. The success may require a sacrifice from either of the party – time, money, effort. Let your prospect feel that you will always be there to cater their needs. Nobody likes to be hit-and-run, left alone once the transaction has been done. Commit to solving their problems and establish a commitment. In return, you will have a prospect, or a relationship, for a long time.