There are a number of different two-step sales processes executed across a wide swath of companies and industries. There are the B2B companies that generate business leads (step 1) and then follow up to convert those leads into customers (step 2). There are the software products which “sell” free versions of their products and services (step 1) and then try to turn those free users into paying users (step 2). And there are the initial sales calls which are informational in nature (step 1) that are then followed up by more aggressive sales calls later (step 2).

In all of these cases, the two-step sales process is used for a reason: it works. It is a strategy that has been carefully honed over time.

Why does it work? Because consumers do not like to feel like they are being sold. We like to feel like we are the one making the decision, not that the decision is being made for us. When we feel like we’re being sold, we put up “walls” and come up with reasons why we don’t need or like the product in question.

A two-step sales process helps because it does not force the sale onto consumers. It gives them time to breath, time to take in new information, to try things out and do research. It gives them time to convince themselves that the decision is right, so that it feels more like their decision.

By the time the ultimate sale does occur, it doesn’t feel like it’s being forced on us. The consumer is ready to commit, so the sale is much easier for the seller.

While we would all love it if we could sell our products and services in one quick shot, most industries simply don’t work that way. If you can perfect a more nuanced approach, you can build lasting relationships with customers and grow your business over time.

Read more: In Sales, Optimism Sells