We have all encountered awkward moments whether with a significant other, client or prospective hiring manager. Whether you feel betrayed, angry or just uncomfortable, it is of less importance than the manner in which you respond.

Sales techniques lead the way out of potentially damaging your outcome.

Using the following steps in order may serve to assist the next time help is desired. The first sentence should begin with the word, “Why?” Dependent upon the situation and the other person’s style, follow up with “…do you believe, feel, think…” Then fill in with your own vocabulary.

Your question will be best answered if you allow the other party to get everything on their mind out into the open. This process is best for you, too. This is the only way you will uncover where the miscommunication occurred. Be careful not to interrupt but allow the monologue to run its course. Salespeople also listen for what is not being said. You may wish to question the noticeable omissions.

Generally speaking, clarification is usually required in misunderstandings. Be certain to get full meaning of everything being said. Let the other person completely finish their side of the story before you begin to tell your story. Should there be a number of points to the misunderstanding or difficulties encountered, as you see it, take notes to refer to as you defend or make a case for your position.

Diplomatically respond to each point mentioned with an explanation. As you do respond, be of the mindset to find a compromise or agreement. Before moving to the next point, make certain the first agreement is in place. At the end, in your own words and with a kind voice, ask, “Does this clear everything up and may we proceed?

Most of the time, these steps will produce a positive outcome. However, our theme is to attract the right job or clientele. Should you find someone unreasonable and unwilling to compromise or work through the matter, it will be in your best interest to walk away. There is nothing worse than trying to work with someone who does not appreciate your efforts.

One of my favorite quotes is that of Abraham Lincoln who said, “You cannot please all of the people all of the time.” Should you need to walk away, do so knowing that you tried your best.

When you take the time to clarify miscommunication, it serves to build your personal brand. By being willing to have an open discussion, you distinguish yourself from many. Your integrity stands out. When applying for a job, hiring managers are pleased to see this quality. You will be more likely to be offered the job. As an entrepreneur, by steadfastly building your reputation, good word of mouth will precede you helping you to develop further business. Current clients will be far more likely to provide repeat business, referrals and testimonials. This is the path for developing a thriving business.

Applying sales techniques to sticky conversations will put you on the wave of a very Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results” and “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”. Elinor delivers inspirational keynotes at conferences, team training, private coaching and finds joy in helping her clientele turn their dreams into reality. Elinor is available upon request for consultation.