Relationship selling does not revolve around a big bang closing strategy but, rather, a series of smaller answers of “yes” over an extended period of time. There is some powerful psychology that supports this dynamic. Consider the following experiment.

Two groups of subjects were asked to put large, unattractive signs on their front lawns, asking motorists to slow down because of children. The first group almost universally declined. The second group almost universally accepted. The difference? The second group had been asked to place a smaller sign on their lawns first. Then, after they had bought into the basic concept and had begun to build an emotional stake in the process, it was natural and easy for them to buy into the larger decision.

We all try to stay in constant contact with our prospects and clients. However, we can make this seemingly routine process much more powerful and productive by applying this technique and drawing out a small “yes” during each touch. For example:

“May I send along some information on a deal we just did in your area?” (Yes.)

“May I pass along an article I just read on that tax issue we have been discussing?” (Yes.)

“Would you be interested in a short synopsis of the concessions one of your competitors extracted from the city on their latest project?” (Yes)

Extracting a minor “yes” during the course of routine communications also has the subtle effect of conditioning our clients to see us in an affirmative light, and it begins to develop the collaborative mindset that we ultimately hope to achieve with our prospects and customers. It takes a little discipline, but focusing on establishing a pattern of “yes” is a proven communications technique that we can all use to build emotional momentum toward major closings with our clients.

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