People love to buy, they hate to be sold. You walk into a retail clothing store and the clerk runs over, gets a little too close and says “May I help you?” Psychologically we push back and said, “No, I’m just looking.” Now, you probably went in there with a purpose but you don’t want to be “sold” anything.Well, in selling there is a natural tension between a salesperson and prospect, especially in the first meeting between strangers. Most of us get paid to meet with strangers and reduce or eliminate this tension. Part of a great sales persons ability is to create a “Buying Atmosphere”.So, what do we hate about salespeople? What creates that tension: I’d suggest three things have to be overcome. First, the fear by the prospect that the salesperson will say anything to make a sale. Second, the fear that the salesperson will try to manipulate us and not let us make our own decision. Third, that the sales person will try to push us into a decision. Most prospects are not saying “Why should I buy?”That’s why even sales people hate pushy, high pressure, twist your arm, make you buy, say anything to get the sale, good golfer sales people. This kind of sales person knows nothing about a buying atmosphere.So, the first goal of creating a buying atmosphere is to be in control while the prospect feels in control. The second goal is to establish an element of trust between a salesperson and prospect. Finally, the sales persons goal is to be viewed as a human being that the prospect is willing or wants to do business with.Here are the steps that have to happen both before the product or service is presented and while the product or service is being presented:Build trust and become a human being by using names of customers your prospect knows. Also, you build trust by finding things you have in common with the prospect. These are things like clubs, college, sports teams, children, hobbies, etc. Building rapport means finding something in common.You help the prospect feel in control by using phrases that empower them. “You may have a need for this or you may not, just let me know” or “I wouldn’t want you to get this if you didn’t see the value in it.” Also, “If you don’t see the benefit for your company then we just don’t have a fit. Sometimes that happens.”When you try this, you’ll have a fear of saying these things. You’re afraid the prospect will say, “Your right, I don’t see a fit, need or value.”If the prospect does say that, it’s a good thing. You can’t solve a problem you don’t know about. Better to invite the objection and hear it than have an unspoken objection and no sale. The single best sales technique I discovered is a statement or question that empowers the prospect.Remember, the goal is to start across the desk from the prospect and end up sitting beside the prospect in a counselor role as opposed to a “sales” role.