3 Important Steps to Develop Assertiveness


Assertiveness is one of the most important properties of a sales person, but it is often confused with aggression. Aggression is about invading your prospect’s personal boundaries, and forcing your will on them. Assertiveness is about respecting their boundaries yet convincing them that the course of action you recommend is the best option for them. So how does one develop assertiveness without coming on too strong? We recommend the following simple steps.

1. Practice Before You Pitch

Before you go out in the field and start with your sales pitch, do a little homework. If you are reading this article, it means that you are interested in developing assertiveness as a salesperson. It also means that you have recognized a few occasions in the past, where your lack of assertiveness cost you the sale. Now picture those events, or similar events, in your mind and imagine what you could have done and how you could have been more assertive.

Practice assertive techniques of conversation in front of a mirror or with a friend. Learning where to use “you” and where to use “I” in the sales pitch is an important step.

2. Improve Your Body Language

Assertive people have a friendly smile, a firm handshake, and maintain eye contact with their prospects. They dress to impress and have a positive, open stance while standing or sitting. Their voice is confident, yet their approach is friendly and warm towards the prospects. Your second step should be to improve your body language in order to give off that assertive vibe.

3. Give and Demand Respect

As a sales person, you have to give respect to your prospects. However, in some cases when the prospects do not give back the same respect they receive, the situation goes awry.

When aggressive salespeople find themselves in a tough spot, they go on the offensive. Passive salespeople usually go on the defensive in similar situations. In both cases, the prospect is lost. The key is to be assertive.

The sales person has to control the conversation without coming off as too strong. If at any point during the conversation the prospect becomes rash, you have to politely explain to them that you deserve to be treated with respect. Make sure that you are respectful towards the prospect throughout your conversation, which is the only way you can demand their respect in return. You will find that being respectful and being respected has improved your assertiveness a great deal.

Try these three steps and let us know how they worked. Leave your opinions/experiences in the comments section below.

8 Ways to Overcome Writers Block


Can’t come up with an idea to write? Staring at a blank sheet? Here are eight ways to overcome your writer’s block.

1. Re-write a Classic

Just to get things going, pick one of your favorite classics, and start rewriting it. Play with the story, change the plot, give the protagonist a secret identity, imply that the antagonist had good intentions, or make Bella fall in love with Jacob. You will see wonderful things happen once you get the ball rolling.

2. Ask the Readers

You must be in touch with your readers through social media websites. Ask them for ideas; ask them what they would like to read. You will be surprised at the amount of great ideas thrown at you.

3. Read

When in trouble, read. If the screen has been blank for way too long, it is better to minimize it and start reading material relevant to your genre. While reading, ideas will come to you.

4. Go Outside

Although “outside” is an alien term to most writers, but that is where the muses are. Go outside, take a walk in the park, go to the mall, seek inspiration in things and people, and then start writing.

5. Question Yourself

Remember that homeless person at the corner of the street? Who is he? Where does he come from? Was he born on the street? Why is he homeless? Start answering those questions and start writing, the sheet doesn’t look so blank now does it?

6. Relax Your Mind

You may have found yourself suffering from a writer’s block because of some stressful event in your life. Either use that event as writing material, or forget about it all together. In both ways, words will start flowing out of you.

7. Read/Listen to the News

The latest news is always full of juicy gossip, political drama, social debates and things that can make you wish to bang your head against the wall. Out of the ocean of news out there on TV and on the internet, there must be something that would appeal to you and make you write.

8. Read Your Old Work

I have always found reading my older work to be therapeutic and traumatic at the same time. As you read your previous work, you gain the confidence that you have done it before and you will do it again. At the same time you are horrified by some of the stuff you wrote and have the uncontrollable urge to write something better.

Either way, the blank screen is no more and you are happily on your way to writing heaven.

12 Ways to Liven Up a Conversation


1.     Appear Confident

You have to appear confident both verbally and physically. Your voice tone and body language should exude confidence and energy.

2.     Speak Their Language

By this we do not mean you start speaking their native language. What we mean is that you speak in terms they can understand. If you use jargon and terms that are beyond other people, the conversation would become one sided.

3.     Speak With Clarity and Purpose

If you speak unclearly and appear unsure of what you are saying, the conversation will die out quickly. Have something to say and say it clearly.

4.     Have a Sense of Humor

You do not have to tell jokes or make funny noises. All you have to do is keep the conversation pleasant, with a witty comment here and there, just enough to make them smile.

5.     Be Politically Correct

Make sure your sense of humor is politically correct and culturally acceptable. If dealing with international clients or business liaisons, make sure they do not misinterpret your humor for disrespect.

6.     Keep it a Dialogue

Make sure that the conversation is two sided. It is a common habit in many entrepreneurs to take charge of the conversation, but it is also important that the other person gets an equal opportunity to speak. They will lose interest if they realize you are only interested in speaking and not listening.

7.     Be Creative

Come up with new ways to deliver your point of view. Every business conversation doesn’t have to be a dry exchange of facts and figures. Maybe you can use multimedia to enhance a meeting.

8.     Meet Over Snack

Business meetings over lunch, coffee or a snack are much more pleasant and lively. Having something to eat for yourself and your partner in conversation is helpful in avoiding awkward pauses and silences.

9.     Give Feedback

The occasional “hmm”, “yes” and other similar responses can go a long way in keeping a conversation going.

10.Appeal to Their Imagination

Using terms such as “picture this” or “imagine that” can help spice up the conversation by appealing to the participants’ sense of imagination.

11.Read Their Body Language

If the people you are having a conversation with appear disinterested, then you are doing something wrong. Try changing your strategy, style and/or topic if possible and check if they appear interested.

12.Be Interested in the Topic

If you yourself do not find the topic interesting, the conversation will be short lived and dull. Whether speaking or listening, be interested in the topic so that you may engage others effectively.