Gloria faced a major decision. Did she want his business or not? Financially the answer was “yes.” Emotionally the answer was “maybe not.”

For the last several weeks she and the prospect had been exchanging emails in which he outlined the situation that needed legal attention. The case had merit, which pulled her towards taking it. The injustice aroused her desire to solve problems and right wrongs. So, she was excited by the legal issues that required redress. Plus, she needed the business.


On the downside, however, the prospect was very demanding and aggressive. He had been referred to her by a mutual acquaintance who warned her of his being a maverick. With knowledge of his style, Gloria entered into this relationship cautiously, carefully crafting messages each time they exchanged information. As a result, she invested several hours in reviewing his situation and writing lengthy responses before realizing that securing his business was becoming burdensome.

The Prospect’s Behavioral Style

For example, from the outset, negotiating with him was challenging. He was pushing for a contingency fee with a minimum guarantee of damages. While Gloria was comfortable with the contingency model, she couldn’t promise him a specific amount. He was adamant and returned the contract with crossed-out sections and new verbiage. She instructed him on the law, yet he didn’t respond to reason. What should she do?

The Attorney’s Behavior Style

Judging by his behavior, she realized that she needed to speak with authority, certainty, and a winner’s confidence. Conservative and realistic by nature, if Gloria truly desired his business, she would have to flex her muscles and lead the charge. While she was fully capable of conducting herself in such a manner, it wasn’t her usual approach. This sign indicated that she might regret working with him. Hence, she was at a crossroads whether to take him as a client or walk away.

Be True to Yourself

Knowing your behavioral style and that of the prospect can help you make wise decisions about accepting future business. Just because you can close the sale doesn’t mean that you should. Staying true to your nature and choosing to work with people who share your values may keep you sane and integral.

About Dr. Nancy Zare

A psychologist and retired professor, Dr. Nancy Zare has dedicated her life to helping people communicate more effectively. She earned her masters and doctorate from Boston College and is past president of the National Speakers Association of New England. She is the author of the books, Workplace Hostility, Myth and Reality, and Closing More Sales: Introduction to AlikeAbility™ as well as numerous articles.

From her experience in both business to business and business to consumer sales, Nancy founded Rapport Builderz in 2012. It provides training, coaching, and consultation for selling professionals in the service industry. She originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach people how to read behavioral styles, build better relationships, and generate more business. Ask for your complimentary AlikeAbility™ Assessment to learn more about your style and that of your ideal prospects.