Intuition exists. For some people, they feel it in the pit of their stomach. Others clench their jaws and get a headache. Still different individuals break out in a sweat. Pay attention! Some sales are trouble from the beginning and may cost more than you net.

Donald gave no credence to intuition. He ignored the subtle (and less subtle) signs that he experienced throughout his encounter with Rachel.

Initial Meeting

He met her at a networking event where they had a pleasant conversation. She perked up when he mentioned his occupation and volunteered that she needed his services. He inquired whether she might like to talk in more depth at another time, and she agreed.

The next day he dutifully called to set up a time for an initial consultation. Rachel jumped immediately into the concerns she had and Donald found himself giving “free” advice. As they were talking he vaguely sensed that this discussion was out of sequence, yet he was pleased that he had “found” a good prospect. As the interview ended, she asked for references and he sent her three names and their contact information.

Signs of Trouble

During the ensuing week, Donald learned that the references had been contacted. One of these people mentioned how Rachel had questioned him aggressively. Donald was unhappy to hear that as he now proceeded to repair his relationship with this client.

Next, he called Rachel. She said that the reference was not like her. How could she be assured that she would receive the benefits sought? She needed to know that Donald was the right person who could solve her problems, as she had previously been let down by another person. So, he offered her an opportunity to attend a webinar he was giving, where she could directly assess his skills. Rachel accepted his invitation.

Continued Challenges

In the days before the event, she emailed several times saying that she didn’t have the link. He sent it each time along with instructions. She said it wasn’t “working.” Despite his ardent efforts, in viewing attendance, Donald noted that Rachel was absent.

Once more he telephoned to see how he might serve her. Would she like to view the recording of the webinar? Yes! A few days later they were present at another networking group. Rachel asked him to send a contract. He did. More time passed. She was unavailable by phone. What should he do to close the sale?


Finally, his intuition screamed loudly. Donald had spent hours in conversation and correspondence with a person who was difficult to work with. If courtship was so problematic, how would the actual marriage turn out?

For people like Donald who aim to please, they strive to be of service and may contort themselves to fit the mold of their prospect. When they do so, they pay a big price in loss of integrity and self-esteem. Knowing the personality traits of your ideal client may mean saying “No” to this prospect and the sale.

About Dr. Nancy Zare

A retired professor and psychologist, Dr. Nancy Zare originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach business owners and sales professionals how to read buying styles and close more sales. She offers a complimentary AlikeAbility™ Assessment so that you can determine your ideal client type. Contact her to receive your copy by email her at