How to Sell Without Being Pushy

We’ve all been through it. We ask for the sale, and the prospect replies “Let me think about it…” We know in our hearts that this thinking period often means a slow but certain death to the sale, but how can you create urgency without being just another pushy salesperson? Not only does being pushy compromise our personal values, it triggers the fight-or-flight response in our prospects. Here are three ways you can increase urgency to buy without being pushy:

Be willing to walk away

No amount of cologne or perfume will mask desperation. If you are entering sales discussions only thinking about that target you need to hit by the end of the month, your actions, words, and body language will communicate it. The cure? Focus on the value your prospect will enjoy. Qualify the prospect to see if they will actually benefit from your product, and be willing to walk away from deals that are not a clear win-win.

To illustrate, when selling online marketing services to one of my prospects, I discovered that it would be unlikely that he would achieve a positive return on investment. I said to him honestly “After our discussion, I don’t think there’s a good fit for us to do business.” I disqualified him, preserving the relationship and eliminating the need to push for the sale.

Give reasons that benefit your prospect

Once you have reduced desperation, the next step is to increase their desire. Note: You cannot achieve this using reasons that are for your benefit! Your prospect doesn’t care about your sales target, so don’t use this or any other personal reason to push the sale! Instead, think about why it might benefit them to buy sooner rather than later, and tie it to emotional motivations.

When selling internet services I would often create urgency using external deadlines. I would say “The internet is going through a major change on (date), so wouldn’t it make sense to take action prior so your company is adequately prepared?” This way, it wasn’t me applying the pressure, but something outside of our control. I might follow on by saying “How would you feel if your competitor secured that space?” in order to add emotional weight to the point.

Let them decide

Being pushy ultimately means forcing a person to take an action against their will. It stands to reason then, that creating legitimate urgency means giving control back to the prospect. Besides, the reality is that we have no right to make the person do anything. Paradoxically, the more you highlight this fact, the more trust they will place in you.

One example of this is asking for an initial appointment “I’d like to drop by and share with you my findings, and after you have seen it you can decide for yourself if it is worth further discussions.” This phrase works magic in reducing pressure for your prospects.


Applying appropriate pressure is the key to effective selling. This means shifting our thinking away from our own agenda, giving reasons that benefit our prospect, and giving them the freedom to decide. Will this work for you? “You can decide for yourself!”

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