A sales mentor of mine (and my closest friend) often reminds me that sales is not about selling, it's about buying. No matter how hard I sell, if the other party is not buying, we won't have a deal.

It's easy to lose sight of this simple mantra when, as this author points out, our intention shifts from helping the client to helping ourselves. When the conversation becomes about self-interest, communication shuts down, and so, probably, does the opportunity.

We often talk about how we can help the customer succeed when we plan our meetings. Without clarity on this point, what's left is self-interest, which will not close the deal.