Many small businesses require the skills of an aggressive salesperson. An aggressive salesperson walks a fine line between being convincingly effective and being forcefully objectionable. Crossing the line into the latter often has the opposite effect from the desired outcome. Learning the subtle differences will add useful tools to your arsenal of positive selling techniques.

Aggressive Style

An aggressive sales style requires you to be focused and interested in your potential buyer. You can be competitive and still retain a friendly demeanor. Qualities in aggressive salespeople require they demonstrate a sense of trustworthiness and compassion. Showing respect will garner respect in return. If your customer feels you are interested in him as a person, he'll be receptive to your message. If, on the other hand, the customer senses that you are indifferent or lack interest in him, you risk aggravating him. The sales experience may be far more difficult than it need be.

Be Self-Aware

By practicing self-awareness, you can head off a potentially disastrous encounter with a customer. Aggressive behavior can sometimes be disagreeable behavior. Coming across as obnoxious or offensive has the power to annihilate a sale. If you know you're still fuming that a prospect didn't show up for a scheduled appointment, you can consciously put that experience aside and start fresh with your current customer.

Aggressive vs. Assertive

You can transform boorishly aggressive behavior into more acceptable assertive behavior and end up with positive results. Which of the following appeals more to you?

"If you don't make your decision now, you will lose the discount price."

"Can you tell me when you might make your decision?"

The second option opens the door for further discussion in a non-threatening manner and recognizes your customer's time constraints -- a sign of respect.

Not What but How

There are unlimited ways to say the same thing. Your sales success depends on your delivery. If your message is conveyed in an aggressively offensive manner, chances are that your customer will not hear you and will be turned off of the sale. If, however, you make your sales approach in an assertive manner -- respectful, interested and compassionate -- you will be successful. As is frequently the case in communication, it's not what you say but how you say it.