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Sales and Selling Assertiveness Persuasion Communication Customers Inconsiderate Actions

I am an independent contractor and I was in the process lining up a project with a rapidly-growing company. My contact person was smart, organized, and supportive. Unfortunately, she had to turn my project over to an individual who is impossible to deal with. He won't return calls, he cancels meetings at the last minute, and he has all but shelved the project. What do you suggest?

When a prospect gives any independent contractor or salesperson second-class treatment, he is acting like a first-class fool. Most of today's independent contractors and salespeople work with client companies on a partnership/consultative basis, and to treat them by figuratively slamming a door in their face is archaic and mean-spirited.

Your original contact person obviously thought that your project would meet some of the needs of the business. However, it is possible that these needs have changed, and hence the company's needs for your services have changed as well. The problem is that you should be hearing this in clear and specific language from your prospect. But, instead of giving you information, your prospect is giving you the slip.

The best step is to increase your assertiveness with this prospect. Be very persistent in setting up a date and time to meet. If he calls to cancel, do not get off the phone until another date is set. It is time to get an answer from him, whether it is "yes" or "no." You should also consider calling your original contact with the company. Perhaps she can let you know more about what is going on, and she may also do some internal marketing for you.

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