Do buyers dislike your small business salespeople? Back in 2006 Gallup conducted a survey that suggested the public holds a dim view of the sales profession, especially commissioned salespeople.

Despite the bad rap salespeople often get, imagine trying to run your business and increase your revenue without them. Customers depend on their knowledge to help make the right purchase  whether it’s in store, on the phone, or via chat on a desktop or mobile device. It’s more likely that buyers don’t really dislike salespeople, just pushy ones who forget that their goal should be to fulfill a need or solve a problem and not just close the deal.

While persuasion can be an art, unrelenting persistence in sales can drive customers and prospects away. Here’s what it takes to be persuasive to make the sale and win over buyers for the long haul:

Start by listening: No matter how much you want to extol the virtues of your product or service offering, first get buyers to talk about what they need. Find out what concerns a buyer has about price, functionality and compatibility with other products, if that’s a buying factor; support; obsolescence, and so forth by asking questions.  Keep the conversation going and give buyers your full attention when they are talking.

Say just enough: When you understand what the motivation is for the purchase and what issues surround it, you can you make a more compelling and tailored pitch or presentation about what your small business has to offer. Still avoid talking too much. Make your points and move on.  Buyers  can become overwhelmed with too much information and forget the main points about your value add or competitive edge.

Be sincere: Who doesn’t value a salesperson who points out that the most expensive solution may have more features than you really need? Buyers appreciate it when you convey your sincere regard for their needs and suggest offerings that will be the most effective or practical in the long run.

Be knowledgeable: Everyone on your small business sale team should be knowledgeable about your products and services so they can make the right recommendations and provide the necessary facts to aid a buying decision. Buyers depend on the knowledge of salespeople since they can’t learn everything on their own. When you are knowledgeable you gain the buyer’s confidence and trust, which helps make the sale.

Take no for an answer: Persuasion pays off but you need to learn to take no for an answer when you’ve made your case and the buyer still decides to look elsewhere or delay the purchase. You may not make the sale this time, but buyers will remember the positive experience they had with you and may come back later if the right opportunity arises. They also may refer your small business to someone else, which can lead to a sale.

When it comes to sale for your small business, be persuasive to win over the customer not overwhelm them.