You aren’t alone if you’ve ever wondered if you’re being pushy. Even the most seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs have wondered at times if they are.  

The question of being pushy may have more to do with your mindset about it than with selling your product or service. Most people who worry about being too pushy err on the side of being too timid when it comes to promoting themselves. 

I quit my job 20 years ago because I was terrified of being pushy. At the time I thought “sales” was a four-letter word. Never mind that it has five letters – it just felt bad.  

I thought sales meant doing something to people for my own gain rather than for them. What I have realized since is that sales is not about getting something for yourself, it’s about providing more service. That shift in mindset has made a big difference for me.  

If you’re authentic about what you do and why you do it, you won’t be perceived as being pushy when talking to prospects. You’re not selling, you’re simply opening people up to the opportunity of getting help from you. 

When talking about the solutions you offer, make sure you diagnose before you prescribe. Do that and it’s unlikely you’ll be seen as pushy. Let me give you an example.  

Not that long ago, I was being considered as a keynote speaker for an event I really wanted. The audience was ideal for my business and the destination was super exotic. But based on what the program organizer said, I wasn’t sure I was a perfect fit.  

If I was being pushy about getting the gig, I would have called them with a list of the top five reasons they should hire me. Instead, I told them, “The first thing I want to find out is if I’m a good fit for your audience. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?”  

Making it about them was more effective than talking about me. During that 20-minute phone call, I was able to diagnose that I would be a good fit for their group, and I could give them exactly what they wanted.  

I was committed to figuring out with them if I truly was the best fit. Would I provide value rather than trying to shoehorn myself in their event? Once that was established, then it was my job to sell myself, or prescribe a solution to their problem. I wasn’t being pushy. I was offering them what they wanted.  

When you’re about to offer your services to a prospect or client, think of it as a partnership with them and solve together how you can provide the value they are looking for.  

Ask yourself, “How can I be seen as more of an advocate than a salesperson?” Your answer to that question could very well end up being the best solution to their problem.