After two visits and a total of six hours, advisor Marianne had gotten an enthusiastic thumbs up from her new “almost clients.” The young professional couple with small children were interested in a financial plan and some much-needed life insurance. There seemed to be no doubt the mission was going forward.

But a few days later, just before Marianne was due to return with her proposal, the couple called to tell her they had decided to hold off.

“I needed that sale,” Marianne complained to me during our coaching session.

“And that’s probably why you lost it,” I explained.

Our need is the ugliest thing we can show prospective clients. If they suspect your need to make money is more important than your concern for their financial wellbeing, they’ll back away. Buying what you have to offer has to be their idea, not yours.

Even when — perhaps especially when — you need their “yes,” make sure your prospects see only your devotion to bringing them the best and most appropriate service.

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Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to www.sandyschussel.com.