So much selling advice is littered with complexity – here is one simple observation.

Every one of us is selling something every day. Sales people are pitching customers. CEO’s are convincing new hires to join the team or selling investors on putting money into the company vision. Even project managers are selling the rest of the team to stick to a plan.

But we all know that selling and closing are two different animals. There are many traits to great sellers. Whenever you are selling anything, you are trained to look for buying signals such as:

  • Asking about price and payment options
  • Asking when you can get started or when product would be delivered
  • Physical cues such as nodding their head or leaning forward

These all sound like good – if not typical – sales training pieces of advice. These and many others can be found all around the Internet and almost all of the articles and books are addressing what I would term as more transactional selling.

This is important for all of us and I would encourage all of you to find ways to look for these signals regardless of your position or experience when faced with improving your transactional selling opportunities.

But today, I want to address something a little less tactical and maybe a little more focused on zen-like selling opportunities. These might include:

  • Convincing someone to join your weekend cover band, or
  • Getting buy-in on that hockey tournament in another city, or
  • Opening up a dialog with a writer prospect to join a new community blog.

All of these are not life & death and most have a selling component but does not seem to be as critical as business selling. I believe there are many business-selling opportunities that feel like non-business critical selling.

So, when you are in these situations, should you look for the same transactional signals? I think there is a simpler approach when looking for buy-in from others.

I have found that in just about every one of these situations, people generally vote with their time and/or their money.

Looking for a buying signal, follow the actions of your prospect, if they write you a check or actually show up at your invite, you have closed the deal.

This article first appeared in INC.COM – find more of my articles there.