Whenever you "break bread" with your customers — which is what you're doing when you're selling a contract — never eat and run. When you have closed the sale, put all your stuff away and talk about anything except what the prospects just purchased. Talk about their families, their children, or anything they would want to talk about. Your words must be sincere and come naturally; people can read a phony person.

Relax new clients by communicating in a calm voice. Toward the end of the conversation, ask them whether they feel comfortable with their purchase. They will be more relaxed by this time and will divulge their true feelings about the purchase they have made.— Excerpted from 10 Steps to High Definition Selling , by Michael Zabec, www.builderbooks.com. Zabec, executive vice president of Homeview Contractors, of Baltimore, has been involved with sales for 35 years. He hosts radio talk show "Your Home, Your Views," on WCBM 680 AM.