Have you ever walked out of a client meeting and passed a competitor who was walking in? Or have you had a prospect tell you that he has to jump off the phone to speak with another sales person?

The feeling that I always used to get from this scenario was one of being…sullied. It’s natural to feel as though your prospect is “cheating” on you with other vendors. It may even feel like he’s mocking you and all your efforts.

This is dysfunctional thinking, and best rooted out early. Everyone involved is doing his best to do a good job – and your ego is simply not a part of it.

Your competitor is trying to pay his own mortgage. And your prospect is trying to do right by his organization.

I find that by having both sympathy and empathy for everyone involved, my own delivery and presentation skills are greatly enhanced. I assume that all parties are acting in good faith, and that the best solution (not the “best person”) will win out.

Over time, it’s much better for your character and for your personality if you feel sorry for the competition when you defeat him rather than feeling triumphant that you’ve made his or her life harder. But of course, defeat him you must.