Most of us have the same reaction to solicitation. We immediately recognize a sales attempt and we move as quickly as we can towards the exit. The second that we become aware of the situation we close our mind completely to the possibility of buying what the other party has to offer. The only problem with this approach is that a closed mind will throw out the good offerings with the bad. Said another way, the baby will get thrown out with the bath water. Here are a few thoughts on how to promote an open mind when you approach someone with an offering:
1) The first and most important step is to neutralize their mind. You will never get any where if the other parties' mind is closed. This is typically done by building trust and mutual connections. The best sales people in the world may go days or weeks without even mentioning their offering because they know that they must have an open mind first.
2) Take the time to figure out if you can provide a solution to their problem. They are not accepting your offering for your sake, but rather for their own. Take the time to find out "what's in it for them" and make that your focus.
3) If you are asking for a favor, do it in the name of others, not yourself. For example, if you would like someone to write your company a referral, do it in the name of all of your extended family of employees that will benefit from it. Not for your sake. It is a much easier proposition to ask for a favor in the name of others rather than yourself.
4) Use the law of retaliation in your favor. Retaliation calls for "like for like." This principle is most notably used for revenge, but is much more powerful when being used for something positive. Sincerely find a way to help the other party and they will be more open to helping you in return.
There were two kids playing in the park, one with a bag of peanuts and the other with a box of cracker jacks. The one with the peanuts reached for some cracker jacks which quickly returned a punch in the arm. After thinking for a minute, he tried again by pouring a handful of his peanuts into the other kid's coat pocket. After receiving the peanuts as a gift, he retaliated by giving him a few cracker jacks. Next time you have an offering, make an effort to neutralize the others' mind first, then make your way to the offering.