This post originally appeared on Jill Konrath’s website and is republished here with permission.

Have you ever heard the phrase “detach from the outcome”? It’s a tenet of Eastern religions. For many years it was a concept that I found totally unfathomable. After all, sales itself is about outcomes. Our income is at risk. We need to get the business.

But over the years, I’ve learned the wisdom of that message. In fact, the more I wanted to close a sale (or should I say – needed to close a sale) the less likely I was to get it.

Why? Because my focus was on me, not my prospect. And, whenever you need something that much, you push too hard for it. You short-circuit the process and go for the close before the time is right and your prospect is ready.

Do they feel it? You bet. They lean back, put obstacles in your path and don’t return your calls or respond to your emails. Then, you get desperate and your neediness shows – and you become even less desirable to do business with. All because you’re so eager to get the sale.

I’ve learned that the only cure is to detach from the outcome. To be willing to say to yourself, “I know I need this sale, but I’m going to put that aside and focus on helping my prospect make a good decision.” Sometimes, you have to say it over and over to yourself.

When you stop focusing on closing a sale, everything changes because your prospect’s needs become your driving force.  And, paradoxically, that’s the best way to get what you want. Go figure.