Managing and Overcoming Resistance is the Key to Sales Success

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Mar 01, 2017 @ 13:03 PM

[Another disclaimer - this is not a political post and I am not taking sides. I am simply using an example from President Trump's recent address to the joint session of congress to illustrate my message about managing resistance when selling.]

resistance.jpg

Image Copyright SIphotography 

If you watched the address on Tuesday evening or the news coverage on Wednesday morning, you couldn't help but notice that there were three separate and distinct audiences in the hall.  On the right, joyous republicans.  On the left, resistant democrats.  And in the gallery, a mixed group of guests.

Prior to his speech, the media were saying that for Trump's Presidency to be successful,  it was crucial that he must "sell his vision" to America and Congress. 

There were mainly positive reviews of his speech and  most pointed out the distinction between the republican and democrat audience.  But the reviews of the speech aside, did he really sell it?  Continue reading for my analysis.

The reality is that the President only "sold it" to Republicans as well as those Americans who thought his message resonated.  He didn't sell it to the democrats seated in the hall last night.  He didn't sell it to the haters and he didn't sell it to the left - they weren't buying.

Several years ago, I recorded a two-minute video that accurately describes what happened.  Watch it now and then I'll add a few more thoughts.

Since the Republicans were predisposed to like his message, their resistance was low and Trump didn't need to be great last night.  He only had to not screw it up.  

The Democratic Senators and Congressmen were predisposed to dislike the message and since their resistance was sky high there wasn't anything that Trump could have said or done last night to change that.  Even when he modified his position and included policy that Democrats traditionally favor, their resistance remained high.  When Democratic lawmakers were asked how they felt about some of Trump's message being more along the lines of the Democrat's agenda, they criticized him for chaning his position.    That's what real resistance looks like.

Most salespeople encounter prospects with that kind of resistance only when they are making cold calls and then, only because most of them are so inept at lowering resistance! When salespeople finally get an opportunity to meet or schedule follow up calls with their prospects, resistance is rarely close to what we saw last night. But when it is, the following steps must be taken for there to be any hope of success:

  • Be aware of the resistance
  • Stop what you are doing
  • Agree and Take the necessary steps to lower the resistance
  • Offer comforting messages that your prospect can agree with
  • Confirm that resistance has been lowered
  • Ask and receive permission to continue
  • Remain aware of any change in resistance
  • Rinse and Repeat if necessary

Don't resist dealing with resistance!  

Topics: Dave Kurlan, overcoming resistance, resistance to change, sales resistance, Donald Trump

Case History - Another Pitiful Sales Cold Call Exposed

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Mar 02, 2015 @ 07:03 AM

objection

Copyright:  123RF Stock Photo

The salesperson who cold-called me gets kudos for, well, cold-calling me and getting through.  Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.  She said she was calling from Charter Business and wanted to talk about phone and internet.  I told her that we were all set and that's when it got interesting.To her credit, she pushed back.  Unfortunately, her skills were as bad as most salespeople and when she pushed back, she did it completely wrong.  Here's what happened:

I said, "We're happy with what we have." (which is completely true).

She said, "Is there another time we could review what we have to offer?" 

Did I say I was too busy to talk right now?  Was she reading the wrong objection handling tactic from her computer monitor?  Was she learning disabled?  Or was she simply not listening?  I'm placing my bet on the likelihood that she was not listening.  When salespeople fail to listen, not only do they fail to gain favor, traction and velocity, but they perpetuate their well-earned reputation as a group of people who do not listen, only care about making a sale, and who couldn't care less about helping.

If she was listening instead of reading a script, she would have heard the word "happy."  Usually, when a prospect simply doesn't want to engage, they'll say, "We're all set."

She could have pushed back in so many ways...notice how each of these goes a bit further:

  • "I don't hear that very often, who are you using?"
  • "That's great to hear; you must be thrilled!"
  • "Terrific - what are you most happy with?"
  • "That's interesting because most of my new customers began by saying the very same thing - that they were happy."
  • "Since you're happy, you must never have to wait for a page to load..."
  • "And every file transfers instantly..."
  • "And videos never have to buffer..."
  • "You can easily store all of your large files in the cloud..."
  • And your voice calls are always perfect..."

She wouldn't have been able to turn me around, but I am certain she would have been able to turn around any prospect who was able to recognize that their service wasn't as good as it could be.

Most salespeople are afraid to push back.  It's a shame when someone is actually willing to push back, but hasn't been properly trained on how to do it effectively.

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, overcoming resistance, cold calling, lead generation, phone sales, overcoming objections

3rd of the 10 Sales Competencies that are Key to Building a Sales Culture

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 13, 2009 @ 06:10 AM

I went out of order in my last post  and presented #6 from my list of 10 Sales Competencies That are Key to Building Sales Cultures.

In this post I present the real #2, The Enemy is Resistance.  I've written about this before too.

The gist of Resistance is this: Selling would be far more simply for many more of your salespeople if they would focus on recognizing the resistance rather than attempting to overcome the many forms it takes:

  • lack of interest
  • happy with who they're using
  • price
  • quality
  • features
  • benefits
  • claims
  • satisfaction
  • problems
  • reputation
  • service
  • questions
  • put-offs
  • timing
  • perceived need

Rather than dealing with these objections individually, if your salespeople could just recognize the earliest stages of resistance...

  • a certain look
  • a change in posture
  • a nod
  • "well..."
  • "maybe..."
  • "I'm not sure..."
  • "but..."
  • a shoulder shrug
  • a stated objection
  • a loaded question
  • etc.

...and deal with it right then and there - at the earliest stage - by simply:

  • agreeing ("Yeah, I would have reacted that way too" or "You're right" or "You didn't react too well to what I just said...")
  • acknowledging ("I understand")
  • questioning ("Out of curiosity, why do you feel that way?")
  • questioning ("Can you explain?")
  • questioning ("What if it (or I) could?")
  • etc.

Resistance itself is pretty easy to deal with because you can lower it very quickly.  But if your salespeople aren't able to recognize it early, or worse, they ignore it, then they'll have to deal with the objections.  When they deal with objections, as soon as they attempt to overcome them, by using:

  • reason
  • logic
  • facts
  • figures
  • features
  • benefits
  • selling points
  • explanations
  • validation
  • rationalizations
  • charts
  • graphs
  • testimonials
  • defending

...they will be seen as putting on the hard sell, resistance will go up, not down, and their position will worsen!

Make sure your salespeople become masters at overcoming resistance.  Speaking of which, I am presenting a Sales Master Class on the very subject on behalf of The Sales Experts on October 15.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Salesforce, Sales Force, overcoming resistance

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years.  Dave's Blog earned a Bronze Medal in 2016 and this article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016. Read more about Dave.

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