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

How to Get the Entire Sales Force to Change - Now

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 @ 13:07 PM

Let's discuss how difficult it is to change.

Let's start with a result of change:

In one week I:

  • lost 8 lbs.
  • stopped taking all of my toxic prescription medications and over the counter remedies
  • got my energy back
  • lost 3 inches around my waist
  • fit into my clothes again
  • discovered great flavor in foods that I previously didn't like
  • don't feel bloated anymore after eating

To make this even more dramatic, I was the person who, although usually quite open to ideas and criticism, was totally resistant when it came to food.  Quite simply, I loved my food, I wouldn't give up my favorites, and I couldn't imagine going without bread or ice cream.

Why and how this happened are not as important as what happened.

Most people don't change because they are:

  • afraid of it,
  • uncomfortable with it,
  • don't want to give things up, or
  • don't want to take things on.
For me it was the latter two.

But one day, inspired by my wonderful wife, in one dramatic moment, I made a decision.  And it was a decision that I intended to commit to, without exception.  You see it's the exceptions that can get you in trouble...."just this once"..."I deserved it"..."I've already blown today, this week, this month, etc."...

Anyway, the final goal may take some time to accomplish but the change takes place immediately.  And the initial results of that change provide the ongoing motivation to continue.  The food I was worried about missing?  After three days I didn't care anymore.

Now lets discuss your company and the sales organization.  What have you been afraid to change?

  • Evaluating your Sales Force?
  • implementing an Effective Recruiting Process?
  • Installing Sales Force Automation?
  • Making Your Sales Systems and Processes more effective? 
  • Developing Your Salespeople?
  • Holding Salespeople Accountable?
  • Daily Coaching?
  • Getting Salespeople to Resist Presenting?
  • Getting Salespeople to ask better questions?
  • Being tougher?
  • Overcoming weaknesses like Need for Approval and Rejection
  • Bringing in an Outside Sales Development Expert?
  • Spending Money?
  • Replacing non-performers?
  • Terminating relationships?

There really isn't a hard part. There's simply a decision and once you've made it you're already working on the good stuff so you don't have much time to think about the decision, what you've given up, what you've taken on, your fear or your discomfort.  Nike had it right all along.  Just do it.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, Salesforce, Sales Force, sales motivation, resistance to change, sales evaluation, Sales Accountability

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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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