41. Why do people have a resistance to change?

"To overcome resistance the best approach is to gather sufficient information about the buyer as well as the products or ideas you are going to present."

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You will almost always run into resistance when you ask someone to change.  Their resistance comes from their unwillingness to let go of the status quo.  People do not like to change.  People resist even the best ideas.

A person resists an idea for a number of reasons.  The resistance starts with a negative feeling about the product or idea.  He or she has not looked into it yet.  The immediate resistance is general.

First of all, there is a risk.  What if the change does not pay off?  Then he or she loses the cost and looks foolish.  Something new means change and maybe the change will be uncomfortable.  It might cause problems, and who needs problems?  “I tried something like this before and it did not work out well, why take the risk?”

People in general do not want to hear about you or your idea or company.  Even if you get them to listen, their generalized resistance adds strength to the objection.

However, you have to sell your ideas to get ahead.  Your value to the customer cannot be known unless your products and services are tried.  Be prepared for this resistance.

A lot of sales people ruin their credibility because they start to sell when the presentation is only half formed.  They do not do their homework.  The desire to get their idea sold is there, and it generates enough enthusiasm in them to propel them prematurely into the buyer's office and go for the close.

The buyer, motivated by his/her generalized resistance to anything new, looks for what is wrong.  At this point, the buyer is NOT focusing on how to make it work.  So the prospect raises some tough questions that you cannot answer.  Not being prepared the sale dies.

By not being prepared you have lost more than the sale.  You have lost some creditability.  You have hurt your image.  You have set the stage with a negative first impression.

From then on the buyer expects you to be unprepared.  The buyer will look harder for holes in everything you present.  And he or she figures that maybe it is a waste of time to talk with you.  If they hear unsupported ideas, they will not be so willing to listen anymore.

This is the reason why many people fail at presenting their ideas.  They are unprepared to overcome the resistance.  They cannot handle the objections.

To overcome this resistance the best approach is to gather sufficient information about the buyer as well as the products or ideas you are going to present.  Depending on what you are selling it may be necessary to make two or three information gathering calls before making the first presentation.


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