Resistance – How to Handle It
Do you ever meet with resistance from other people – I bet you do! It might be a customer, a colleague, a member of your team or even someone in your personal life. Dealing with resistance or objections is one of the biggest challenges faced by business people; so let’s consider why we get resistance and how we can handle it. I’m going to talk about customer contacts but the same rules apply whether it’s a colleague or even someone in your personal life.
Well there’s good news and bad news – first the good news. When someone says – “You’re too expensive” or “We already deal with someone else,” or “I don’t agree with you”- then they may not be telling the truth.
The bad news is – most of them won’t buy what you’re selling anyway, but don’t cut your wrists just yet because – there’s more good news.
If you can find out exactly what your potential customer means when they say – “No” then you have a much better chance of improving your success rate, getting more sales and more agreement.
What we need to realise is that, there is no smart answer to a customer’s objection. Sales people are always looking for the “things to say” that’ll deal with an objection. How can you possibly have an answer if the customer isn’t telling the truth is the first place?
Many sales people believe the customer when they say – “You’re too expensive”. They then start offering discounts or walk away from the sale, complaining that their product or service isn’t competitive enough.
So why do customers say “No”?
Well I don’t want you to burst into tears but the First and most important reason is that – they may not like you! That doesn’t mean that they dislike you, it just means that they don’t know you and they haven’t built any trust or built a relationship with you. So firstly – get them to like you, sell yourself, be trustworthy, be a great listener, smile, be friendly.
The Second reason could be that they haven’t understood what the heck you’re talking about. Maybe you haven’t spoken clearly enough or you’ve used too many technical terms or jargon. This can make you seem like a real “smarty pants” so, that takes us back to our First reason. The answer should be simple enough, use language the other person can understand and keep checking by asking questions.
The Third reason may be that the customer wasn’t listening. They might have been distracted by something or somebody – your big blue eyes or the fact that they’re tired, hot and need a comfort break. The trick is to keep checking when you’re making you’re sale or dealing with someone else – “Did you understand that last bit, Mr Customer or did I make it confusing?”
Fourthly, they may not be the right person. The person you’re speaking with may be telling you – “We have another supplier” – however they may not be the decision maker. To make sure you’re speaking to the right person, be brave and ask the question – “Is it you who’ll make the final decision or do I need to speak to someone else?”
The Fifth reason could be that they don’t like change. Sometimes our potential customers like to stay in their comfort zone and they don’t want some salesperson telling them they have to change their way of doing things or their supplier. Even although they could possibly save money or make their life easier; people are generally reluctant to change.
It’s therefore important to outweigh the customer’s reluctance by emphasising the benefits of your product or service. Also, keep selling yourself and appeal to the customer’s emotional side, don’t be too logical. Always remember that human beings will almost always allow their hearts to rule their heads when buying something. So appeal to the customer’s emotions, keep telling them how they’ll feel when they’re using what you’re selling – How good they’ll look or how others will feel about them.
Lastly, it may just be that the customer genuinely doesn’t want or need or have the money for what you’re selling.
The only way to find out which of these Six points is the truth, is to keep asking questions, listen carefully to the customer and watch their body language.
Always remember that – “You’re too expensive” could mean. – “I haven’t understood a word you’ve said” or “I’m going on holiday tomorrow” or “My son-in-law works for your competitor.”
When a potential customer raises an objection, make sure you know what they really mean before you deal with it.
“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you” – Dale Carnegie