Dealing with Resistance to Change

I was asked this question recently  “I’m curious to know how you handle it when the objection is really a cover up for their true fear – I really don’t want to change?

So, dealing with getting people to change, it is simple when you understand how and why people are willing to make change in their life or current situation.  Here is a simple equation D X V + F > R otherwise known as the formula for change.  This explains quite simply the process that humans go through when looking to change something.

How it works.  For change to occur, first there must be a level of (D) dissatisfaction.  This D is created either by the persons situation and they decide to change because they do not like the current car, house, suit or what ever.  They talk themselves into it or peer pressure or absolute requirement will force them into change.

About one third of all dissatisfaction is created by sales people.  For example when I sell my coaching services, I have to create a level of dissatisfaction with the prospect first through a series of questions.

  • How many hours do you work,
  • are you the highest paid person in the business,
  • how many holidays do you take each year or when was the last time you took a holiday over two weeks long
  • if you take time off does the business work without you
  • can you trust your team when you are not there…

You get the idea, I have to create the level of dissatisfaction in the prospect such that they see it clearly.  Not enough dissatisfaction means NO SALE!!

Then I move onto the second part of the equation – V for Vision.  In other words what would life look like if they took on a coach, upgraded the car, got the new suit, moved into a new home.  What problems would it alleviate, what joy would it bring, how good would life be if….

The third step is helping them understand the F, First Steps in making the change.  This might be getting the Credit Card out, completing the paperwork, arranging a deposit, getting the hems taken up, arranging a pest inspection….
So we delved into the pain side of things by uncovering the D, we set the V for what life will look like when the act on that and then get them taking the first steps.  None of this will happen if their R, resistance is still too high, i.e. their resistance to want to change is still too high.  This just means that you have not found enough pain.  It is like a see saw with a heavy kid on one end, he aint going to budge…

It’s your job as a professional to reduce sales resistance and shift the pendulum of power to help then understand how what you do can help….

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One Comment

  1. I loved this post. It’s simple, true. I rekon every sales person should carry this little picture in their folders as a reference point. Nice article.

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