3 Simple Steps to Handling Sales Resistance

Published: 15th February 2008
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Let's face it; handling sales resistance or objections, as

some people like to call it, is the hardest part of the

sales process. Here are 3 simple steps to deal with

resistance; or to put it another way - indifference.

Customers rarely object to your sales proposal they are

often only indifferent to it.

You usually encounter indifference because potential


a. are using a competitors product or service

b. they don't realise that it's possible to improve their

current circumstances

c. they don't see the importance of improving their current


1. Acknowledge the customers point of view. - Say something

like - "I appreciate that you're happy with your current

supplier," or "I understand that you're not experiencing any

problems at present."

2. Request permission to ask a few questions. - Say - "I

wonder if I might ask you a few brief questions about how

you currently organise your supplies. We've worked with

businesses similar to your own and there may be things we've

learned that would be of value to you. Would that be OK?"

3. Ask questions. - Once you've received permission to ask

questions you want to explore the customers' circumstances

for opportunities and hopefully, establish a need. It's

important to ask questions that relate to the benefits of

your product or service, however, don't make it too obvious.

It's important that the customer believes that you have a

genuine interest in his or her business. To give you some

examples - If I was selling a sales or customer service

course to an indifferent customer I might ask questions such


"How do you currently find new customers?"

"How many customers do you lose per month?"

"How much does it cost you to find a new customer?"

When you start to receive some answers from the customer you

then want to establish what effect it has on the business or

on the customer personally. You would ask questions such as:

"How do you feel about that situation?"

"How does that affect your productivity?"

"What impact does that have on your business?"

What you're attempting to do his plant some thoughts in the

customers mind and hopefully establish a need. To establish

if a need exists, ask questions such as:

"Would it be important to do something about that?"

"Is that a problem you'd be interested in solving?"

"Would you like to find a solution to that?"

If the customer says yes then you can follow up with a

benefit statement about your product or service. If they say

no, then at least you've created an awareness of condition

that might be important one day - and one that you can deal


As I've said before, handling resistance is the hardest part

of the sales process however that's why sales people have

jobs. If every potential customer beat a path to your door

than there wouldn't be a need for sales people. As long as

you realise that you can deal with resistance in a

professional manner and although you won't win every time,


will have more successes.

So, go ahead, give these three point a try and I wish you

every success.

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You

can tell whether a man is wise by his questions." - Naguib

Mahfouz - Nobel Prize Winner

Alan Fairweather - The Motivation Doctor - is a professional

speaker, author and business development expert.

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