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As sellers, we must immediately break down prospect resistance by creating a great first impression. Yet most salespeople fail to do so — repelling buyers and making them think, “It’s a salesperson, how do I get them off the phone?”

The best sales people know what they’re facing each time they call and have developed repeatable strategies for dispelling resistance.

Sales resistance is when a prospect raises objections or points out obstacles. Sales resistance is often born out of factors like scepticism, unfamiliarity, or frustration. And it can come from a lot of sources — here are a few of the most common ones you can expect to run into during your sales career.

Prospects are sceptical of your offering, your company, or you.

Some sales calls can be sketchy for prospects. Odds are, they’re not going to have an intimate understanding of your business or your solution. And you can’t rely on them immediately trusting you.

This point is particularly pertinent if your solution is relatively new or unique. Consumers rely on other consumers to validate their preferences and decisions to assume risk. If you don’t have a solid base of customers to vouch for how awesome, effective, and legitimate your product or service is, you might find yourself in a bit of a pinch.

The idea of being the first customer to boldly go where no business has gone before generally isn’t attractive to your average prospect. So if you don’t have a vocal, enthusiastic base to offer your solution some clout, you might run into some resistance.

Prospects are reluctant to shake things up.

Inertia can be one of the tougher roadblocks to figure out. If a prospect is content with the solution they’re already using, what do they need you for? They might have established relationships with contacts who work at your competition. They might feel they don’t have time to learn and implement your solution. Or they might be resistant to change in general.

Prospects who are stuck in their ways are particularly difficult to sway, and when you’re talking to them, you’re at a major disadvantage. It’s not just that you have to convince them that your product or service is the best one for their business — you have to show them that it’s so much better than their current solution that they should go out of their way and fundamentally alter their current operations to leverage it.

People often push back on putting in that kind of effort — particularly when they’re not sure it’s necessary. That can make for some serious resistance from prospects.

Prospects don’t like your sales process.

Sales resistance doesn’t always stem from problems or concerns your prospects have with your product or service. Sometimes, prospects will get testy with you because they don’t like how you’re selling to them.

Your messaging might rub them the wrong way. The frequency of your outreach might be too often or too scarce. It could just be that your company’s approach to certain steps in your sales process doesn’t suit their interests or sensitivities. That makes for a unique kind of resistance — one where the prospect winds up pushing back on you as opposed to your product or service.

How to Overcome Sales Resistance

1. Cut the cliches

Most sellers open their calls with clichés, immediately turning off their prospects.

The most buyer-repellent statements I hear in my coaching work include “How are you today?” and “Is this a good time to talk?” Cutting the sales-y statements will instantly increase your success rate by not naturally generating resistance.

2. Let them know you have experience with similar businesses.

See if you can describe how their industry peers or businesses of similar scale and structure have seen considerable success with your offering.

4. Switch your focus

Sales calls are about the buyer — not about you. Your buyer is focused on what’s in it for them, so give it to them right up front.

4. Drop the assumptions

Be careful about making broad claims — buyers who don’t know you will instinctively poke them for holes.

Ultimately, you can build a relationship and avoid creating resistance by focusing on two key things going into a call: The buyer’s needs and goals (versus your own) and starting a conversation (rather than trying to sell).

If you struggle to overcome resistance from potential customers, then maybe we can help.


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