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Allen & Associates Consulting, Inc

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Manage Any Customer Resistance

Sales resistance should be viewed as an opportunity, not a roadblock. Your prospect is letting you get to know him or her better, and helping you to uncover their needs, wants, and concerns more effectively. A prospect who shows resistance to something is actually participating in the sale and connecting with you at some level, instead of moving away from it. When handled correctly, this opportunity can be turned into a positive, long-lasting customer relationship.

Consider any sale’s objection, resistance, or complaint as a way to get better. When a customer resists, it is simply a nudge for you to move in another direction. You are being told to take another road or see it from another view–your prospect’s point of view. With nonverbal communication, your prospect is saying, “Don’t go down that road, let’s go my way instead.”

Resistance can take on many forms, such as questions, statements and body language, and can mean many things. Occasionally, it is difficult to understand the exact reason for the resistance because people use excuses to cover up their true feelings. Prospects don’t like to say NO. Your prospect or customer is actually doing you a favor if they are honest and straightforward when they tell you how you let them down. This is helpful feedback that will allow you to improve for the next opportunity.

If the reason for the resistance is incorrect or insufficient information, determine where you may have gone wrong and why:

  • Did you give incorrect or incomplete information?
  • Did you give too much information that left the prospect confused?
  • Did your prospect resist due to not understanding or a breakdown in communication?
  • Did your prospect resist because you added pressure to the sale?

Whatever the situation, go back and re-evaluate your prospect’s resistance to buying. Learn from their resistance by gathering more information, following up with correct information, re-evaluating your selling strategies, and/or improving your own communication skills. Really listen and carefully observe both verbal and nonverbal communication with your prospect.

Clarify the basis of the prospect’s resistance so that you’ll travel down the right road next time around.

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