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How to Overcome Client Resistance Without Selling Harder

How ironic it is that the more we try to overcome resistance, the more we actually create it.

When a prospective client raises a concern the first thing we might try to think about doing is to attempt to cleverly overcome their objection -- no matter why they have the objection in the first place. Selling harder, which is what you're doing, really can lose you the sale, which is a very demoralizing outcome.

Learning how to view potential clients concerns as concerns, rather than seeing them as roadblocks will help you learn your client's truth and reduce your level of stress considerably. When you see their concerns, and ask to learn more about them, your potential client will see that you truly wish to help them with their problems. Instead of pegging you as just another salesperson trying to push through their objections and get the sale, they'll make you their trusted friend.

You need to respond to your client's concerns in such a way that it invites them to tell you more about their issues and their goals. If you dismiss their concerns, they might suddenly remember an appointment they have or an important phone call they must make. They might even agree to your offer, only to renege on it a day or so later. It's all about sales pressure and how it makes your prospective client feels. Don't ever put pressure on your clients. Instead open a dialogue with them, and establish a mutual understanding based on truth. When you stop trying to overcome objections and just listen, you may hear that there really is a problem around whether your product or service is a fit for them.

In that case, you and they can talk further, or you may decide it would be best to wish them well and move on. This means you can make better use of your time, and you can then help them by making a referral, which will likely also get you some from your business colleagues someday.

But how do you really put this into practice?

Let's say your prospective client tells you they believe your price is too high. Your initial inclination might be to defend your pricing or deny that itís too high. However, you should consider this response instead:

"You're right, it can be perceived as high, especially if you haven't had a chance to experience the solution it can bring you yet. The last thing I want to do is have you feel any pressure from me, or feel like I'm trying to persuade you otherwise. Maybe it might help if we took a look at how our product (or service) can help you solve some issues you're having and then identify what the benefits will be. That might provide you with a broader perspective on the pricing; would you be open to that?"

By inviting the other person to tell you more, instead of challenging or denying how they view things, you're validating their viewpoint and reopening the conversation around the idea of why they feel the price is high.

By not trying to counter the "objection," you allow the dialogue to move back to a discussion that centers around whether you're a good match for each other and whether or not you can solve their problems.

"Why should I go with you?"

If a prospective client asks you that question, consider offering this response:

(Gentle pause.) "I'm not quite convinced you should yet, not until you're completely comfortable with the reasons why this solution might be best for you. The last thing I want to do is put pressure on you by trying to convince you to do something you may or may not want to do. Would it make sense for us to take a look at the actual issues you want to solve and then see if we are a fit?"

Here again, you're not creating sales pressure by defending your solution. You're simply communicating that you're focused solely on helping them to solve their problem.

"We don't have the budget for that."

Again, this is an opportunity and not a roadblock. Here's a suggestion you might use to address their concerns:

"That's not a problem. (Gentle pause.) Quite a few of our clients originally had not allocated a budget for this, mostly because they hadn't become aware of all their options. Would you be open to a different perspective on how this could impact your business and provide you with a solid return?"

When prospects express a concern and you reply in a very calm, relaxed voice, "That's not a problem," you're validating whatever they said as having truth. "That's not a problem" immediately defuses any tension and allows you both to continue your dialogue. You're not jumping frantically into defending your product or service -- you're simply suggesting that it might make sense to continue your conversation to see if there really is a justification for solving a problem they might have.

One More Advantage…

By addressing your potential client's concerns in this manner, you're taking considerable stress off of yourself and your relationship with your prospect. You're telling them you see their viewpoint and understand their issues and you want to help them. By overcoming what is perceived as resistance on their part, you're focusing on the solution rather than the sale. Success won't be far away.

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