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Indifference or Rejection?

How do you define Indifference? Do you believe that "customer indifference is one of the most challenging situations you encounter as a salesperson?*"

What causes customer indifference? How do you identify customer indifference? How do you address customer indifference in your own sales practice?

Finally, how do you define Rejection and do you perceive a connection between indifference and rejection?

(*) Professional Selling Skills (PSS) - by Community Mailbox
How do you define Indifference? Do you believe that "customer indifference is one of the most challenging situations you encounter as a salesperson?*"
I do believe indifference is a very challenging situation. According to Miller Heiman if you have a customer that is on "Even Keel" or Overconfident about thier current situation then there is a low probability of them taking action.

In cases of small accounts or one decision maker situations then it could be really difficult to advance the sales process. In larger companies or more complex selling situations there may be "influencers" that can help sway an "Even Keel" person.

For instance, a "user buyer machine operator" with a lot of experience may be able to influence the "economic buyer" and help bring him into trouble mode. It can be done and that is what sales professional do.

Rejection on the other hand is part of the job and not personal. Overtime, it can even be turned around if you develop a positive relationship with the prospect if your product is truly a solution for the prospect. I believe that people aren't rejecting me personally and that they just don't have enough information to move forward.
Sometimes my product doesn't really fit my customers needs but I can still include that person in my network in case his situation changes. - by Sell4alivn
How do you define Indifference? Do you believe that "customer indifference is one of the most challenging situations you encounter as a salesperson?*"

What causes customer indifference? How do you identify customer indifference? How do you address customer indifference in your own sales practice?

Finally, how do you define Rejection and do you perceive a connection between indifference and rejection?

(*) Professional Selling Skills (PSS)
Indifference in a prospect is someone I will not call back on. Rejection on the other hand can be a prospect that was unwilling to buy today but may turn into a customer in the future. - by steveadlman
Indifference is a lack of desire. People buy for two reasons, fear or desire. Often I have been brought in to close a deal for a salesperson and I find the salesperson has read indifference as interest because they were not told no, or read it as rejection because they were not told yes.
I think this question needs more clarity. Indifference occurs in many situations, I find it most often when the salesperson is not at the right level decision maker. When you are attempting to sell to a person who has no reason to care if your solution improves their current situation then you should expect indifference. However, when you find it in the right decision maker then you have not hit the right “hot button” and you need to back up and do a more thorough needs analysis. This is the only way to uncover what you missed.
There are situations that occur when your solution is NOT the best for the client. This however usually leads to rejection, not indifference.
The bottom line, when I train salespeople I tell them indifference is the hardest “objection” to overcome. - by tw5270
I view Indifference as an attitude characterized by a casual lack of interest or concern with the matter at hand.

Yes, I do believe that customer indifference is one of the most challenging situations salespeople encounter. I also believe that the inability to effectively address customer indifference takes a major toll on sales productivity across the board.

In my opinion, when customers are indifferent to your offering it is often because they are satisfied enough (or even complacent) with their current situation and/or are unaware of your offering's potential for meeting their goals (e.g.; latent want or meaningful distinction). Either way the customer does not perceive a sufficient need and/or sufficient value (i.e.; payoff) in exploring and/or pursuing change.

Examples of customers expressing indifference could be:
  • We upgraded those last year and they are giving us the results we want.
  • We already have someone for that and we're happy with their service.
As it pertains to selling, in my opinion Rejection equates to an offering (i.e.; vendor - solution) being perceived as unsuitable. I can see how some might conf