Home > Resistance > Resistance to Change

Resistance to Change

Anytime something new is introduced to a system that represents a change to the status quo there is the potential for resistance. What do you do to eliminate or navigate this resistance? - by Houston
Staying mentally limber and reflective and paying attention to internal responses to changes in status quo is a learned behavior.

MitchM - by MitchM
Staying mentally limber and reflective and paying attention to internal responses to changes in status quo is a learned behavior.

MitchM
With future clients facing a change to their status quo what do you do to help the person navigate their resistance to change? - by Houston
Our support includes personal contact - telephone calls of encouragement, information, adjustments.

MitchM - by MitchM
Anytime something new is introduced to a system that represents a change to the status quo there is the potential for resistance. What do you do to eliminate or navigate this resistance?
I agree that "status quo thinking" is a powerful force within the prospect mindset. In fact, one of my "Ten Truths about Selling" is:

One effective way to deal prevent status quo paralysis is to ask a prospect, "Why would you want to buy [insert product/service here]?" This encourages the prospect to think of reasons why he/she might consider your product/service.

Back when I was selling furniture, I had a prospect looking at some upholstered furniture, but as the sales interaction progressed, he became very adamant that he didn't need new furniture. I asked him why he would even consider buying new furniture if he didn't need it. He told me that he was ready to start dating again after a messy divorce a few years earlier, and his adult daughter had told him that he needed to buy some new furniture if he was ever going to make a positive impression on future love interests.

I asked him if making a positive impression on future love interests was important to him.

He said "yes."

Then I said, "So even you don't need new furniture, would you consider buying this sofa and two chairs that you said you like?"

He said "yes." And, after further discussion, he bought. He talked himself out of status quo paralysis.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Thank for the input MitchM.

That's a very good story Skip. Thank you for the input. - by Houston
In the UK during the industrial revolution, the term "luddites" was coined to identify resistance to change (then it was technology, mechanization). At times, resistance to change for a business can be almost cult-like (similar to the luddites).

Other times, an account can be resistant to changing suppliers. As soon as you feel your sale stalling, there are a number of topics which need to be addressed:
1. if the resistance relates to changing suppliers, you need to ask, "... when you made the change to the current supplier, what were the dynamics which appealed to you to change suppliers back then ..." (this line of thinking should uncover a way to niggle your way in on the same principals but ... beware. he might be buying from his brother-in-law);
2. if the resistance to change relates to technology, you need to work with the account to accurately identify a meaningful ROI;
3. resistance to technology can be weakened by tabling their competition ("... how have your competitors reacted to the advent of this innovation...");
4. at times, this resistance can be localized to a single individual within the firm (hopefully not the stakeholder);

You really need to get ALL of the dynamics onto the table. For example, leaps in technology can imply an ROI predicated on job loss in a union environment ... beware!!!

Once again, this is another objection to be handled.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Sharon Drew Morgan and Jacques Werth are two individuals I take seriously for their understanding of what makes people tick and decide to do something or not. Their approachs may seem in contradiction but one commonality I understand has to do with trust in an inquiry of mutual honesty.

While one would ask "How to recognize . . ." questions in an attempt to help the prosopect answer his or her own questions unique and perhaps mysterious to the decision making process, the other would look for an immediate "want to" followed with estabilishing a relationship with a discovery/dis-qualification process that moves into conditions of satisfactioin being met.

Many of the dynamics have to come out on the table as Pat says yet some will remain private to the prospect yet dynamic in the decision making process.

This is an instructive thread.

MitchM - by MitchM
Anytime something new is introduced to a system that represents a change to the status quo there is the potential for resistance. What do you do to eliminate or navigate this resistance?
This is a dated thread and it's too bad it did not draw more posts. I keep coming back to the original question---then back to the potpourri of responses.

The question is What Do I Do?

I ask people to clear their mind on the subject. I often say I'm going to show a side to this as if they have never thought about it before. Then I ask their permission to do so. They ALWAYS give that permission and they loosen up.

"Trust" has been mentioned here. One of the ways you get trust (and respect) is by maintaining a personal presence of a person who is trusted (and respected). Unfortunately it's hard to teach-- but it's empowering to learn. - by Ace Coldiron
Your approach is an effective one, Ace, because it isn't patronizing and it is based on permission and trust - always more powerful than a laundry list of "over coming objections" and it as you say empowers because it honor's the other person's ability to make decision for him and herself.

MitchM - by MitchM
The article about top 10 reasons for resistance to change misses the primary one - people do not understand the value/reason for change and how it can positively impact their success and career. - by allan.lobeck
The article about top 10 reasons for resistance to change misses the primary one - people do not understand the value/reason for change and how it can positively impact their success and career.
I believe that the tenth reason would suffice to cover that.
"10. PEOPLE GENUINELY BELIEVE THAT THE PROPOSED CHANGE IS A BAD IDEA."
If change is a bad idea (often somebody else's), that is an excellent reason for resisting change.


- by Gary A Boye
People often if not usually base their "bad idea to change" perspective on emotions and irrational conclusions NOT logical, rational throught processes.

Thoughts?

MitchM - by MitchM
People often if not usually base their "bad idea to change" perspective on emotions and irrational conclusions NOT logical, rational throught processes.

Thoughts?

MitchM
My thoughts are that a bad idea can be a bad idea. People that tell other people that they NEED to change would often do well to change themselves into someone who doesn't tell other people they need to change. - by Gary A Boye
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.