To many people, change is often seen as a threat – a threat that seems to “rattle” their self-imposed and personalised comfort zone. Why? Because many people regard change as anything but an opportunity, and not surprisingly, they dislike it, distrust it and will even seek to avoid it.
What should become a concern is that these people would welcome the views of Ogden Nash, who once said,
“Progress may have been all right once, but now, it’s gone on far too long“.
In deference of change, even our logic tells us that “all change” is both normal and inevitable.
Just imagine what it would be like if you watched the same television programmes at the same time every day, read the same newspaper or listened to the same news programme at the same time every day. Wouldn’t it be boring? Yet the same people commute the same way, at the same time, to the same job, and repeat the same tasks day in, day out – but resist change.
Others will tell you their normal gut reaction is often to oppose change, or to wish it had happened earlier, or perhaps later, or perhaps not at all. Whatever answer they choose, they’ll go to great lengths to justify their decision. Most will even tell you that they may even view change as threatening their security and happiness. But the most remarkable part is, that the mere thought of change to so many people causes so much anxiety, and the only way they know to deal with it is to either elude it or deny it.
Now that you’re aware of these facts, let me remind you that, as either a salesperson or marketer, your primary role is to sell change, encourage change and help others implement change. What’s more, you won’t have any option but to promote change, because without your prospects and customers willingly accepting change, you won’t have a business to sell to or to market.
It’s also important you know what you’re up against before you start. People only resist change because they haven’t been given a good enough reason to change – that’s all. Any professional salesperson can tell you that. On the other hand, others don’t want to accept change because they haven’t been the authority to make changes.
They’re the ones who’ll tell you,
- “We don’t have a budget for this item”,
- “I don’t think my boss will go for it!”,
- “We’ve always done it this way, that’s why” and a host of other excuses.
Then if you encounter these or other similar excuses, change your target market so you can “pitch” to those that can make a decision.
The only way you’ll win in any of these situations is to understand what it takes to remove your prospects mental blindfold so you can better package the need for change rather than confront why they won’t change. Next provide the necessary assurances that will make it easy to move towards change. If you don’t, they’ll either keep embracing denial or move into avoidance. The best way to overcome this is to sell benefits, not features. Remember that?
Now Let’s Look at the Tinkering Factor
I once heard someone say, “The road to chaos is paved with improvements”. That statement disoriented me for a good five minutes or more. Until then I had lived my life looking for better, more efficient and more streamlined ways of doing things.
As a State Manager, National Sales Manager, Regional Manager and Sales Manager I’ve also managed those that kept developing systems, until they developed more systems, better and bigger systems, for those systems and even more systems to run those systems. And guess what, even with all of time and effort that all of that developing sucked up, their sales remained unchanged or simply twittered away.
Here I was, now admitting that I too have been guilty of this one fault I couldn’t come to terms with in other – even despised in some.
In all my years, I’ve never seen a creative person come into a business who didn’t want to make changes, and what’s more, make them immediately. They’ve always done things better at the last company where they just left, and why they left I assumed was precisely the same reason they left the last company – the same changes they were trying to impose on us.
Creative people have a built in programme that makes them want to change things – even when those areas the want to change are running well. Yet their personality is such that they have to “improve’ things. Perhaps they keep on tinkering to stop themselves getting bored, however, I believe they do this because they can justify not having to do the productive things they dislike doing.
It’s no different market testing a product out of the office, which may include consumer opinions, questionnaires, and follow ups. I personally believe it to be call reluctance. And call reluctance is another way of saying they have a number of ingrained fears they don’t want to address – the main being the fear of failure.
This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 65 books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com