I received a newsletter today from a gentleman who I have worked with in the past, Dr. Alan Zimmerman. Dr. Zimmerman is a well known business consultant who specializes in managing change and communications skills. I presented with him at a conference in France many years ago and was proud to share the stage with him.
His newsletter started with a great quote, "The only person that likes change is the baby with a wet diaper". After a chuckle and a nod of agreement (it's been a while since I was the "Change-er" or the "Change-ee"), I thought a little about the statement and questioned the validity. Is it true, are there ever other circumstances when people enjoy change?
Think about it, everytime you make a sale you create change. When someone buys something new or different from what they have been buying it requires change. When someone buys something it often requires them to change the way they work. Human beings are creatures of habit and fundamentally resist change, it's part of what makes "selling" so challenging. So, initially I agreed with the statement.
However ,the more I thought about it I realized that although change is always uncomfortable there are many things I have purchased that required me to change but after the initial discomfort I have been absolutely thrilled about. I believe the same is true about your prospect and believe that the quickest way to "making a sale" is to find out what, in terms of their current situation, would they like to change. Change is much more acceptable when your contact is not "comfortable" with their current conditions.
Our selling model suggests that in order for you to be successful in sales you need to find out what would "motivate" your prospect/customer to change. Just like the "baby in the wet diaper", people don't mind changing when they believe that the discomfort of change will be outweighed by the benefits of their new outcome. That's why questions about "what they might want to change" can be so valuable to us. If you can find out what they would like to change about their current situation, and if the decision to not change causes "discomfort/pain" then change should be welcome.
Rather than having the fear or discomfort of change create resistance to work against... use it as a tool to create momentum in your favor. Ask people questions like:
What is it about what you use now that you would like to see work better?
Why would you want to change from the way you do things now?
Why would you want to look for a new source of supply?
What is it about the way you work now that you would like to see improved?
Answers to these questions help them to create their own reasons for change and it will become leverage instead of resistance! Think more about what your prospect would like to change than what you would like to sell and you'll make a lot more sales!