I came to a profound realization during a recent Hubspot Pipeline Generation Bootcamp session. Leading the discussion, Dan Tyre asked the group to share the most common objections when experiencing resistance from leads during the sales process. Immediately the zoom chat exploded with responses, "budget, time, bandwidth..."
Now, here's where I had my epiphany: each of these objections are, at their roots, a symptom of fear. Isn't all resistance ultimately derived from fear? It's part of our human nature. The question is, how do you lower down the fear barricade during your sales process to remove excess resistance?
Evaluating Fear: The good, the bad & the ugly
Before you can start lowering down the Fearricade™ (fear barricade), you have to understand the triggers, the level of validity, or even the type of fear.
You've heard all the clichés, "the only thing to fear is...", "he who overcomes his fears..." , "fear is only as deep as the mind allows"... I think you get the point. We all experience some sort of fear: individual fear, group fear, fear of failure, fear of becoming obsolete, fear of change, fear of unknown, etc.
But fear isn't one of those "one size fits all" kind of things. There are many different types of fears, not all of which are... bad!
Still with me?
Fear is essentially a natural defense mechanism to prevent us from taking an action that could potentially be harmful or destructive. To a certain degree, fear allows us to approach situations with caution to weigh the risk vs. the reward. It's up to you, as the sales leader, to evaluate the level of validity of the fear resistance you experience from leads. Perhaps your service/product is truly not a right fit for this lead, or maybe there are variables tied to their business decisions that need to be carefully addressed. By understanding the validity of the fear resistance, you will better know when to push and when to pull back during your sales process.
It's not (only) you, it's (also) me
Fear is a two way street, and you, as the sales leader, could unknowingly be contributing to the resistance during a sales call caused by your own fears. For instance, I am one of those "fear of conflict" personalities, meaning I am afraid of saying the wrong thing, of offending someone, of sparking an unwanted debate. I'm what you might call a very "agreeable person". But this fear of conflict often inhibits me in a sales position from taking the necessary risks to overcome resistance from leads.
Now's a good time to ask yourself what are your fears? Could you be one of the causes for resistance during your sales process?
The Power of Acknowledgement
Let's imagine you are on a sales call with a lead. You have identified the lead's challenges, aligned their business goals, and assessed how your service provides the solution they need, yet, you are still met with resistance. In this type of scenario, I most commonly see resistance from leads who have a fear of change, or fear of entering the unknown. Their initial thoughts might be "will this create more work for me?", "what if it's a failure", "will this make my job role obsolete?". These are all very real, valid feelings. As the sales leader you have the opportunity to address these unspoken sentiments upfront without the lead even having to ask these questions aloud. Provide transparency for your processes, address how your service will actually make their job easier, or even offer a case study of the successes of one of your clients with a similar business model.
So, now what?
For starters, enroll in the Hubspot Pipeline Generation Bootcamp! This 8 week course was filled with valuable next generation insights, huge networking opportunities, and a motivating and inspirational encouragement to achieve your sales goals. Next, have a plan! Before you start your next sales call, map out all possible fears (from both your leads and from yourself) and prepare how you will navigate the conversation to lower the resistance. Finally, remember that the one thing we all have in common is that we are all... human! Being honest, transparent and helpful is the best approach to overcoming fear resistance.
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