Reflecting on your selling resistance
In a recent post about resistance to selling, I asked you to write down everything you feel, or what happens, when you’re selling.
Today I’d like you to open that document you created and consider the following questions while you read what you wrote.
What was the essence of what you wrote? This may be the main feeling you have about yourself that causes you to resist selling.
What is the main feeling you have towards selling that might be causing you to feel resistance?
What is the main feeling around your product or service, or your company, that might cause you to feel resistance.
What is the main feeling around your prospects or customers, that might cause you to feel resistance to selling?
Once you’ve considered these questions, ask yourself: which of these feelings is the most logical? Which is easiest to overcome? Which is the least understood? Which is the hardest to overcome? Which is not yet resolved by others in your profession? Which one is the most paralysing? Which is the result of previous experiences or training?
It might help to write down a few more notes when thinking about these questions. Doing so will crystallise your thoughts about how you feel about your resistance to selling.
As you ponder the value of this exercise, you may be thinking to yourself: do I really want to do this? Do I really want to consider these questions? Do I really want to write this down?
Again, that is your resistance defending and preserving itself; aiming to maintain the status quo. Know this: overcoming resistance to selling is not easy – resistance to selling is a deceptively stubborn beast that disguises himself as a supportive companion.
One very good explanation for any behaviour, whether it helps or hinders our plans, is that we are getting value from it. This is important: any behaviour or thought-groove we reliably return when faced with a challenge is giving us some kind of value. The problem, is that this value may or may not be aligned with our most important plans. It doesn’t know, and doesn’t care, what our plans are.
What is the value you are getting from your resistance to selling? It could be that your resistance to selling allows you to:
not try, therefore avoid rejection
avoid effort, thereby giving you more attention for something else
avoid the failure that you have imaged may result from selling
maintain a self-image of someone that doesn’t have to lower themselves to sell, because your product, your company, or you are better than that
Whatever it is, ask yourself: are these real or imagined gains more important than the gains that you could realise if you overcame your resistance?
What could you have, be or do if you could just sell yourself or your product better, despite your natural resistance to do so? How much better could your income, job security, or business be? How much better could your life be, if you could only overcome this thing that holds you back?
A client I’ve known for a decade is fond of the saying “knowledge dispels fear”. I don’t agree. In my view, knowledge is not enough, and sometimes knowledge only piles on more fear, leading to inaction. Knowing what you fear does not necessarily make it go away. In fact, whether it goes away or not doesn’t really matter does it? What matters is whether you accomplish what you are trying to do, whether you fear doing so or not. In that sense, action side-steps fear.
It all comes down to what you value. If you really value the gains you could make by overcoming your resistance to selling more than the gains you are getting from allowing that resistance to control you, what to do should be clear.
So, complete the exercise. Don’t skip it. Get it all down and join me for my next post when we’ll dive further into off-target thinking, and how your thoughts (including your cognitive distortions) can sometimes be our own worst enemies. If you really want to overcome your resistance to selling, if you really want to get what you want by selling more and selling better, you’re going to get a lot out of this series.