Why You Won't Change Your Toothpaste And They Won't Sign Your Deal.

Change is hard.

It's hard for you, the companies you want to sell to, your coworkers and peers, your competition, and everyone else around you.

Change is the hardest thing you ever have to do.

That's why marketing is so tricky. Why the perfect sales pitch is so elusive. And why your favorite toothpaste brand keeps coming up with different options for you to try.

Changing to something new is hard. Really really hard.

That is often overlooked (or significantly misunderstood) in business.  And usually ends up leading to disaster.

Even the easiest of options you offer can force a decision to change that appears complex. That complexity leads to frustration. That frustration to confusion. And confusion leads to doing nothing at all.

That's how you are wired, your prospects are wired, and your current customers are wired -- "change is bad".

Too many changes, confusing changes, or almost any change it all create a huge obstacle to making a decision. That results in a slower sales cycle, loss of revenue, out-of-whack pipeline predictions, and an overall inability to capture market share.

Remember that the next time you are presenting big ideas for change.

Doing anything at all is an obstacle for your buyer. Frankly, your grand plan to save them money and time sounds a lot more scary to them then they are letting on.

Part of building trust is to acknowledge how painful change can be.

Be purposeful about creating a plan with which your prospective buyer can move forward without getting hurt.

  1. Think about small steps -- ways to test an idea for a few months before you ask them to invest their money and reputation in your big bold plan.
  2. Be religious about tracking the data -- their competition and all the obstacles that could lead to failure.
  3. Create weekly goals and progress reports that help keep everyone on the same page.
  4. Communicate more. Be radical about the news you share.

And don't just share information.

Be clear about how they should interpret that information.

Are they headed in the right direction? Will they need more time or money or resources? Are there problems that they need to know about now?

Don't force your client to have to figure it all out by themselves.

Change is hard.

Think about how hard it is for you to switch toothpaste brands. Now think about what you're selling. What you are pitching is probably a little more complex than Crest or Colgate.

Make change a little bit easier by addressing that part of your deal first.

The rest of your presentation, like saving money and time, can wait for later.