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Just the time needed to learn the change equation!

Want to learn the art of selling in two minutes?

2023 March 28 | by Arduino Mancini Change management - Sales

The way sales professionals handle Customer communication is not quite different between one company and another.

Too often the focus lands on aspects related to the influence of the salesperson toward the buyer; the salesperson is treated as one of those toys you give the charge to so that he/she will repetitively do the same things over and over again, a practice that is detrimental to both individuals and business results.

For a moment, let’s take for granted the importance of the different aspects of communication, verbal and nonverbal, that influence the outcome of a sale and wonder:

what motivates a person or organization to sign a contract
or in any case to pay for a product, service or solution?

My compass has always been only one: the change equation, about which I have written about its application to organizational change.

The equation, or more correctly inequation, takes the following shape:

D x V x F > R

  • D = Dissatisfaction with the current situation
  • V = Vision (desired) of how the future might be after the change
  • F = First steps, actions to implement in the short term are known and perceived as feasible.
  • R = Resistance to change

According to the equation, resistance to change in a person, group, or organisation will be overcome if:

  • there is real dissatisfaction with the current situation;
  • the people (one person or more) involved have a clear and desired vision of how the future might be after the change;
  • the actions to implement in the short term are known and perceived as feasible.

If only one of these variables is null or not so strong
to generate the motivation to change,
Resistance cannot be overcome.

The assumption behind the argument is that investment in an asset, whether tangible or intangible, is always oriented to generate a change in a personal or organizational situation.

Let us take an example.

  • What motivates an organization to purchase a new product or service, and perhaps to change suppliers?

There must be dissatisfaction with the current situation, coupled with a clear vision of what the future can shape up to be without the current troubles, and the actions to be taken in the short term must be evident and achievable (including the sustainability of the investment as well).

Let us now take an example related to a personal purchase.

  • What makes a person buy a new car?

Certainly, dissatisfaction with the current car, which can assume the most diverse aspects: for example, high maintenance costs, discontinued models, unsuitability toward changed personal/professional needs.

Then the clear idea of what will change with the new car: the lower running costs, the happiness of having a trendy model, and adequate response to new needs.

Finally, the investment in the new car must be achievable and generate tangible effects, even in the short term: verifying, for example, whether we can cope with the investment, the new operating costs will free up resources to devote to the other, the garage is of adequate size.

Too often the salesperson tries to overcome resistance by simply employing influence techniques, which may achieve some momentary results, but are unlikely to make a decisive impact if the change (dis)equation is not met.

  • In summary, every time I aim to sell something, I ask myself three questions:
  1. does the person before me perceive at least latent dissatisfaction with the current situation?
  2. are the achievable benefits and actions I can take in the short term able to overcome his/her resistance to change?
  3. what can I do to overcome his/her resistance to change?

If the answer is no for even one of these questions,
I devote my energy to something else.

What do you think?

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