tips for overcoming your clients resistance to change
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7 Quick Tips to Overcome Your Clients Resistance to Change

When you work with clients, you often give advice on how to get better results from your solutions. I love it when they listen because we achieve great things. And it’s so frustrating when they don’t. The problem is people prefer to keep things the same. There’s safety in the known. But there’s ways to get around that if you encounter resistance to change.

What to do about resistance to change

I recently appeared on the Daily Sales Tips Podcast, sharing what to do when your client seems resistant to change. Here’s some common objections and quick tips on how you can overcome them.

  • Reluctance. These are the kinds of people that say, why should we do this now? To get them across the line paint a very clear picture of what the future will look like and then you know what the return on investment is going to be for them to take action.
  • Lack of Ownership. Have you ever come across people that say things like “I’m not sure why I’m involved.” If you find you’ve got some people that aren’t on board, you really need to focus on the impact to them as an individual.
  • The Cynics. The type that are always dragging up ancient history saying they’ve tried it before so shy should it work now?. Give them an explicit documented plan about how you make this happen, why this time is different.
  • The Risk Averse. They fear the worst, doom and gloom for these people. It’s important that you acknowledge the risks. Show them that you’ve taken precautions to reduce the risks and you’ve got some contingency plans in place if the worst happens.
  • The Cost-Conscious. There’s never any money in the budget. For those naysayers, you need to pull together a pitch that demonstrates the value to your client, how it aligns with their organisational goals. And bring some data to support your strategy. They will want the evidence.
  • The Overwhelmed. These people are a little like the deer in the headlights. They’re overwhelmed and any new idea just sounds like a whole bunch of extra work. You need to understand their workload. Look for ways to lighten the load, be more efficient, get work reallocated, get extra resources. Explain exactly how you want them to participate. The devil will be in the detail.
  • Logistics. For this type of client, everything is just way too hard, or too complex, or needs too many resources and so on. For these types of people, you’ll need examples. They want case studies and testimonials to see exactly how you’ve done this with other people before they commit.

Convincing your client that change is good and is in their best interest isn’t always easy, but when you understand where the objections are coming from and how to address them, you’ll be in a great place to get your strategy off the ground and good luck.

Subscribe to the Daily Sales Tips Podcast on iTunes | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Resource Roundup

Interviews with Jeff Bezos:
ARTICLE: Forbes Exclusive Interview With The Amazon Founder On What He Plans To Conquer Next
VIDEO: Jeff Bezos Thinking for the Long Term

Books:
Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig
Winning the Professional Services Sale: Unconventional Strategies to Reach More Clients, Land Profitable Work, and Maintain Your Sanity by Michael W. McLaughlin

Warwick Brown has led business development and account management teams in Australia and Europe for more than 15 years and worked with some of the world's most prestigious firms, including Merck & Co, Deutsche Bank, McKinsey & Company and Vodafone. His mission is to help account managers everywhere who are short on time and big on ambition get results.