Sales Resistance: Definition & Example

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  • 0:04 Sales Resistance
  • 0:36 Reasoned Resistance
  • 1:10 Emotional Resistance
  • 1:50 Overcoming Resistance
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Every sales rep experiences sales resistance at times. This lesson will help you to understand how customers exhibit sales resistance and learn how to overcome it.

Sales Resistance

Imagine that you are the sales rep for a large department store. Your job is to make sure that all customers who walk into the store are offered the store's latest promotion, which is a 'buy one, get one free' offer for shirts. At the beginning of your shift, you find that many potential customers like the sale you are talking about, but as the day goes on, you find that some customers oppose your efforts to get a sale. This is referred to as sales resistance.

Even though this example is about face-to-face sales, it applies equally to telemarketing sales. To understand sales resistance, you must first understand the two types of sales resistance.

Reasoned Resistance

The first type is reasoned, or objective, resistance. This type of resistance comes from the potential customer's reasoning. Some examples would be, 'I don't need this shirt' or 'I can't afford that right now.' When a potential customer uses this type of resistance, he or she is telling you that in his or her mind, the sales offer just won't work at this time.

For example, a potential customer may tell you that she already purchased some blouses. She is using logic and objective thinking to tell herself and you that she doesn't need to purchase any more blouses since she already found some. This decision isn't based on emotion, but on facts.

Emotional Resistance

The second type is emotional, or subjective, resistance. When a potential customer exhibits this type of opposition, it means he or she has a psychological motive behind the resistance. This might mean that the potential customer has a distrust of salespeople. Perhaps the customer has had bad experiences that now prevent the customer from trusting you. Or perhaps the customer has had painful experiences which the sales process somehow brings back to mind. Either way, emotional resistance prevents the customer from accepting the sales offer.

For example, a potential customer may tell you that these blouses remind him of his deceased wife and that's why he's here looking at them, so he's not interested in purchasing today. He is showing emotional, or subjective, resistance because he is using his emotions to guide his actions.

Overcome Resistance

While there is no changing of minds with some people, you can change the minds of others. It all comes down to how you interact with the potential customer and address his or her sales resistance.

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