“To get the Elephant off its duff, you need to reassure it that the task won’t be so bad.” is from the chapter on Shrinking the Change in part 2 “Motivate the Elephant” of Switch, How to change things when change is hard by Chip & Dan Heath
You have a GREAT prospect: the product looks like it will fill a need no one else does… your delivery times are better than anyone else’s… whatEVER the reason they are still talking with you… this prospect has told you they are interested… point blank.
Have you noticed that AFTER that – nothing happens?
In this case the Elephant (or your prospects feelings about change) is just not budging. Intellectually they understand why working with you will be better – you’ve painted the mental picture for them. Emotionally it is just too… much… work…
As the salesperson you’re probably thinking – what are you talking about, emotions tied to adding me to the vendor list?
> adding you to the vendor list is another straw your prospects back, will it break?
> there is inevitably red tape that will tangle up time.
> the prospect will have to explain WHY (eye rolling commences NOW).
I’m sure you can add to that list as well, see there are emotions involved.
What to do… what to do; we have an interested prospect, how can we turn them into a customer if they don’t want to budge?
The key is simple – get that Elephant moving by making the vendor change feel easy.
1. Is there an easier way? Perhaps you can start with something that only requires a credit card vs. full blown adding to a vendor list. Most companies have a purchasing threshold that allows for “expense” type purchases to be made on a credit card.
2. Do the work for them. Be introduced to the people who hold the purse – NOT the purse strings, but the person who would need to do the administrative work to add you to the list. Make sure you get them all the information they need to put you into the system.
3. Figure out which other Elephant is blocking the way. One of your prospects emotions might be around that other person (or people) in their organization who will object to making the change. You will have to get the whole herd moving to make something happen.
What other tips do you have to make adding you to their vendor list less overwhelming for your prospect?
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