Aikido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on redirecting an attacker’s energy and using it against them. Instead of meeting force with force (i.e. kicking and punching), the idea is to blend with the assailant’s movements to either throw them or pin them to the ground. Aikido makes use of momentum, balance and gravity, rather than speed or strength.
In fact, strength can work against you. A common mistake students make—and I’m guilty of it myself all too often—is trying to push or pull their training partner to make a technique work. That typically results in failure, because pushing and pulling gives the other person energy that they can use, resulting in them pushing or pulling back. Instead, we’re taught to lead our partners. Leading involves subtle body movements that cause an attacker to change their attack slightly and lose their balance.
In other words, pushing and pulling can generate resistance. But leading takes advantage of the attacker’s natural momentum enabling us to be successful in executing the technique.
The same principle is true in sales. Pushing generates resistance.
Have you ever noticed that the harder you push a prospect to take the next step in the sales process, the more they resist?
So don’t push them. Lead them instead. How?
Most people don’t like being told what to do. But they love to be asked their thoughts and opinions. So rather than dictate to your prospects, engage them Ask questions like:
“Would it make sense to…?”
“What do you think about…?”
“Would you like to…?”
“What would you say…?”
“Do you think…?”
“Would you prefer…?”
This approach allows your prospects to continue moving through the buying process without feeling pressured. No pressure, no resistance.
And you can use this technique at any point in the sales cycle: prospecting, needs analysis, overcoming objections, upselling, closing, even follow up after the sale.
So if you’re frustrated because prospects resist when you try to get them to take the next step, stop pushing. Try leading them instead. Because the best way to eliminate sales resistance is not to cause it in the first place.