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Change – Why so hard?

If you’re in sales, getting clients to make a decision can be frustrating. We’ve shown them the features, huge benefits and have a stunning deal – An amazing ROI too that screams out for action and quick implementation. After all, we can make (or save them) loads of money – book_SwitchYet they do nothing…

Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our organisations, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, says Dan Heath, the co-author of the new book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.

Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems – the rational mind and the emotional mind – that compete for control:

  • The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie.
  • The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort-but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.

For us natural entrepreneurs, (being around 8% of the population), change is normal and healthy. We actually thrive on it. However this is not the ‘normal’ human condition. Most people (92%) abhor change, even when the change can make a significant improvement in their lives or business results. We have internal and external ‘systems’ that always want to maintain the status quo.

This discussion isn’t about the management of the process once the initial decision is made. We have project managers and change management consultants that do that chore. No, this is how we get to the point of accepting the need for change in the first place. Dan Health is one of several who have examined all this. This new book should help us understand why we act as we do.

For those in sales and marketing, it’s essential reading… Order it here.

For frustrated salespeople that want another perspective on all this, read Sharon Drew Morgans book, Dirty Little secrets. However as Sharon notes, that fact that our best strike rate in sales is under 10% simply reinforces the fact that people aren’t good at change – Giving them features and benefits is seldom, if ever enough. We have to manage their buying process too.

Finally, the other hidden factor in all this seems to be around perceived risk when buying anything. It’s long been known that if a money-back guarantee or similar is included, sales often improve by up to 50%. This is especially vital for new products or services. With no other change, just lowering this risk factor can make a huge difference when selling….


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