Whipped Cream! The Easiest Way to Lower Sales Resistance

Dinger had his second ACL surgery in the past five months.  While his recovery is on par with the recovery from his September surgery, this time he was much less willing – as in resistant – to taking all of his meds (pain, inflammatory and anti-biotic).  Remembering that Dinger loves Starbucks’ Puppaccinos (whipped cream in a cup), my wife suggested that we hide the pills in a 1/4 cup of whipped cream.  In an instant, the resistance disappeared and the meds were devoured.

You can read more about Dinger and his great listening skills here.

This is a great analogy for the resistance that salespeople get from prospects who:

  • Don’t want to talk
  • Don’t want to meet
  • Don’t want to spend the money
  • Don’t want to pay more
  • Don’t want to buy yet
  • Don’t want to buy your solution
  • Don’t want to buy from your company
  • Don’t want to buy from you

“Most sales training fails to address the single most important condition of any sales cycle – resistance – thereby rendering sales training as semi-useless.  When resistance appears, it does not matter if the sales process, methodology, tactics and strategies are good or even great, unless salespeople are equally great at first lowering the resistance.” 

Will whipped cream help?

In its simplest form, whipped cream for Dinger is bribery – not a consideration for sales challenges, but we can certainly consider more acceptable substitutes like, chocolate, flowers, wine, food, gadgets and premiums.

Those options work more effectively when attempting to get a prospect to the phone than when trying to get them to buy, but you won’t even get an opportunity to help buy them buy if you are unable to speak or meet with them.  If you selectively target your sweet spot by industry, geography, size, title, and anything else you deem important, the options can work very effectively to get a meeting or call with your target prospect.

What might the whipped cream equivalent be for the resistance you might encounter later in the sales cycle?

I would choose between a round of golf at the best course local to your prospect (if your prospect is a golfer), or an invitation to join you in great seats at an event with hard-to-get tickets (can you say Super Bowl?).  I’m an introvert, so while that’s not my style, either option can provide four hours of quality time with your prospect.  That’s a lot more time than you would have in a typical sales call!  And if you’re as bad at golf as me (35 handicap!) you might want to skip the opportunity to drive your prospect crazy waiting for you to find balls in the woods 10-15 times per round.  I know, what if your prospect is a woman?  Women play golf!!  But golf is not the point here.  Golf is a placeholder for anything you might choose to invite your prospect to do with you, including fine dining with your spouses or partners.

Before you get too excited about the opportunities presented by the whipped cream option, whipped cream replacements are the easy way out.  They’re a crutch. They’re for weak salespeople.

It would be better, and way more cost effective, if you simply improve your selling skills so that prospects want to take your call, want to meet with you, and want to give you their business.  You must master your ability to lower resistance, something that is especially difficult for subject matter experts, consultants, sales engineers, salespeople with strong egos, those who can’t read the room, who aren’t especially attentive to subtle reactions, and well, morons.  In order to achieve sales excellence, salespeople must BECOME the whipped cream!

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