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Is Your Prospect Pushing Back At The Scope of Your Proposal?

Sales professionals are often confronted with the problem of a prospect pushing back at the scope of what they are proposing. If you represent a small company, the prospect may wonder if you can handle the work, the customer or both. If the prospect has had a bad experience with a similar project or in buying a competitor’s product, he or she doesn’t want to repeat that experience. If there are budget concerns (and they aren’t just using that as an excuse), the prospect may want to go forward but simply can’t afford that large of an expense right now. So, what to do?

You may find success in borrowing a page from the arcane sounding “Diffusion Theory of Innovations,” popularized by communications studies professor Everett Rogers in 1962. Rogers and his predecessors opined that innovators will try anything but until and an idea gets acted on by the next group – early adopters – the idea will not generate substantial success. One strategy developed by marketers to break through the wall between the innovators and the early adopters is to make a product or service divisible. You let people try a part of it or make a smaller commitment to it until they get more comfortable. One example: During the early implementation of ATM’s, the developers included a balance inquiry button. It allowed early adopters- who didn’t quite trust the whole system yet – to user their card and their PIN without affecting their money. So when confronted by that selling obstacle- the pushback – think how you might make your prospect’s commitment divisible.