Getting to Yes

Strategies to Influence Resistant Buyers

If you want to influence people who are against your ideas, you must first understand why they do not agree. Jonathan Farrington suggests in a recent blog, that those who are resistant to buying can be split into nine categories.

Farrington offers the following categories and sales strategies for reaching out to each group.

  • Covertly disagree: “These people are actively working against you. Gently transform their energy into a willingness to talk openly about their concerns.”
  • Openly disagree: These people need time and evidence to come around.  Use statistics and  proof to win them over. Also be sure to show them that you understand their views and want a win-win outcome.
  • Comply only reluctantly: “Link your point of view to the compliant person’s feelings, values and concerns to move him or her towards actively supporting your ideas.”
  • Are undecided: Restate mutual benefits, focus on your side of the issue, use evidence, and break down your proposal into small action items, in order to win them over.
  • Do not have enough information: Find out exactly what they need and deliver it. Encourage questions and make the information lively and attractive.
  • Can not see the need: Conduct more research into their needs, explain how others have used your product to fill a specific need and acknowledge that need is the key to acceptance.
  • Need to think it over: Find out exactly what they need to think over. Reiterate benefits and provide a written summary of ideas and benefits.
  • Think it is the wrong time: Find out when an appropriate time would be.
  • Have to refer the decision to others: Make sure that this person is the real decision maker. Also find out if they are happy with what you are offering or suggesting.

This summary of Farrington’s suggestions leaves out a few strategies for each resistance group. Be sure to read the full post for a more comprehensive look at tactics for getting to “yes”.


Vickilynn is a Novelist whose first book "Waving Backwards" was published in July 2015. She is also a Blogger at Adoptionfind Blog. Previously, she was a Freelance marketing copywriter at OpenView.
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