How did you ever decide to go and live with someone or get married?

If you are still married to the same person today, would you still have made the same decision, knowing then what you know now? Are the motives you had back then still equally valid today? If the answer to this question is no, it doesn’t mean you should split up, but it does show that the relationship is subject to change. And this requires some alignment, which can result in friction…

This is an example of the change and conflict management that takes place in everyday life. Change is a constant. Our relationships are constantly being renewed, experienced differently, and re-evaluated. An external factor can prove decisive in these stagnant moments…

This tipping point can also provide a sales person with an opportunity to recruit a new client.

In practice, the client is often already linked to a supplier and doesn’t see any need to change. But this bond is based on a decision that was made in the past. Perhaps the reasons or motives for this decision have now become outdated? Our motives or decision-making criteria might have changed in the meantime: either a little or a lot.

Change is a constant factor that gurus and management advisors are always yelling about… And yet people still continue to hang on to the past? Change is something that people always tend to run away from (“I’ll have to think about it”) or fight against (justification, counter-arguments). Pushing won’t help. You are simply blocking any chance of collaboration. There is no longer any cooperative process. Clients will defend themselves. This results in a long sales cycle which ultimately ends without the client making any decision. (Read: your biggest competitor is the status quo)

Your current situation is the result of a decision that was made in the past.

This situation in which you (or your client in this case) find yourself, whether you are satisfied with it or not, is the result of an old decision. And it’s no longer valid!
Is everything going well? Or… are there certain things that you would like to be different?
What are you looking for?

The client will always only ever take action if the consequences become too great otherwise: we urgently need your help… but the client is suddenly unable to make a decision. (Do you recognise this?)

The art of selling lies in making it possible to discuss these changes

Help the client review their former decision, which has led to the current situation.

Key points:
  • The client’s situation is always the result of a decision that was made in the past
  • Change is a constant: it follows, therefore, that the client is currently no longer satisfied
  • Or in other words: the client will change if Current Situation <  Desired Situation = Dissatisfaction
  • Process questions will help the client realise this for themselves: clients only believe their own conclusion, after all. A sales person is an external factor that helps the client make a decision (closing = commitment)


If you are in a competitive market and these techniques are not currently being used, but will be in the future, then your results will get a boost! I’m absolutely certain of this!
In Differentiation Selling™ I share the following insights with you in a half day open seminar:
9.00-10.30: Selling is a process. How is a sale reached, and what are the conditions that you can manage to allow the sale to take place. You apply this directly to your own personal (sales) experience.
10.30-11.00: What are process questions? What do these questions achieve?
11.00-12.00: How should you ask process questions to enable the client to make a decision: to change or not to change? How do you help tip the balance towards change?
12.00-12.30: Conclusions and evaluation of the workshop.

More information: open seminar – interactive workshop (no change without dialogue)

Copyright © 2011, René Knecht