3 Ways to Negotiate with Self-Sabotaging Resistance in Marketing & Sales

Here’s what they don’t tell you about marketing and sales. It messes with your head.

Your business brand, your message, and how you communicate is a part of you. Your outreach efforts trigger a lot of your “head junk.” Leaps of faith must be taken. Fears must be faced.

Professional growing pains follow personal growing pains – especially when you want a more influential voice in your industry.

Resisting Your Influence

Why is it that – even when you know what to do, you have the resources, and are fully capable – it’s still difficult to take on tasks? – especially in marketing and sales.

Probably because you didn’t know about the hidden co-creator on your team: Resistance.

Steven Pressfield, in The War of Art, defines Resistance as “a force of self-sabotage that acts against creativity.”

Don’t dismiss the term “creativity” as not applying to you and your business. Marketing and sales is creative work.

You’re creating materials, campaigns, education, relationships, opportunities, and engagement – all with the goal of creating revenue.

And whenever you create something and share it – which you absolutely have to do in marketing and sales – you also create opportunities for judgement, vulnerability, and failure.

Creating is scary.

No wonder Resistance pulls up a seat next to you when you face marketing and sales tasks.

Resistance is your fear, your negative self-talk, your procrastination, your perfectionism, your shame, your doubts, and your avoidance. Resistance pushes down when you try to level up. Every new goal has Resistance. It will never go away.

You can’t fire your co-creator, but you can renegotiate the terms of its position so you can have a better working relationship. ​

3 Ways to Negotiate with Resistance

RESISTANCE 1: Struggling to Get Started

Do you have an automated email sequence you want to create but just never get around to? How about a list of people to connect and network with, but you’re not reaching out? What about those speech ideas you’re not pitching to events? That’s Resistance’s handiwork.

Resistance makes it easy to put off projects like these. Overwhelm and “You can get to that later” keep you from doing high-value activities on your Great Ideas list.

Negotiation Technique for Your Resistance: the Foot in the Door Technique

Resistance’s tactic is overwhelm. The project feels too big to get started.

Your counteroffer is just to get your foot in the door. What is the smallest step you can take to get the ball rolling? And then what’s the smallest step after that?

Resistance will flex against writing a full email sequence. But does it push as hard at idea of writing 1 paragraph? Or just a rough outline? Or – and some days this is how I have to negotiate with my Resistance – how about if I just agree to open my laptop? Resistance will eventually end up conceding some small step in the negotiation. And then the next.

Any baby step forward is better than staying stuck by giving into Resistance’s opening demands.

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RESISTANCE 2: Struggling to Stick with It

Sometimes getting started isn’t the problem. It’s finishing. A pile of half-finished ideas means Resistance is bringing distraction and avoidance to the table.

Negotiation Technique for Your Resistance: Planned Rewards with Clear Parameters

This is a two-pronged negotiation technique.

Resistance lures you with distraction. It wants you to check social media, see what’s in the fridge, or go clean something…anything but your marketing and sales tasks.

Take control of the negotiations by defining the desired distraction. What would you rather be doing right now? What distraction calls you? Name the distraction and offer it to Resistance. Tell Resistance, “I will give you this distraction, under these terms. I will work on my task for X minutes, and then we can be distracted.”

Which brings us to the second part of the technique: clear parameters.

Commit to the easiest amount of time for the task – one that doesn’t trigger Resistance. Set a timer for the task. Do your work. When the timer goes off, give Resistance its distraction. (I also recommend setting a timer for how long you agree to be distracted.)

Start with 10 minutes. When Resistance realizes 10 minutes wasn’t so bad, it’ll likely to agree to 15 minutes. And so on.

Work with your Resistance and make distractions your reward system.

Resistance will feel like it’s done its job, and so will you.

RESISTANCE 3: Struggling to Launch It

Are you editing something over and over again? Quadruple checking it’s the best it can be? Are you stalling a launch because you want everything to be “optimized”? Sounds like Resistance is winning the perfectionism negotiation.

Negotiation Technique for Your Resistance: The 80% Rule

Perfectionism is Resistance’s way of playing hardball.

Let’s cut to the chase. Perfection doesn’t exist. It’s unattainable.

It’s smooth sailing for Resistance if you buy into perfectionism. It’s a no-lose gambit for Resistance. Because even if you do launch, you’re still shooting for perfect. Which means, you’ll definitely be disappointed. Thus, making it easier for Resistance the next time you want to create something. (And, FYI, these days “optimization” has become Resistance’s code word for perfectionism).

It’s time to make a negotiating power move. Walk away. Perfectionism is your non-negotiable.

You will only agree to the 80% Rule. If it’s 80% of the way there, it’s ready for launch. (Don’t tell your Resistance this, but your “80%” is everyone else’s 115% – so you’re still winning the negotiation.)

And always remember, action is rewarded more than perfection. ​

Negotiate withYour Hidden Co-Creator

Resistance is a permanent employee in the Marketing & Sales Department inside your head. Let Resistance be your co-creator. Just don’t promote it to CEO. ​

***And remember, you don’t have to do all the negotiations by yourself. Counteract the forces of Resistance and join the FREE Influence Momentum 7-Day Challenge. During the challenge, you find guidance and accountability to move forward with more of your influential thought leadership marketing. Sign up now, we kick off Sept 4th!***

Sharí Alexander - Influence Speaker & Coach - Headshot

​Happy Influencing!

Sharí Alexander
Influence Speaker & Coach

P.S. Here are a few ways I can help you increase your influence, whenever you’re ready.

1. Booking speakers for virtual events? Your audience will LOVE learning how to be more persuasive, in business and life. Looking for a speaker who gives practical advice and how-to content? Then, you’ve found the speaker you’ve been looking for! I speak on Influential Communication Techniques for Sales, Marketing, and Leadership. Click here and find out which program is the best fit for your audience!

2. Does your Message Strategy need to “catch up” to your level? We live in a multi-channel marketplace, which creates sales and marketing challenges for entrepreneurs. I work with established entrepreneurs who want to be persuasive across multiple platforms. An evolving business needs an evolved message strategy. If you want to step-up your thought leadership marketing (while staying true to your voice and your brand), we should have a conversation. Click here to find out how influence coaching works. 

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