Overcoming pushback - Part 2 of 5

You love change, right?

The shock of the new? The knock of the next?

Diversity, difference? Piece of cake. Innovation, modification? Bring it on. Transition, transformation, transfiguration? Do it.

You don’t have a problem with change. You know who does? Your client and most everyone else on the planet. People everywhere are over-attached to the status quo. It’s called the endowment effect.

The more people do something, the more likely they’ll keep doing it. Changing to do something new in a major disruption. It also inadvertently calls into question past decisions. Of course, those past decisions and changes were probably just fine when first introduced. But time pushes everything forward. Past innovations are superseded faster than ever.

Pointing this logic out to your client will get them nodding their heads in agreement while simultaneously deciding not to move forward with the change you’ve suggested. Yes, it can be frustrating.

Yelling at them won’t help. (Trust me on this. I’ve tried yelling and screaming. And throwing things. Not helpful.)

A better approach is to show a little understanding, some all kindness. Ask your client to explain why they’re so tied to the past. Their answers will surprise you. Keep asking why. Let them talk it out. Let them hear the thoughts and justifications rolling around in their mind out loud.

One of the immediate reasons for pushback will be cost-savings. The old if-I-don’t-do-anything-it-won’t-cost-me-anything line of thinking.

This is your opportunity to show how sticking to the status quo isn’t as cost-free as it seems. Add up how much the client is losing - and will continue increasingly to lose - by not changing. This will get them to see inaction in a new and costly light. Amp up the financial pain to open them to change.

Don’t demand major change in one hit unless you want to completely freak them out. Break it down into small, easy steps that mitigate risk and pushback.

Your client will soon love change as much as you.

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