Joining the Resistance

You’re going to love this.

Dutch psychologist Van Baaren studied two groups of servers at a restaurant.

One group was told to take orders and serve the food.

The second group was told to take orders, recap the order and serve the food.

Here’s an example of recapping an order:

Server: “You want a Greek salad with chicken, no onions, and an Arnold Palmer. Did I get that right?”

Customer: “Exactly.”

Get this.

When repeating the order back, tips almost doubled.


When we feel understood, we trust, like, and feel close to one another.

There’s a good lesson here.

Making prospects feel understood when they raise objections is a sales superpower.

Yet traditional sales techniques fight resistance by trying to overcome objections.

Whenever people feel like they are being persuaded, they enter the zone of resistance (ZOR).

The ZOR is a reflex reaction to sales pressure.

Here’s what understanding prospects sounds like on a cold call:

Salesperson: “If you don’t mind me asking, are you using an editor like Adobe Audition, or are you outsourcing podcast production?”

Prospect: “We’re using Audition. We like it.”

Step 1: Validate
This concept flies in the face of traditional objection rebuttal techniques.

Salesperson: “It seems like everything is going well.”

“Sounds like Audition is checking all the boxes.”

“Seems like Audition is the perfect editor.”

“It’s rare to talk to someone who has such an easy time editing collaboratively. Good for you.”

When you say statements like these, you typically hear the prospect telling you why their solution isn’t so “perfect” or “easy.”

Step 2: Poke the Bear
Ask a question that gets the prospect to think differently about their current solution.

Salesperson: “What’s your take Descript?”

Prospect:: “What’s Descript?”

Step 3: The Before & After Story
Salesperson: (Before Story) “You know how that for every second you spend in the recording booth, you’re going to spend three to five seconds editing? Fixing mistakes, working through multiple takes, etc.

(After Story) With Descript, you make edits as you go, so when you walk out of the recording session, you have a finished product.

Step 4: Low Friction Ask
Salesperson: “If you’d like, I can send you a demo video so you can determine if you’d like to learn more.”

Prospect “That’s fine. How does it work?”

And now you’ve created an opening.

Ditch the pitch.

Don’t fight the resistance.

Join the resistance.

Verbal aikido.