Ask a friend of yours to hold a hand out in front of their body.
Then, you make a fist and hold it out in front of yours. Start to push your fist against against their hand and what you’ll find is that your friend will start to push back (without being instructed to).
The pushback is an unconscious reaction everyone kicks on to just defend their center of balance (and not lose ground).
This is a friend! This is someone you have great rapport with already, someone who knows you personally – and still pushback.
When we perceive we are being pushed, we will often push back unconsciously just to defend the ground we stand on.
Merchants will undoubtedly do the same.
When merchants take a position you do not agree with, it is easy to outwardly disagree and for the conversation to descend into arguing. The problem in that is arguing only intensifies the other person’s desire to prove themselves right.
As soon as you as you make contact with a potential customer you’ve engaged into a negotiation, with multiple parts. Really, every conversation and interaction can be viewed as negotiation. But for most merchants, the true negotiation begins as soon as terms of approval are presented.
Merchants can get confrontational after listening to terms they don’t fully understand or initially like. They may mean to be confrontational or they don’t mean to be but their emotion level rises while they are communicating.
Don’t get confrontational as well and argue – you don’t want to present as an attorney who threatens them with what you’re going to do if they don’t do what you want. Its about win-win solutions.
The knee-jerk reaction in the past has often been to argue back with them and “bang” them down about their credit score, a lien/judgment, shape of their financials.
Although there is place for talking through Underwriting’s evaluation of these factors, and consulting them through what it all means, arguing with merchants confrontationally about it all is ineffective at best.
The truth is that you can get confrontational, argue and still close some deals if the merchant truly need to fund because of the circumstances and timing – but although you may win the deal this time around, good luck getting any renewals or referrals down the road.
Name of the game here is to not return hostile energy with hostility – but to receive it and redirect that energy productively. Don’t make them wrong, acknowledge what they are feeling and turn it around with the Feel, Felt, Found Technique:
“This is way too expensive!”
“I understand exactly how you feel about that. Many of my clients have felt the same way. However, when we’ve worked through it together and really crunched the numbers, we’ve found the return on investment of the project has most often out-weighted the cost.”
Diffuse the confrontation, acknowledge the way they feel, and redirect their focus to workshopping solutions with you – their Trusted Advisor.