Resistance and Persuasion
Two Paths to Persuasion
To survive, each organism has to seek out the opportunities in its environment while avoiding the dangers. From the earliest life forms, evolution has programmed two separate neuro‑chemical systems in the brain, one devoted to detecting, assessing, and approaching the opportunities, and the other devoted to sensing, evaluating, and avoiding the dangers and hazards.
This basic brain structure implies that there are two separate pathways to persuasion. One path emphasizes and increases the benefits in a product or service. I call this path, the Alpha Path, and the techniques that use it the Alpha Strategies. I am sure that you are familiar with the many ways to explain or add to the features and benefits of the products and services you offer.
The other path to persuasion I call the Omega Path and the techniques that use it the Omega Strategies. It is less well known and less well understood. The Omega Path works through the neuro‑chemical pathway set to detect dangers, by diminishing the sense of wariness about the headaches and hassles of adopting a product or service. Simply put, Omega Strategies work by removing or neutralizing the natural resistance that a person feels. The DVDs and products offered on this website will make you much more aware of the forms of resistance you meet and the startling techniques that can be used to persuade people by removing their resistance.
There is an added benefit from learning and using Omega Strategies to persuade. Omega Strategies decrease a client or customer’s ambivalence, precisely because these strategies address and diminish the sources of reluctance and resistance. Buyer remorse is erased, the customer is more comfortable and happy with the choice.
Resistance is the key to persuasion. If there were no resistance, you wouldn’t need persuasion. This fact implies that the Omega Path to persuasion and the Omega Strategies we teach are the most important tools in your persuasion tool box. Because resistance is the key to persuasion, you better know how to deal directly with resistance.
Alpha Strategies deal with resistance by overwhelming it. When a buyer is ambivalent, the Alpha approach is to overpower the resistance with rhetoric (describing the benefits) or incentives (adding benefits). The problem is that Alpha Strategies, even when they are successful in persuading, don’t diminish the concerns and apprehensions that a customer had.
Omega Strategies deal with resistance directly, finding ways to avert, remove, or redirect resistance. With resistance reduced or removed, then the customer is free to pursue the features and benefits that attracted them in the first place. You don’t need to add any incentives or explain the benefits any differently.
Three Forms of Resistance
Resistance is not a single reaction. There are three separate forms of resistance, three kinds of resistance that have different aims and concerns:
- Reactance. Reactance is resistance against the persuasion process itself. It is the resistance that says, in effect, “Stop pushing on me.” To the persuader, it feels like the client is being hostile, contrary, and oppositional. This form of resistance has little to do with the proposal or offer, it is directed against the persuader and the persuasion. The easiest way to deal with reactance is to avoid it in the first place. We have discovered a number of Omega Strategies that sidestep reactance. But even if reactance does develop, there are other useful Omega Strategies that can reduce or neutralize the reactance.
- Skepticism. Skepticism is resistance directed against the offer or proposal. It is the resistance that says, “I’m not sure this is the best alternative for me.” To the persuader, it feels like the client is being suspicious, and nit‑picky. Skeptics are the people who refuse to close because they always have another question, or another alternative to explore. This form of resistance is directly focused on the proposal or offer. We know a number of very effective Omega Strategies to deal with skepticism.
- Inertia. The third form of resistance is Inertia, the reluctance to change. It is an attachment to the status quo. To the persuader, inertia feels like the client is being unresponsiveness, disengaged, and forgetful. In many ways it is the most difficult to deal with because it has little to do with the offer, the product, or the persuader. The client isn’t reacting to the persuader or the offer, but to their own reluctance to change. Luckily, there are several Omega Strategies that can be used to diminish and disconnect inertia.