Most people have heard this statement, or something similar, at least once in their lives. This means that there are many people in today’s society resisting change. These are changing times, more so today than ever before, and resisting change or being slow to change carries a cost. Granted, not all change is for the better, but then again, not all being done now is for the best. The fact is, change is fundamental for personal growth and absolutely essential for business survival. Change is a necessary part of life. Resistance to change by owners and staff costs the retail jewelry industry literally millions of dollars in lost profit every year.
Every day people, especially those in business, say “I want to do better tomorrow than I have today.” Yet, many of those who say or think those words will not effect the changes required to make it happen. It is insanity to expect things to be ‘better tomorrow that they are today’ if you only do tomorrow what you did today. Everyone accepts this premise so why does more change not take place? Is it lack of time, lack of money, lack of good team members, or maybe lack of desire? Simply put, for people to adopt change they have to see a benefit greater than the discomfort they perceive they will feel.
Every action in life is governed by one of two subconscious motivating forces. People do things because they desire GAIN or want to avoid LOSS. The most powerful of these two motivating forces is the desire to avoid loss. This is why the people most resistant to change only change when they are facing loss. By accepting this premise and using it, business owners can effect greater change in their company with less resistance.
The GAIN/LOSS motivation can be applied to help team members accept and even in some cases welcome change. For example, this method was used to change a situation in a retail jewelry store last year where a highly competitive senior sales person was continually putting down a junior sales person who it seemed could do nothing right. The reason for the senior’s sub conscious treatment of the junior was the threat the bright junior posed of potentially being top salesperson (thus causing LOSS of status of the senior). The potential in the junior was being destroyed by the senior. The owner was about to replace the junior but that would have changed nothing. If the replacement junior had any potential they too would have received the same treatment, therefore, it was the senior’s attitude that needed to be changed. In addressing the problem with the senior, I used the fact that the senior was highly competitive. The senior was asked if she felt she had the ability to take on the task of training the junior to be as good at selling as she was. I extended the challenge to the senior’s competitive nature by saying that it may be too hard for her to achieve. I said that if she was able to achieve it, it would be a real accomplishment that she could be proud of and it would elevate her in her bosses eyes. Her competitive nature rose to take on the challenge and to chase the GAIN of being elevated in her bosses eyes. I successfully moved the senior’s subconscious from trying to avoid LOSS to one of chasing GAIN. This was a change that produced outstanding results. The senior became the mentor for the junior and derived gain from the satisfaction of seeing the junior develop. Within six months the junior’s average sale more than doubled, which gave him the confidence for continued personal growth. The increase in average sale gave the store an additional $71,000 in sales in the first year.
Another example of the GAIN/LOSS motivation was a client who installed the ARMS system seven years ago but showed no interest in making changes to his business, that is, until he had to raise a loan to buy his father out. Even though his parents were receiving a lower than acceptable return on the money that they had invested, our client was living a comfortable life with a new car every two years and a great vacation every year or so. In the situation our client was in, he had no need for GAIN and wasn’t facing any LOSS. All of a sudden the client had a loan to service and his lifestyle was at risk. To avoid loss of lifestyle the businessman adopted quite radical changes to improve his company.
Over the past thirteen years I have coached salespeople to change their selling style, tradesmen to change their attitude towards completing a quality job on time, buyers to change their old buying habits and owners to change to modern business management. These changes have improved the profitability of many companies and provide testimony that change is vital to business.
List changes you know will benefit your business and use the GAIN/LOSS motivation force to help yourself and others on your team make changes without resistance.