The Psychological Reason For Sales Training Resistance

In 2005, when it became obvious that Hurricane Katrina would flood the New Orleans levee system, many people failed to evacuate because they refused to believe that it would really be as devastating as it was. Tens of thousands stayed in their homes, because they were caught up in a state of denial in which they convinced themselves that even if it hit, it wouldn’t affect them terribly.

They stayed because they had never experienced anything even remotely similar during their lifetime…so they simply didn’t believe it could happen to them. They were wrong. Dead wrong and over 2000 of them paid for that denial with their lives.

A similar thing happened in Nazi Germany. By the end of 1935, fearing for their life, 100,000 Jews left Germany, but 450,000 chose to stay thinking that the worse was over. These were wealthy, intelligent people who just chose to believe and hope that things would get better. They were complacent, and entrenched and had been in Germany so long that they could not fathom the danger and crises that was to come. They were too comfortable and believed that Hitler’s bark was worse than his bite. Just like the folks in New Orleans, many of them paid for that complacency with their lives.

Psychologists call this kind of denial “normalcy bias”. It is a common and natural reaction of human beings when facing a crisis or danger. This normalcy bias causes smart people to underestimate the possibility of a disaster and its effects. Simply put: people believe that since something has never happened before that it never will. We are all guilty of this…it’s just how we are wired as humans.

We simply refuse to see the evidence that’s right in front of our face, because it is unlike anything we have experienced before. When the normalcy bias kicks in, we tend to go about our business as if there is no need to change and rationalize that things will just work out.

Warning: There are great economic changes coming. They are coming faster and will impact your life in ways you cannot possibly image.

Today, 42 million Americans are on food stamps – that’s 13% of our population! Those numbers are up 17.5% from last year. And that number has increased every month for the last 19 months.

43% of American families spend more than they make each year. How long can this go on and when will the consequences begin to affect you and your company?

True unemployment is hovering around 18% and stubbornly refuses to go down.

Housing prices continue to spiral down and new home construction continues to contract.

I have been preaching for the last two years that companies and sales professionals need to get serious about improving their sales skills. Most have turned a deaf ear to any type of salestraining, thinking that their current sales skills are adequate. I am here to tell you that most will live to regret their stupidity and arrogance. Those who will excel – and their numbers will be small – are passionately engaged in sales training and marketing training that will give them a superior advantage in the marketplace.

If you are of the persuasion that you don’t need to improve, and that your current sales skills are good enough to successfully compete in this deteriorating economic climate, you dear reader suffer from normalcy bias and will experience a tragic fate when the compost hits the oscillator.

Tim Murphy

Damn Good Email Steve!!!
Damn Good!

Danette Krumel

Great post! So many people live in a vacuum and will not admit the truth…

I just finished Unleashing the Ideavirus. It is interesting to see what he discusses when you look at some of the more current ideas such as Facebook or Pintrest. Someone must have read his book before their launch….

Michael Razem


As usual, good and inspiring email !!

Thanks !

Ronnie Gomez

Great post!!

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