How A Doubting Thomas Affects Your Ability to Increase Sales

With the sales process for many now involving more than one decision maker, this increases the odds for dealing with the "doubting Thomas." Invariably one of those involved has not been totally convinced that you have earned the sale.

Yet, how many sales professionals have prepared for the reluctant buyer, the one, lonely voice in the room? Sales Coaching Tip: There may be more than one Doubting Thomas.

Another phrase for a doubting Thomas is a sales objection. How many of these obstacles to gaining commitment to move the sales process forward are the result of one doubting Thomas?

Sometimes the unwilling purchaser is the prime decision maker. At other times, a key center of influence can hold that specific role. Whatever the role, the bottom line is a Doubting Thomas can impede if not totally derail your goal to turn this potential qualified customer into a bring new customer.

How do you find the resistant individuals? Usually, the best way is to ask early within the sales process. By asking who else is involved in making a decision helps to identify all key players. Sometimes it is even wise as to determine who else may be affected by your solution be it a product or service.

For many savvy sales professionals, they invest the time in knowing the gate keeper (a.k.a. administrative assistant) and surrounding support staff. Until you understand the culture of the organization, there may be a Doubting Thomas lurking in the shadows who can quickly deflate your entire sales presentation.

Once you have identified any potential Doubting Thomas'es you then must put together a plan to build a relationship with these individuals. The relationship could be a simple phone call and offering help to a more extended one where you may need to invest additional time. Only you know how much time you are willing to invest depending upon the value of the overall contract or purchase.

By taking this action to locate and to build a relationship with any Doubting Thomas will only increase your sales to earn (a.k.a. close) ratio. Remember, objections do not materialize out of thin air, but are raised by individuals who have doubts.


SMB coach, sales and organizational culture authority, Leanne Hoagland-Smith is the People and Process problem solver for forward thinking leadership who want to dramatically improve their business and sales results. What this looks like differs for each SMB and why a phone call to 219.759.5601

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