Fighting Against the Status Quo

When selling, too many businesses forget that status quo is an option for their clients. Just because a prospect is “shopping around”, looking at new solutions, that is no certainty that they will, in fact, make a purchase.

Why a prospect does not buy

Adopting a new product, service, contact person… is itself a cost, well beyond the money being spent. Think about the time to evaluate, add and then adopt a new way of working. Rolling out new practices internally. The number of people whose work will be disrupted in doing so. The changes to day to day life.

If the overall cost of adoption – money, time and disruption – of the new solution is higher than the cost of doing nothing, the prospect will end up doing nothing.

Determine the pros and cons of status quo

Determining pros and cons of the status quo early on in the sales process will help a business stay ahead of a waning interest.

This exercise will require a business – as in previous steps – to understand their clients’ work process and priorities. It comes naturally to a business to dismiss the “cons” of adoption. When putting oneself in one’s clients shoes, it may help to have a devil’s advocate in the room to point out the obstacles and disruptions to end clients.

Build your table

When I work on a competitor matrix with a client, I include a separate table of “Status Quo Conditions”, with associated pros and cons of each. Part of the trick here is understanding that even Status Quo can come with more than one option.

This table is a useful way to determine all the implications of a prospect business not buying, and prepare the seller to counteract these with an effective product and simple selling process.


Have you reviewed your competitive landscape recently? A business’ misunderstanding of market environment if one of the main problems investors cite. Contact me to get started on your own competitive landscape analysis.