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Sales Coaching
August 31, 2023
Nishit Asnani
Learn how to use the art of Aikido in sales to flip detractors into champions. Transform objections into opportunities and create win-win scenarios.

If you're a sales rep, you've undoubtedly come face-to-face with a detractor who's enough to make spaghetti lose its al dente. But with a bit of Aikido finesse, you can turn those hard-to-crack clients into your most passionate champions.

Confused? Intrigued? Either way, keep reading, folks. If you've always wondered why Netflix made Cobra Kai and not Sales Kai, we're about to add some martial arts magic to your sales approach.

What is the Aikido Approach in Sales?

The Aikido approach is not about throwing your opponent across the room. Named after the Japanese martial art form, 'Aikido' in sales is about harnessing the power of harmony, balance, and engagement.

Just like an Aikido master absorbs and redirects their opponent's energy, a sales rep using the Aikido approach absorbs an objection and redirects it into a positive outcome. They turn confrontations into conversations, creating a win-win scenario for both parties.

So, if a detractor tries to sweep you off your feet with a punchy objection, visualize yourself in a dojo and say: "Looks like this bend needs a love echo!" Then, strike with the Aikido approach. More on how to, coming up.

Why does the Aikido Approach Matter?

In the hypothetical world, a sales rep is a mind reader who knows exactly what clients want. In reality, a sales rep is more like a drummer who has to sync with the band to make sweet music together. That´s where the Aikido approach comes into play--it's your magic drumstick to hit the right beats.

Consider getting on a call, hoping to rock the proverbial boat, only to find out your lead has constructed a mighty dam. How the Aikido approach comes to rescue, you ask? It helps you break ice chunks instead of smashing at the dam. Now, that's some great dam advice, right?

Transforming Detractors into Advocates: The Aikido Style

Identifying Detractors: The Initial Stance

Your first step is to identify the detractors. Think of them as the bad sushi in your otherwise delightful platter. They might seem a little off or hurl objections your way. Here's a fun homework assignment for you: Create a quick cheat sheet of common detractor traits. Observe patterns, and voila, you see 'The Matrix.'

Engaging Detractors: The Strike

Next, engage. Detractors aren't black-belt holders in being difficult. They’re usually just unsure or under-informed. So, no need to don that ninja mask. Be empathetic, address their concerns with understanding and credible information. Remember, you're not fighting them, you’re joining them.

Transforming Detractors: The Pivot

Finally, your moment of truth; transforming the detractor. It's like the grand finale of a magic show. Show empathy, validate their concerns and then, present solutions that align your product with their needs. Spoiler Alert: The rabbit has been in the hat all the time!

Would you like to be the Aikido master who sweetly handles detractors and turn them into advocates? Good news: with practice, you can (and no black-eyes involved, promise).

Conflict Resolution through Aikido Sales Strategy

Ever seen a kung-fu movie where the once warring champions end up sharing noodles in a ramen bar towards the end? Yeah, we're aiming for that kind of conflict resolution.

But your battleground is a conference room (or Zoom call, because hello, modern warrior). You parry objections with facts, counter-attack with figures, and disarm with a smile. And remember, the goal is harmony—not a knock-out.

There is an old Aikido saying, "To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace." Similarly, the Aikido approach in sales encourages you to approach conflicts constructively, viewing them as building blocks to trust, reliability, and long-term business relationships.

Building Empathy and Stronger Relationships via the Aikido Approach

If Aikido techniques were romantic comedies, empathy would be the lead character - charming, lovable, and the driving force behind the story. Without empathy, your sales narrative might end up like a horror flick—and let's admit, nobody loves a show where clients and deals disappear.

When you understand and validate your clients' concerns, needs, and aspirations, you're practicing Aikido. You're not just winning a deal; you're earning trust and respect. Remember, there's a difference between making customers and making advocates. Customers come and go; advocates stick around.

Remember that scene from Cobra Kai, "Strike first, strike hard, no mercy"? Well, scratch that for this dojo. In the Aikido approach, it's "Listen first, understand hard, serve always". So, ready to Bruce Lee your sales approach? Let's Ninja-scroll down to the next section.

Powering your Sales Process with Aikido and AI

With Sybill, your AI-powered sales assistant, the Aikido approach becomes as smooth as a sushi roll. Think of it as your own Mr. Miyagi, guiding you through the sales process, helping to identify detractors, convert them into champions, track the journey, and do much more.

Our Aikido approach pledge with Sybill? No sales rep left behind—and no detractor left unattended.

Tapping into the treasure trove of data from conversations and emails, Sybill populates your CRM fields, enabling you to personalize your approach and tackle detractors more effectively. The better you know your opponents, the wiser your strikes. After all, Sun Tzu did say, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."

And we are just getting started. Sybill also helps draft follow-up emails that don't just say "just checking in" for the nth time, but ones that continue the conversations and drive the narrative forward.

You see, Aikido sales and AI go hand in hand, like sushi and wasabi. One sets the foundation, the other powers it—creating an irresistible combo that can help you close more deals and still leave on time for that karaoke night!


Channeling your inner Aikido master can change the dynamic of your sales process, turning your sales conversations from siege to symphony, detractors to advocates.

The Aikido approach is not about winning a battle; it's about creating harmony—in selling, in relationships, in results. It's your samurai sword in the sales field, ready to convert every 'no' into a 'know.'

The right blend of empathy, patience, and AI-enhanced strategies can be a game-changer. Swordsmanship in one hand, AI in the this rate, you wouldn't just be an Aikido sales champ; you'd be a legend!

So, ready to start your Aikido journey in sales? We know you have the dojo in you!

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