Prospects get defensive. They fortify their castle, and don't want to let any salespeople inside. Something causes them to raise their drawbridge, and retreat inside. And it's always because of a past experience!
It could be a firsthand experience, something that's happened to them. It could be secondhand, something that happened to a friend or relative of theirs. Or it could even be something they read on the internet!
Take the roofing industry as an example. I don't know if it's like this in all states, but every year in Oklahoma we get tons of fly-by-night roofing contractors come through town. During storm season, you see every night on news something along the lines of, "Don't trust any roofing contractors!"
So if you're a roofing contractor, and you introduce yourself as one to someone else, how do you think they'll respond?
They have those past experiences that you have to work through. And you have to work through them with a huge amount of nurturing.
That means something different in everyone's world. But it could be responding, with the right tonality, with any of these:
"You're not alone, a lot of people have that problem."
"It probably feels overwhelming, but this is something you can recover from."
"The good news is, there is help for this."
But don't follow those statements up with something like, "And guess what? I'm the help!" Because then you've become a typical salesperson.
You have to take the time to figure out why their preconception is there. Then you have to determine if you can help them become comfortable, or if you can't.
Because if you can't help them become comfortable, you won't be able to help them at all.