Forget about Jack Nicholson and A Few Good Men. It’s not that people can’t handle the truth. It’s that people simply don’t want it.
Of course, defining what ‘truth’ is can be a step into the land of the insanely philosophical. Here’s a proverbial lifeline that appointment setters can hold on to. Sometimes just having the evidence to prove yourself isn’t enough and you can actually have the opposite effect when you weaponize information for the purpose of disproving your ‘skeptics’ wrong.
A good case against combative argumentation can be found on the Harvard Business Review. It’s not just applicable to arguing for vaccines against dubious parents. It can apply to a wider phenomenon that simple people hating to be wrong.
No matter how hard the facts are or how much work you put into making sure your product can ‘sell itself,’ it won’t matter if your intention is to ‘beat’ the person rejecting your offer. Always remember the following:
- #1: Everyone has a problem – By this, I mean you have to consider that the reason they’re not buying what you say is because they’ve had a previous problem with it. The word ‘pain’ in ‘pain points’ isn’t there just to make another buzzword. It’s to indicate that they’ve already been through a lot and aren’t just going to bleed their corporate accounts for what smells too much like snake oil.
- #2: They have their pride too – It sounds petty but let’s not kid ourselves. Yours is not the only ego in the conversation. When some people have practically carved a reputation for having a particular problem with your technologies or solutions, telling them to just shove it and swallow is hardly a good starting point. How about suggest something else they could take pride in or even concede to whatever points they could be making?
- #3: What the problem actually is – Some people argue that customers don’t know what they want. What that really means is that customers don’t know how to articulate things like their enterprise needs. Or worst still, your appointment setters have no means of actually understanding the way their perspective of whatever problems they have.
Again, it’s not that they’re afraid of hearing the answer. It’s that the answer is something they don’t want. And as marketers, and as an integral part of the sales process, your appointment setters should only focus on what they do want. Instead of crafting antagonizing rebuttals/critiques based around ‘facts,’ try to give experiences that have more empathy. You may have the truth but what good is it when you’re no closer to helping anybody with it?