Growing up surrounded by skeptics, I’ve learned to embrace their skepticism. Here is what I’ve learned over time.
Skeptical people are great. They often get a bad report of being negative or being a stick in the mud. But being skeptical is really about the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine if something is valid. They are looking for supported evidence, and will not just believe preconceived ideas. Everyone needs to be skeptical to some degree.
The problem comes when trying to present a new idea to a skeptical person. You first have to start with the facts. Testimonials are not going to win them over. This is where you need to know your products, the ingredients, the data, etc. A skeptic is going to test you, but don’t let that scare you off. If you don’t know the answer to any question, be honest. Tell them you will look into it and get back to them. They will be more inclined to listen if you are genuine.
Hype and over enthusiasm will only push a skeptic further away. To a skeptic that smells like smoke and mirrors or distractions from the facts, like the good old snake oil salesmen tactics from the past. Be confident and open to discussion. Ask the skeptic for their thoughts.
Be mindful of the fact that a skeptic never wants to be wrong. Nobody wants to be wrong, but a skeptic relies on their beliefs more so than others. So be gentle with your approach. Let them go through the process of forming their opinions in their own terms. This is where many people walk away and the skeptic can then sigh in relief and classify your idea as an untruth. The conversation can feel like a standstill at this point, but be patient and ask them what they are thinking. Likely they will come up with some more objections. This isn’t against you, this is their thought processing. If they are getting upset, it is because they are coming up against a core belief. Don’t argue and don’t get upset. This maybe the time to give them some concrete facts to mull over.
Some skeptics will never agree with you and that is okay. Your job isn’t to fight opinions, your job is to inform. Walking away confident in yourself and your products gives you more credibility to a skeptic than arguing and getting upset.
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