Sunday, October 27, 2013

Skepticism and the Art of Persuasion

Learning how to persuade others, particularly skeptics, is one of the most important life skills. The Association for Consumer Research delves into how persuade skeptics in this excellent article with great footnotes:

Association for Consumer Research - Consumer Skepticism Toward New Products

ABSTRACT - The present article introduces the concept of consumer skepticism toward new products (CSTNP) as a more comprehensive notion of consumer skepticism than skepticism toward advertising. CSTNP is conceptualized and defined in relation to related constructs (doubt, disbelief, and distrust). The underlying structure of CSTNP is empirically examined and several antecedents and consequences of CSTNP are proposed and tested.

Here is a selection of articles from the footnotes:

Focus on target audiences needs rather than the product itself.

Science Direct - From Experience: Why Bad Things Happen to Good New Products

Citing three examples of launches that followed this pattern, Neil Rackham addresses a key question for product development professionals: “Why should promising products from highly respected companies fail despite clear evidence of market need, strong marketing support, and real enthusiasm and energy from salespeople?”

He suggests that the problem rests with the way in which highly innovative products are launched to the salesforce, which in turn influences the manner in which the products are sold. He notes that the launch of an innovative product typically focuses on all the great new features the product offers. However, the new features that make the product so exciting may draw the salesperson’s attention away from the most important issue in the selling process: the customer’s needs. In other words, he suggests that the launch and the selling of innovative products tend to be product-centered instead of customer-centered, causing customer interest to fade as the selling process progresses.

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