Overcoming pushback - Part 3 of 5

It’s the third time you’ve presented the information and your client still doesn’t get it.

You’ve increased the font size, underlined the key point and made the most important number bold. Yet your client is still scratching their head.

Did they have a lobotomy since the last meeting? Have they misplaced an important part of their brain in a drawer somewhere? Perhaps a doppelgänger has hijacked them body and soul?

The truth is a little less dramatic. Anyone presented with new information immediately references it to their existing information and viewpoints. Does it match their current understanding? Is it close?

There’s a zone of acceptance where new information that’s close enough to people’s existing beliefs will be acknowledged and approved. New information outside the zone of acceptance will be automatically rejected. Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant. The closer to existing beliefs, the more likely it will be believed.

To avoid pushback, introduce new information like stepping stones from the centre of the zone of acceptance out. From your client’s established beliefs out step-by-step to where you want them to change.

Don’t open with the change. Open with the agreement of what they most fundamentally believe. Then lead them to the change with incremental shifts in beliefs and subsequent actions.

They’ll get it every time.

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