How To Sell To A Skeptic (Part One)

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Can You Sell To A Skeptic Like Your Know-It-All Brother?

I’m going to start by imagining that you and I are not so dissimilar, insofar as our network marketing experiences have gone. You’ve likely had a go at marketing to your family and maybe you were as fortunate as me, and you have a mother that strongly supported you in all your endeavours.  She bought the raffle tickets for the used barbeque and the girl guide cookies, the dusty hardened chocolate bars and the hand rubbed carwash where Jerry swabbed down her mirror-like paint job with a grit laden Sham-Wow. In short, your mom loved you.  Other members of your family, not so much. They become the biggest skeptics and worse, you have to see them at holiday dinners. How can you sell to a skeptic filled audience like that?

Don’t Try To Just Up And Sell To A Skeptic

How about if you were able to turn them into potential allies and enlist them to promote your products with the same fervor and conviction as they had in denying them.  A Fairy Tale? No, no I don’t think so. Not once you follow this article on how to sell to a skeptic and implement what you will learn here.  It’s important to remember that the steps I outline here are just like the steps on a staircase.  You have to follow them in order if you want to reach the landing at the top. If you’re going to jump back and forth, then it’s going to be a challenge to get to the top. And hard on the ankles too.

First Steps To Sell To A Skeptic

1. Be Aware Of Where They Are At

Sell To A Skeptic

Everyone has a different perception of reality and everyone sees the world or any particular problem in a different light or from a slightly different point of view. We cannot assume that we know what this person needs or requires, until we are able to sit down and really listen to what they tell you either in words or through actions. We can’t presume to know the answers they will give, much less why they give them.

2. Connect With The Person

DO NOT SELL. Find common threads or interests and be as Tim Sales says “interested, not interesting”. Talk about things that interest them. Listen to what they are saying and ask your questions based on their answers. We are building rapport, not interrogating them. If they feel that is what is happening, they will clam up. No one likes to be sold, and we are all very wary these days. Treat them as a friend, or someone that you would really like to know. Our goal is to understand them better. Study them as an actor would study the character of someone he is going to portray. Be present, be in the moment with them. 

3. Find Out About Them

problem solvingWe have questions about them that we would like to have the answers to. Basically it comes down to this: Do we have what they need? Why would they want to put their faith or trust in us and by extension, our products and opportunities? Starting off with basic questions is essential, and listening to the answers (really listening, rather than stopping as soon as our mind has formed the next question) will give us insight into what causes them pain and what brings them pleasure.  Be genuine with your questions and respect their boundaries. Consider the type of person they are as the question is being formed to avoid intimidation and to make them comfortable.

4. What Are Their Needs

We want to find out where they are, and where they want to be, or where they want to go in order to establish their needs.  Clearly no one is going to tell a stranger what their needs are, so our goal is to not be a stranger and to put them at ease so they will discuss what they truly need and desire. Helping them to attach an emotional value to their needs is of paramount importance. Think about why we react emotionally to our needs, and how that motivates us to do things that otherwise we would best avoid or delay.  Again, don’t presume that we have the answer or that they fall into a specific category so should be ‘treated’ a certain way.

It is critical that you allow enough time for the relationship to form (or reform). Remember that if you are going to sell to a skeptic, you are not going to do it in a heartbeat. It will take time. Tomorrow I will conclude the steps that you need to take to make it possible to sell to a skeptic.

 Till Next Time….

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Sigrid McNab

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About Sigrid McNab

Sigrid McNab is the author of #1 Amazon Best Seller, speaker and the CEO and Founder of Sigrid specializes in blogging, attraction marketing, and generating highly qualified leads. Sigrid teaches people how to build a successful online business.

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7 Responses to “How To Sell To A Skeptic (Part One)”

  1. Martin Says:

    I am in no way skeptical that this process works, Sigrid!

    In fact, I think you hit the nail on the head, I mean after all we are called to be servants, right? The best way to serve is to get in close and listen. To observe. To see the need, and respond.

    Be a “meeter of needs”
    and become an “Attractor of Leads”

    Martin recently posted…What? Still Not Creating Fresh Content?My Profile


    sigrid Reply:

    I like that quote Martin!



  2. Linda O'Rourke Says:

    I think you are right Sigrid if they get the slightest whim of selling they will be out the door. MLM companies say products sell themselves and your friends and family will banging your door down to get there hands on them. So not true. You can recommend as many products as you like but as there is a financial gain for you they are less likely to purchase from you unless you prove their need for them.
    Linda O’Rourke recently posted…Life Is Too Short To RegretMy Profile


    sigrid Reply:

    Linda, it’s an unfortunate fact that friends and family can often be the most difficult.



  3. Carol Lamoreaux Says:

    This is great! We really need to build relationships with people to see how we can help them. It may take longer to get to the “sale”, if you ever do. But if you do get there, the chance of success is greater if they feel you are listening and understanding them.
    Carol Lamoreaux recently posted…What You Want to AccomplishMy Profile


    Sigrid McNab Reply:

    Excellent point Carol, thank so much for sharing…




  1. How To Sell To A Skeptic (Part Two) - April 6, 2013

    […] Yesterday we covered off the first steps you will need to take if you are going to be able to sell to a skeptic. Basically, they involve getting to know where the person is coming from and by asking innocuous questions and being a good listener, finding out where they want to go. Discover what is interesting to them and what makes them tick. Find out what their needs are, but do it in a very low key non-threatening way. Remember, you have to form the relationship first and marketing is second. […]

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