How to convince someone they are wrong

You know that it’s hard to change someone’s mind because they’d have to admit they are wrong and nobody likes to be wrong.  Well, anytime you convince someone to use a new product, they are in some sense admitting that their old solution was wrong.  In All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World Seth Godin gives the perfect example with Acumen.  Acumen is a non profit that wants to invest in third world companies that sell affordable products to people in developing countries – it’s the best way to help their economies grow.  However, traditional philanthropists don’t want to hear that the way they’ve been doing it is wrong – and traditional investors don’t care that the company they are investing in is in a developing country as long as it makes them money.  So Acumen had to tell a different story and reach out to a different market: those philanthropists that are not happy with the way things currently work. 

If you want to convince someone to do it your way or buy your product, don’t tell them that the way they are doing it now is wrong.  Sell them a new, exciting story.