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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  December 15, 2016

How to Use Stubbornness to Your Advantage

Did you notice the social media activity after the elections? No one really gave up any ground, did they? Helping people understand a different idea was like hitting your head against a wall. I still have a headache.

Well, this happens in sales conversations, too. The problem: Being right is a very primal need. It feels like our survival depends on it.


Listen: Two reasons why folks can’t change their minds, no matter what you tell them


The key is to use that need to your advantage. Have what I call the “ignore and divert” conversation. Here’s how it works: When someone’s idea is silly, don’t debate. Change the subject to something you can agree on, then expand on that.

Example: When a buyer says, “We will never pay that for a XXX (coach, consultant, etc.),” don’t explain your fee. Instead, say something like, “Well, the problem here needs XXX solution. To make that happen, XXX has to change. Here are some tools to make those changes.”

When you take the focus away from paying a coach to paying for tools, you made the buyer right. They aren’t paying for a coach; they are paying for tools obtained via coaching. See how that works?

We can’t change people’s need to be right. By changing the focus, everyone can be right at the same time.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.