We all know contrarians. They love to distinguish and protect themselves by taking the opposite position in a discussion or debate. Great fun at dinner parties but incredibly frustrating in the context of selling.
Psychologists actually have a clinical name for this technique . . . they call it polarity. People who process information by polarizing, sort the data by looking for the opposite of the input. It gives them a sense of power and management over what we all know is the virtual flood of ongoing information.
So how do we, as salespeople, motivate a hard core contrarian to give our product a fair hearing?
We have to make it his idea.
So instead of: “This truck could easily pull your boat (argument).”
Try: “Mr. Smith, you are right about this truck’s hauling power and you were sharp to notice it is especially rigged to haul boat trailers.”
Now he knows you respect him and he will begin to relax so you can start working together instead of arguing over every point.