Convert the Confrontational Prospect
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When I was an advisor, I often had to deal with prospects who fundamentally disagreed with my investment philosophy. I espoused index-based investing. Those prospects were enamored with active management.
My persuasion strategy was informed by my training as a trial lawyer. I marshaled the facts and argued for my viewpoint, like giving a closing argument to a jury.
I was rarely successful.
Then, I did the research.
The problem with persuasion
One study used two experiments to investigate the relationship between factual knowledge and opinions.
In the first experiment, participants were presented with a news article containing a factual error about the Iraq War and were then given corrective information about the error. While the corrective information led to a slight increase in factual knowledge, it didn’t significantly change their pre-existing opinion.