First Lesson on Day one of undergrad Political Science:
1. The majority of people don’t understand politics.
2. The majority of people rely on low-quality information via news.
3. Democracy *is* participation.
4. Getting people interested, is the hardest part. If you are going against corporate media sound-bites, it’s even harder.
5. *Apathy* is the biggest problem in a modern democracy.
Single-issue activists expecting people to change their mind based on one touchpoint, one tweet, one slogan, and complaining when they don’t, well yeah…
…duh, it’s hard.
Support for a cause, especially complex ones, is more like selling million-dollar consulting, but shit/lazy campaigners think it’s selling knock-offs on Wish. Activists don’t see they’re in sales. That’s always their fatal flaw. They arrogantly assume they can show up and talk features and benefits, repeat slogans and make an instant sale.
The more expensive the product, the longer the sales cycle. Unless they’re in immediate need and know what to buy, they’re going to need time. They may never buy at all. They may like the product but not want to buy it from YOU. They may ask the same questions and waste your time, then go to someone else who explained it better, makes them feel less shit, or myriad other reasons.
That’s what persuasion is. That’s what changing hearts and minds is.
Patience. Hustle. Grind. Humility.
As such, anyone who wants to stop *anyone* asking questions because they aren’t sold yet, is destined to lose the sale.
It’s *easy* to sell mass-produced junk to idiots wanting a quick fix, or scam people. It is far harder to sell something of substance, especially if they don’t see an immediate threat or problem with the status quo. It is exceptionally hard to sell uncertain or intangible outcomes.
Especially if what you are selling strikes to the core of someone’s self-perception of who they are and where they fit in the world.
Obviously, because internet, there will be “activists” who try to get rich quick using shortcuts, throwing money at things, black hat tactics or silencing competitors, or sell MLM. That’s going to happen.
But ultimately, if you’re selling something but don’t welcome questions about your product, you not only probably have a shitty product, but you also haven’t taken Lesson 1, Day One on the basics.
Let people speak. Let people ask questions. They’re not ready to buy yet. But, they might be. They might be 90% of the way there and just need you to get them over the line.
If your product is good, and you are patient and approachable, it becomes an easy sale down the track, when they realise you helped them along the way, with no agenda, and didn’t pressure them into buying crap before they were ready when everyone else was trying to sell them crap. That can take years, if it happens at all.
Like I keep saying… don’t be lazy and stop complaining that it’s hard. Yes. It is.
Lazy political campaigners are as bad as lazy marketers. Thinking they can just throw a slogan at it, buy a billboard, silence opponents and you’ve won.
Coercion is another lazy shortcut – *forcing* people to buy your shit because they don’t have real choice, but are hungry, or you’re blocking the doorway and they want to go home. They may buy in the short term, but you haven’t *won* them.
Long term, changes of heart and minds, loyal fans and die-hard customers takes effort. It’s a grind. It is difficult, especially in a landscape where those with the most resources are able to buy shortcuts.
It can take years for someone to go from “questioning” to “on board”, and if you are silencing people, you are going to lose them in the long term, because you lost their trust.
Have a great day.
Stick around, Lesson 2 is wild.