Gaining Acceptance & Comfort with Research Findings

Whether we like the results or not, sometimes our audience comes from a place of skepticism. When presenting to a disbelieving audience, employ these tactics to ensure data is accepted and acted upon.

Making them a believer

We’ve all encountered “research doubters” and skeptics. It can be hard to win them over, even on the best of days. But as we know, even the doubters can benefit from insights and market research findings. Here are a few tips you can use to break through.

  • Actively listen: Be patient, and make sure everyone feels heard. Let others articulate the problem they’re facing and why any past attempts to solve the problem haven’t worked. The way other people describe the problem can provide clues to help you better understand their thinking.
  • Outline your reasoning: Highlight some of the reasons why you recommend your research approach. You can answer questions along the way, and, although they may challenge you, it exposes them (and you) to potential blind spots. This can prevent getting too technical or too broad in your research.
  • Be transparent: People will be more likely to accept results if they know what steps were taken to get them. Once you determine an appropriate research method, discuss the checks you will use to ensure you’re getting high-quality responses.
  • Collaborate: Knowing which steps were taken to get the results can help reduce skepticism, but take it a step further by including others in the decisions. Increased involvement adds a sense of ownership to results.
  • Show any related past work you’ve done: Success is typically tied to an outcome, so showing any past studies you’ve done could help reduce skepticism, too. Demonstrating how those studies led to helpful findings can increase others’ confidence in working with you.
  • Identify the patterns: One-off findings can be interesting, even eye-opening, but they can also be misleading. Patterns can help you tell a story. It’s more difficult for someone to dismiss a finding that’s showing up in several places as a fluke.

Want to see how we can squash doubts about research for you? Drop us a line.