How Do You Convert The Unconvertible?

how to convert the uncovertableWith a lot of patience.

Jay Baer’s company blog is called “Convince and Convert“, because you can only convert someone after you convince them. And according to Seth Godin even that is not enough when you want to sell something, because then, you can only convince after you persuade somebody.

Hence patience.

But, let’s dig a little deeper.

per·suade /pərˈswād/

  1. Cause (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.
  2. Cause (someone) to believe something, esp. after a sustained effort; convince.

Synonyms: convince – induce – coax – prevail – argue

con·vince /kənˈvins/

  1. Cause (someone) to believe firmly in the truth of something.
  2. Persuade (someone) to do something.

Synonyms: persuade – satisfy – assure – induce

Oh my.., those two are very similar.., do you reckon Jay and Seth are barking up the same tree or do they both have a point and both have a different angle?

Here’s what I believe is the difference between the two.


When we need to sell or market something to strangers a slightly more gentle approach is needed. You cannot force somebody to like your product.., you need to entice them, woo them, persuade them.


When you present your social media strategy in a corporate environment a more firm approach is needed. You have to make them believe, wow them, convince them.

con·vert /kənˈvərt/
Verb: Cause to change in form, character, or function.
Noun: A person who has been persuaded to change their religious faith or other beliefs.
verb. change – transform – turn – transmute – alter
noun. proselyte


In the end it does boil down to the same thing, you need to convert them. ‘Them’ can be your blog readers, your customers or your board of directors…
Either way, it takes patience to convert anybody, because conversion means change.., and people aren’t that good with change.

After all, we are creatures of habit.

To answer the question

So, this is all very literal, but how do you convert the unconvertable? A little more real then.., here’s a list of what I think you should bring to the table (in no particular order):

  • Proof
  • Leadership (by example)
  • Show them
  • Passion
  • Conviction
  • Persistence

It all depends on what you want to sell and who you want to sell it to.

For instance, trying to convert somebody to a religion will take a lot more persuasion than convincing them to like a Facebook status update (see what I did there, using all three of them in one sentence).
Like all strategies you need to create them to the goals you’ve set and adapt them along the way. If one approach doesn’t work, try another.
Find your champions, people who are already on your side and get them on board.., then, with their help, try and tackle others, one by one.


  • Set goals
  • Create a strategy
  • Find champions
  • Adjust your strategy if necessary
  • Rinse and repeat


Author: Rogier Noort

Digital Transformer | Thinker | Listener | Speaker | Podcaster | Writer | Blogger Twitter or LinkedIn.

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