We don’t realize how powerful some unconscious things we do in our life are. One of them is our decision process. How many times we don’t know what to do when taking some kind of decision and we just start to look around us, trying to find similar examples in other people, histories, and somehow unconscious, taking examples from books and movies (be careful with what you feed your memory, but that’s another subject).
This behavior is common to all people when deciding in a non-critical thinking mode. It is a very powerful weapon in a lot of different business contexts, and is used for persuasion, negotiation, and social contexts. Let’s see some examples:
– If you hear in a commercial situation that you probably must wait to buy something, most of times is not true, it is just to give you the idea that a lot of other people is buying the product, and the probability of influencing your decision is above average. Why? You are not sure about to buy it or not, but a lot of people is buying or doing it, so it should be a good thing, you think. It cannot be the case that everybody is wrong (well, sometimes they are)
– The kids. Almost every one of them, they take decisions considering what the others have. I have a daughter, I was a kid once, and I know it by experience. The kids don’t have enough data to create a reliable decision process, they are still building it. For the adults, the trick is to put them as “kids” or “zombies” first, question their decision process and then let this “doubt” arise.
– Announcing a product some weeks ahead and saying there is a big waiting queue. A variation of the first example above.
– “The response may take some time due to the increasing number of orders made”. You can see this in TV sales shows, some internet e-commerce web sites, etc… You will really feel confident about buying the product, after all, everybody is buying it!
– If you are an outsourcing company, you can try to explore this persuasion trick by “dropping” the idea to a customer in doubt about some expensive specialized resources that you are having a lot of requests from other customers for them. (I have observed this technique and other variants is some companies, I have worked with, with some success)
– If you are someone looking for a job, you can use it too. Don’t look too desperate or already available, try to drop the idea of other companies interested in you, but let the door open saying something that you value in the company you are trying to work with. (I know, it is not so simple, but it is a tool to use)
There is a lot to explore about this little persuasion trick, but my intention was just to let you a tool hoping you can avoid “bad decisions” and hoping too you can use it in your business. Hope it helps you!