The Human Propensity Not To Die

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How much will people go against their own logic, so as not to be seen as going out on a limb?

In this Vlog, Grant explains why people are willing to do just that and how that affects your business.

Imagine walking along the promenade on holiday and you decide to get something to eat and there are two restaurants. One is absolutely packed with people and the other one is relatively empty.

Logic would say, you go to the relatively empty one because you can get seated and served quickly, but that’s rarely what we do. Chances are you’d go to the full one.

Why is that?

The reason is, that human beings are built to survive in a world of imperfect information.

Quite simply, if you’re on holiday, you don’t know either of those restaurants. If you go to one that’s full and everybody there seems to be okay, chances are you’ll be okay as well. In short, they’re all there and they’re not dead, so you’ll probably be okay as well. There have been loads of experiments done, where people have been put in a room with a load of ‘plants’ who have deliberately given the wrong answer.

For example, imagine being asked what five and five are and seven or eight people in the room (who are ‘plants’) saying the answer’s nine. When you got to your turn, would you have the guts to say they’re all wrong…  the answers 10?

Actually, a lot of the time people don’t have the guts, and they’ll go along with the rest of the group. The reason is; we feel anxious when we go against the grain. Quite simply, we feel at risk and exposed. If we go back to survival instincts, maybe I might die.

This understanding affects how you communicate with your prospects and customers. It’s called ‘Social Norming’, but sentences such as; ‘most people chose option B’, ‘the majority of people decide to do this’… can be very, very powerful because you’re using social proof to back up and support a particular offer that you’re making.

However innovative or cutting edge your products or services are, it is very important to make people feel they’re not alone in choosing you. Making people feel they’re going out on a limb actually goes against basic human instincts. So using phrases like ‘people like you’, or ‘many people’ are very important in being reassuring to your customers and prospects.

So to conclude, do you know that many people, like you have made large donations to Sticky Marketing after watching this video?

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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  1. I donate my undying thanks for your material Grant!

    Great content…keep it up.


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