Decision making biases and filters
Believing that prospects or clients think the same way, make decisions using the same criteria or are motivated by the same things as we are, is a default thinking filter for many of us. But no two brains, or life experiences are the same. Which is why people think through their own filters and biases when they make decisions. Considering other peoples’, and your own, biases can help you approach situations differently to improve the outcomes.
Consider these few examples below.
You’re pitching to a new client, and you recently provided a solution to a client in a similar business, so you offer the same solution. Are you viewing the problem through an availability bias; using the information most readily available rather than taking the time to really hear the new client’s needs?
Equally, the availability of information on their current supplier may make it easier for a time-poor prospect to make no change, rather than find out more about you and how you can improve their business. To counteract, can you make the process easier for them?
As a salesperson you may experience a similarity bias when a prospect prefers to deal with someone who went to their school, has the same background, lives in their area or knows people they know. To mitigate, do you have other areas in common? Do you have a diverse team you can involve in the bid?
Loss aversion bias is where someone is more motivated by avoiding a loss. For example, a client may be more motivated to go with a product that will mitigate the loss of $100,000 in their business, rather than one that will deliver $100,00 in additional revenue. Solution, learn what’s important to your clients and what’s happening in their business.
Sunk cost biases are where people don’t want to let go of something even if it’s not working due to the time, money or effort they’ve already invested. Have you ever identified a solution to a client’s problem, only to have them reply that they’ve invested too much time and money trying to get the old process to work to change now, even though it’s causing issues? That’s the sunk cost fallacy. Providing responses that bring loss aversion thinking into play may help here.
How we see the world determines how we will respond to the situations around us. If you want to understand someone better, and therefore work better together, put yourself in their shoes from time to time.
Based on a post from February 2019.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash