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I’ve chosen a provocative title this week and there’s a good reason why.

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This week I’m starting a series of looking at the cognitive biases that shape more of our behaviour than we realise.

Knowing them can help you avoid them. Plus, you can use them to get more people to do what you want.


Not really. Only if your intentions are bad. As I say most weeks you must use these ethically to promote good products and services that genuinely help people get something they want.

This week’s bias is the Status Quo bias.

In the simplest terms we are quite happy with the way things are and don’t see a need to change.

This is a major reason why people who should buy from you don’t.

They just don’t see that they need to decide to do anything different.

It can be very frustrating because often you can see they need you desperately, but they can’t see it.

So, your job is to agitate them around the problem you help solve. They must understand that they are losing by not buying. Here’s an example.

Let’s say you’re an accountant. Most people see all accountants as basically the same. Why switch? It’s a pain in the you know what.

But what if their current accountant is just doing the minimum. Maybe they’re making mistakes that might cost the client a lot of money in fines. Maybe they’re not getting the client as many tax deductions as they’re allowed. Over time the risks/costs go up. But the client doesn’t know this.

They’re basically comfortable. We must make them uncomfortable.

So, we might chip away at the idea that their current accountant might be lazy. That they may be paying more tax than they need to. We can share stories of different clients and how much tax they saved. We can share stories of people who thought their accountant was looking after them but wasn’t and they ended up getting massive fines. The more we make changing accountants look like helping them avoid loss the more likely we to break the Status Quo bias and get new clients.

Now you know why people who need you say no. You also know what to do to help more people say yes. Have fun working on adding this to your marketing this week.