Mental Marketing – how to Guide Your Prospect’s Mind

That is the headline of the most recent article in my column for The Register (monthly magazine for the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants). 

The issue won't be released until January, but you get an advanced peek.  The article gives you some specific wording that works to capture the attention of an audience or individual.  They're really simple and really effective.  Please let me know if you enjoy this type of content: michael@aboutpeople.com

Here is the link:   Mental Marketing Jan 2013

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    How do you persuade people to keep appointments?

    People who fail to show up for appointments cost organizations big bucks. A study in the UK showed that missed GP and hospital appointments costs the National Health Service more than 700 million pounds annually. Research carried out in liaison with the NHS Bedfordshire found that three behavior-change interventions can lead to a dramatic reduction in the numbers of people who fail to turn up for appointments:

    1. Getting patients to confirm their appointment by verbally repeating the details to the receptionist. 
    2. Getting patients to write the appointment down themselves (rather than the receptionist doing it for them).
    3. Placing positive messages around the GP practices confirming that attending appointments is the "social norm".

    In the case of the Bedfordshire research, the techniques lead to a reduction of 30% in the number of no-shows for NHS appointments. Organizers estimated that if the interventions were replicated nationally, they could deliver savings of up to 250 million pounds annually.

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      The value of money – It’s not what you think

      For many years, Pam and I have been fascinated with personal values as behavioral motivators.  Since many of our clients are in the financial industry, we've done a lot of research into money as a motivational value.  Contrary to what many financial advisors think, money is not a top motivator. 

      The following comes from a survey carried out by Institute de Impresa in Spain and Manchester Business School.  They researched final year MBA students from 25 countries. One would think that MBA students are keenly laser-like in their focus on money.  One would be wrong:

      "Asked what factors would influence their choice of a career after graduation, respondents rated job satisfaction number one, followed by the opportunity to spend adequate time with their family and friends. Next most important was the corporate culture and the ethics of the organisation they worked for. Money ranked fourth on their priority list."

      That finding matches what we've uncovered in other studies and research.  So, what's important about money to you?  Not as much as you might think.

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        Social Media is NOT about the technology!

        The advice is the same everywhere – shift your marketing to social media services.  It's good advice but it's off-target.  Social media is built on technology, but the technology is meaningless without a consistent message that is relevant to your target market!

        Once you accept the truth in that statement, you enter a world filled with contradictions.  On one hand, many old-line marketing firms are still operating.  They write beautifully crafted messages that fall flat on the new style of reading.  On the other hand, you find a few firms who develop messages based on the psychology of specific target markets. 

        This topic is covered in more detail in one of our articles titled "Cracking the Code – How to Use Psychology in Your Marketing."  To get a copy of the articles, just shoot me an email at:  michael@aboutpeople.com

        Consider it our gift to you for being open to better ways to communicate!

        – Mike

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          How to match your selling process to the prospect’s buying process

          Most sellers use the same approach with just about every prospect.  Unfortunately, most of those approaches have no relevance to how people buy.  Both parties are looking for different things and have totally different objectives.  Let’s look first at the typical sales process:  


          Sales Process


          1. Talk about yourself
          2. Explain how you got into the business
          3. Tell a story about a business success
          4. Tell your company’s story
          5. Expound on your values

          If you were the prospect, how enthusiastic would you be about a representative who did that to you?  Not very.  Now, let's look at the typical buying process:


          Buying Process


          1. Prospect explains his problem
          2. Prospect asks the rep if he can help
          3. Prospect determines if the rep's experience/solution is relevant


          See the disconnect?  The prospect is NOT there to be sold, he’s there to solve a problem or gain something.  So, how can you solve your own problem of talking too much?  Follow this process:

          Resource Process


          1. Put the prospect in charge of the conversation. 
          2. Ask him to share what’s on his mind. 
          3. Be quiet and let him talk!
          4. Ask follow-up questions
          5. Demonstrate that you are relevant to him


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            Safety: The Human Dimension – Part II – The Impact of Natural Biases

            Safety isn’t a process, it’s a way of being – a way of thinking and behaving. Creating a safe culture means understanding subconscious biases that often lead us astray. It means acting mindfully rather than blindly.  Conscious awareness of these biases or blindnesses as I like to call them, is an important first step in understanding and improving decision making. Consider these biases and how they come into play in your world:

            Procedure Blindness – the belief that we can proceduralize or put rules and standards around everything and all you need to do is follow the procedure, standard or rule and everything will be OK. It’s also the belief that because we have the procedures, we don’t need to think critically – that the procedures cover us and give us control.

            Sameness Blindness – the belief that if things are operating in x way today,they will continue to operate that way tomorrow. Sameness blindness also includes the tendency to see things that are a little off to be close enough to the norm or to not see the variance at all because you are expecting to see what you’ve seen a million times before.

            Simplicity Blindness – belief that you can “know” a system by looking at it linearly – that there is a single root cause, standing alone that explains x. The reality is today’s systems are complex. There are many variables and interrelationships, and its rarely any one thing thing operating on its own that is the problem or the solution. It is essential to understand the big picture, to see context, relationships, to understand tradeoffs – “if we do … here….it may impact…..here.”

            Success Blindness – Success breeds confidence and the more we do a thing, the more confident we become. We forget and/or choose not to be aware and expect or anticipate the worst and prepare for it. “Success narrows perceptions, changes attitudes, feeds confidence in a single way of doing business, breeds overconfidence in the efficacy of current abilities and practices, and makes leaders and others intolerant of opposing points of view. The result is increased risk and potential for disaster.” – Karl Weick – from Managing the Unexpected.


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