36. What do people base their decisions on?

"We find out what everybody else is doing and what everybody else thinks – and conclude that they must be right – and make the decision that I am going to do the same thing."

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Have you ever laughed at a joke because everybody else laughed so you felt the obligation to laugh? Have you ever bought something based on the fact that it was the “best selling” or “fastest moving” item? Would the statement “4 out of 5 people surveyed recommend this product” influence your decision? How about “over two million copies sold” on the cover of a book? Would that make you feel more comfortable about your decision to buy it? If so, you are not alone. People are highly influenced and persuaded by what others do.

I am the first customer to go through the car wash, yet the tip jar has 10 one-dollar bills folded in the jar. I am the first one in the bar and notice the bartenders tip jar already has several dollar bills in it..

Nightclub owners create long lines to give the impression that business is great. Krispy Crème Donuts has a bunch of folks camp out the night before the store opening so they can have the first donuts that are cooked – creating the impression that these donuts must be really good.

What does all this mean? It means that this concept works and it can work for you too. Here’s how.

Everybody likes to think of himself or herself as a nonconformist – someone who does their own thing. You and I like to see ourselves as independent – until it comes time to make a decision – then we find out what everybody else is doing and what everybody else thinks – and conclude that they must be right – and make the decision that I am going to do the same thing.

Let’s say you are a new sales person calling on a potential account. Would you say; ‘I am new and don’t have any customers yet – will you take a chance and be the first?”

If you were a seasoned sales person would you go into a potential customer and say; “We have great quality and excellent service?” No, you wouldn’t want to say something like that because their response would be “so what.” You would want to take the approach that the bartender, car wash, church, evangelical preacher and concert promoter took. You want to bring on your success stories, testimonials, references, people your prospect knows and a list of happy customers who are buying from you. You would want to put a little money in your tip jar to show that others are buying and they are happy. Why? To make them feel safe about their decision to buy from you.


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