More about the author. This means that we will say or do things, often without thinking, in order to make sure that we express and embody the same traits and viewpoints now as we did in the past. Usually this is a good thing — after all, if you continually don’t live up to your word you will be viewed as untrustworthy or even hypocritical. However, your company can also take advantage of this bias by strategically using surveys to get your potential customers to indirectly make a statement acknowledging they need a product or service like yours before you present them with the opportunity to buy.
Once your prospects have outwardly expressed their desire and interest in purchasing a product or service like the one you offer, they will feel pressured to follow up that statement with action in order to appear consistent and will be driven to buy from you. To see how this works, let’s look at some examples:
Social psychologist Steven J. Sherman called residents in a particular mid-western town and asked them how they believed they would respond if someone asked them to spend three hours volunteering to go door-to-door and collect donations for a charity. Obviously these people didn’t want to seem selfish, so many of them claimed they would say yes. A few days later, these same residents were contacted by a member of the American Cancer Society and asked to participate as neighborhood canvassers. Compared to residents who did not first take the survey, the people who previously said they would volunteer if asked had a 700 percent increase in the number of volunteers! How much would it help your business if you could increase your conversion rate by seven times?
Another example is one you’re probably more familiar with. By now you’ve almost certainly noticed that telemarketers begin their conversation by asking you about your current health and well-being. Usually they will say something along the lines of “Hello Mr./Mrs. Smith, how are you feeling today?” This is not just a polite inquiry driven by a genuine interest in our lives, it’s a strategic move to trick us into giving a reflexive, polite, and superficial response like “I’m doing fine, thanks.” Once we’ve stated outwardly that we are doing well, it will make us look bad (meaning contradictory) if we then refuse to help their cause. When they respond by saying “I’m glad to hear you’re well, because I’m calling to ask if you would be able to donate to help the tragic victims of…” if we’ve already said we’re great we will come across as cheap and selfish if we refuse to donate — just like the telemarketer wants.
Another way your company can use this strategy is when it’s planning to article source to its existing customers. Before you announce the new offering, essays on the black death around to your customers that causes them to respond positively about their intent to purchase a product or service like the one you’re launching, or to acknowledge they have a specific problem that’ and would be willing to spend money to solve it. This way, when you launch your new product or service your audience has already committed to making a purchase and the pressure to appear consistent will motivate more of them to convert to customers.
As you can see, the pressure to behave consistently is a powerful motivator for our actions. If your company can find a way to leverage this bias by getting its customers and prospects to make a commitment to support your business before they are asked to buy, you will find your conversion rates and sales numbers climbing rapidly as a result.
What questions could your company ask in a survey to its prospects that will get them to commit to making a purchase? Share them with us in the comments!