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Last year a friend of mine had a series of really bad dates with a series of men who each presented themselves well “on paper,” but turned out to be something else entirely in person. Coincidentally, each was named Tom.

After the third or fourth terrible first date with a man named Tom, my friend decided to swear off of Toms altogether. Just like the way your prospects have cognitive biases that affect how they feel about your brand, my friend developed a negative cognitive bias that the next Tom to approach her is not likely to overcome.


We all have cognitive biases, i.e. tendencies to make (often-inaccurate) judgments by processing information through a filter of our own likes, dislikes and experiences. And the reality is, many of the most common cognitive biases can have a big impact on the success or failure of your marketing materials. Subtly addressing these biases can make your sales pitch that much more persuasive. For example…

Keep things simple
People tend to avoid the unknown. When people are not certain what step to take next, or if they sense that there are holes in their understanding of what it is that they would be buying, there’s a good chance you’ll lose the sale. 

Share specific examples
People tend to ignore general information and focus in on information that only pertains to a specific case. They also tend to find it easier to relate to a single identified person than to a large group of unknown people.

Case studies and user testimonials are a great way to cater to these biases. The story of how your product helped a guy named Bob save his company $13,654 per month while reducing turn-around time by 23% is more powerful than the general fact that your product saves time and money.

Reassure people that they’re making a good decision
People need encouragement to buy. Once they do, though, they tend to rationalize the purchase decision, and remember their choices as better than they actually were.

Help bolster these positive feelings with affirming messages, such as an email congratulating them on their purchase. Play into the “bandwagon effect” by letting them know that thousands of other happy customers have also bought this product. Encourage consumers to share their purchase on social media, so that their friends will also affirm their good decision, too.

What Others Are Saying

"Everyone LOVED your work for both the brochure and the site!"

Michael Elliott
Founder and President, The Hammer & Nails Salon Group, LLC