I love that you’re so good at your topic. Knowledge is a beautiful thing.
But sometimes, it keeps us from actually helping people out.
That’s due to our good old friend the curse of knowledge — the cognitive bias that makes us think other people know the same things we do.
One of the most common ways this shows up in business is the assumption that our audience is ready to buy what they need. But in the real world, people are much more likely to buy what they want.
(If that weren’t true, it would be easy to sell life insurance and hard to sell big-screen TVs.)
The answer is not just to sell cookies and ice cream all the time.
But sometimes, especially if what we have to offer is complicated or difficult, it can be worth adding a little ice cream as a bonus to make it easier.
If you’ve tried to sell something and your conversion is really low, it’s always worth taking the time to consider: This might not be something my folks actually want.
It doesn’t mean you need to throw it away. It’s very possible you can repackage it to make it more appealing.
- Could it be made simpler? (The answer is almost always yes)
- Could you break it down into steps that are less intimidating? (Especially the first step)
- Can you make people feel more supported and capable?
- Can you improve the psychological safety, so they feel more confident to tackle the hard thing?
- Could you offer an “ice cream” bonus that’s what they want, that pairs well with what they need?
It can take some time, and lots of conversations with potential clients, to understand what they truly (madly, deeply) want. But it’s always time well spent.