Is less really more?

It is when you consider that the brain tends to be a lazy decision maker.

Less is More-attThe concept of “less is more” is anything but new. It’s been talked about for years. While I strongly believe in it’s value, (it’s on my Top 10 Guidelines to Attract Prospects), I recognize that it’s one of those concepts that’s much ‘easier said than done.’ After all, we’ve grown up believing that ‘more is better’ as the successful AT&T Wireless campaign touts

Maybe that’s why marketing and salespeople naturally tend to throw more at prospective clients at every point in the sales cycle, from capturing attention to closing the business.

I read an interesting article in Sales & Marketing Management recently titled, “The brain is a lazy decision maker,” by Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Corporate Visions, Inc. In the article Riesterer explores The Law of Least Effort and the realization that when making decisions, even complex ones, intuition overrides rational.

LeftBrainRightBrainBlogInseDaniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of “Thinking Fast and Slow” writes, “If there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action.” While this is contrary to what we want to believe, especially when it comes to ‘complex’ issues, it’s clearly evident in how individuals make choices. The logical thinking part of the brain is no match for conclusions drawn by the feeling and emotional part of the brain.

This is amplified since we’re all so darn busy, strained and stressed. Aside from everything else, just think about the sheer number of emails, calls and texts you receive and send every day. No one (colleagues or clients) is sitting around with time on their hands.

How this should influence your marketing and sales messaging

  1. Stop relying on overwhelming prospects with more and more content to capture attention and stimulate interest.
  2. Start taking a harder look at your content and messaging and how both potentially align with with your prospective client’s intuition. This could mean for example that early on by communicating familiar things like a colleague(s) that you both know or relevant experience and knowledge (other clients you work with), etc.
  3. Connect your solution to concepts and experiences that are familiar to your prospect or their story.

For example, client research that I conducted for an BtoB agency unearthed the fact that marketers found it extremely painful to work with agencies whose teams did not truly understand their complex business (highly engineered products). It caused them to work much harder. Armed with this insight, the agency adjusted core marketing and sales messaging to shine a light on the fact that unlike other agencies, the firm’s staff included engineers.

Also, think about using familiar metaphors or analogies to deliver your message in a way that connects and sticks. Of course, a clever phrase won’t make the sale. It can however potentially change the perception of your message and the response of the intuitive decision maker, especially when it is well supported.

Final notehow well do you truly know your prospective customers? To begin with, do you know what’s most important to them when they hire a firm like yours? If not, I suggest starting here by doing some client research. After all, as you rethink your messaging, how in the world can you expect to make less, more, if you don’t have clarity about what is most important to them?


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