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I wanted to share something I read in the amazing book Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini that I think you'll find very interesting. He also wrote the book Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion which is a must read if you're involved in anything sales and/or marketing by the way. One of my favorite books of all time.
What I am going to share here shows just how important it is to make sure the person across the table from you at a sales presentation or reading your marketing understands what you're talking about. And if you're an MSP selling IT services you know just how hard that is to do under normal circumstances.
But it's more important than you might even realize even though you realize it's important. If that makes sense. And it will...
When a message is communicated to anyone and presented in the simplest way possible, the mind processes with what Cialdini calls: ‘cognitive ease’.
He says that when someone processes something with cognitive ease, they experience increased neuronal activity in the muscles in their face that produce a smile. Imagine that? Understanding can lead to happiness which is pretty important when you're trying to close a sale. You definitely want them to be happy, right? If they don't understand, when it is too complex to process with cognitive ease, the opposite effect happens.
Now, here's where it gets crazy. We all know we need to make our communications simple and non-technical when selling and marketing. But, just how deep this goes might surprise you.
Now, Cialdini is great at backing up everything with research. He shared an analysis of names of attorneys at five hundred law firms. This study found the harder an attorney’s name was to pronounce, the lower he or she stayed in the firm's hierarchy.
Think about that for a moment. If something as small as your name can have an effect on your success, you can see just how easy it is to make thinks overly complex and technical. The more complex and technical, the worse effect it will have. If you’re not doing everything in your power to make input process with great cognitive ease, you’re hurting your chances.
And the takeaway here is it is so much deeper than we may think. You absolutely must make your presentations and communications even simpler than you think you need to.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments if this surprises you or not. And what are you doing to focus your communication and presentations to keep it as simple and understandable as you can.