I spotted them hanging out right in front of the school. My first thought was to avoid them. They’re friends of my wife. I knew they would say hello and chat me up. I also knew it would put me in an uncomfortable position.
With the day off yesterday, I volunteered to pick up my son from school. When I got there I saw some of the other moms. Here’s the problem.
They’ve told me their names several times. I always forget. It puts me in that awkward position of saying:
Of course, I could ask them again. At this point, I’m too embarrassed. It makes me uncomfortable. It sounds like a petty response, right? I often go out of my way to avoid those uncomfortable moments.
Contrary to self-help guru’s, most of us avoid uncomfortable situations. Uncomfortable equals pain. We avoid pain at all costs. When faced with two options, we choose the less painful.
This is nothing new. We all know this.
Here’s the problem. You might be doing this to your customers and prospects. You may not even know it.
In your attempt to persuade or sell you may say or write things that cause discomfort. When your audience feels discomfort they seek to curb that feeling.
How will they do that?
Buy Your Solution To Relieve The Discomfort
Does your solution make a crystal clear connection to resolving the discomfort? This works if you deliver quick results. For example:
Buy our alarm service now. Thirty minutes later your home and family can relax in safety.
If your solution fails to provide quick resolution your reader falls back on one of three denial tactics to relieve the discomfort.
Dismiss The Source
“What does this idiot know about anything. He’s just trying to sell me something.”
Attack the source of the information. In this case, you caused discomfort. They dismiss you. If you cannot trust the source, everything he says becomes suspect.
Dismiss The Facts
“Did he get this from fake news? Give me a break”
This occurs when you present new facts. The risk comes when those new facts create discomfort. If you offer no solution to relieve that discomfort, they reject your facts. You lose credibility and they disappear.
Dismiss Your Interpretation Of Facts
“Yeah, we know the earth is warming, but claiming humans caused the problem with fossil-fuel? Absurd!”
Maybe they cannot dismiss your facts but they can disregard the way you interpret them. We all interpret facts to fit our pre-existing beliefs. Psychologists call it assimilation bias.
You’ve Seen This Before
Do those three dismissal–of-facts tactics seem familiar? They should. Have you ever been in a political argument? We use these three tactics all the time to dismiss opposition opinion.
Those same human tendencies in political discussion rule our life in sales and marketing too. Creating discomfort can be effective. Create a clear connection between your solution and resolving the discomfort. Fail to do that and we fall back on our dismissal tactics.