We make thousands of decisions every day, every moment in fact. Decision-making can be spilt into two categories: ‘fast’ decisions - these are decisions that we don’t feel we have to think about at all e.g. your drive to work is a series of fast decisions, and ‘slow’ decisions - these are decisions that we have to stop and take time to think about. Here’s a simple example:
• What is 2 + 2?
• What is 22 x 17?
You answered the first one without thinking, but had to stop and think properly about the second.
The human brain is often thought of as some super powerful computer and that all our decisions are logical. However most of our decisions are fast decisions and these may not be logical at all. These decisions are heavily influenced by preconceptions and prejudices - this is known as cognitive bias.
We assume that when a prospect makes a decision that it is purely logical but actually this is rarely the case. All sorts of outside factors come into this decision.
An important and interesting type of cognitive bias in this situation is known as the ‘Halo Effect’. As an example when we buy a product of a brand that we like, we assume that related branded products will have the same positive attributes and characteristics. Brand marketing relies completely on this cognitive bias.
This happens with people as well. We see a person and judge the whole organisation behind them based on our experience with that person. If you think about this, it is madness. In our world, once the prospect becomes a client they rarely, if ever, see the sales person again, and yet this is how they have judged the whole company.
So what does it mean for you?
There is an old adage that people buy people. The Halo effect theory completely backs this up. A prospect will judge the whole organisation based on their experience with you. If you are professional, efficient, courteous, fast and easy to deal with, all those qualities will be attributed to the business as a whole.