We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures…
As someone who writes for the investment markets, I’ve grown incredibly cynical of the idea of a “rational market” — assuming that the mass of individual human being investors that make up the market will behave based on rationality and logic.
Investors are fickle and decidedly irrational creatures. Just look at the results of their behavior over time. They buy when the market is up (like today) and sell when it’s down (remember late 2008, anybody) and severely under-perform the market as a result.
Rationally, they’d do what Warren Buffett (among many others in this lineage) recommend: buy low, sell high.
Of course, the markets would work very differently if every investor was rational. They’d move decidedly slower. They’re pretty much move in lockstep with GDP, instead of behaving like a casino.
But people — of which investors are a subset — are not rational at all.
We just convince ourselves that we are.
This is the root of why you are rejected…
And here, I could refer to just about any time you go out seeking approval. But because this is a sales and marketing essay, let’s use “you are rejected” interchangeably with “your marketing is rejected,” “your sales pitch is rejected,” or any other variation, including “you just don’t get response.”
The key, as shared in Pitch Anything and elsewhere, is the immediate, irrational, subconscious response that you are creating.
There’s a million versions of this quote, but the internets shared this version with me so it must be fo’ realz…
“A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.” — J.P. Morgan.
And since the internets tells me that some dead old rich white guy said it, it’s probably true…
This resonates and is repeated often because it does speak to a truth about how we make decisions.
And while we may reluctantly recognize it in ourselves, we hide from the truth because we think it’s a flaw of our own ability to comprehend, and we believe that other people must just have better brains and we’re broken.
So we assume everybody else is wholly rational. And we’re the only ones who are an emotional mess that justifies our questionable emotional decisions with some invented rationality.
(Are you following me? Because this is really important stuff!)
We are a hot mess — and so is everyone else…
We make spur-of-the-moment, under-considered emotional decisions. Even when we realize we’re wrong, we fight for them and come up with a perfect argument to justify them.
(If you’ve been in a relationship long enough, maybe you’re happy to point out this in your partner, but you’re woefully stubborn at realizing you need to look at the man or woman in the mirror.)
This is important because this is exactly what’s going on with your prospects.
You want to persuade someone? Influence them? Get them to take action?
You need to get them to make an emotional decision in your favor — and then back it up with logic!
But really, even though that’s what’s sometimes taught…
It’s not even the whole truth — and it’s showing up late to the party!
If you’re trying to get someone to make an emotional decision in your favor…
That presumes they’ve even agreed to listen to you in the first place.
It presumes you have and are holding their attention, even for a few fleeting seconds.
It presumes, in fact, that they haven’t rejected you out of hand already.
We are all MASTERS at rejection — and that’s your first obstacle…
Let me throw three crazy numbers out there for you.
35,000. That’s the number semi-conscious decisions an adult makes every day. That’s roughly a decision every two and a half seconds. Little things. What food to take a bite of next. How to respond to that last question you were asked. Whether you need to get up to go to the bathroom now, or if you can read another email first. And so on.
But we’re just getting started.
2.3 million. That’s roughly the number of pieces of information your conscious mind processes in a day (assuming 16 hours of waking time). Every letter of this sentence, for example. As well as the color of the font, and the backdrop. 40 pieces of information every second.
And yet, it gets more astounding…
11 million — no, wait — 950 BILLION. The 11 million is how many pieces of information you subconscious mind is processing every second. And the 950 billion represents that number through a single 24-hour period.
Your rational mind can influence what you pay attention to and process consciously. But there is 413,000 times as much information your mind is processing subconsciously as anything that ever hits your conscious awareness.
And here’s the thing…
Your subconscious is where most rejection begins…
The three triggers for rejection — at a subconscious level…
This particular listing came from the book Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff. It’s based on much more research and history, repackaged nicely in that book.
These are the reasons your hyper-aware and always-active subconscious rejects things, before your conscious mind ever gets involved…
- It’s boring, uninteresting, not novel — so it gets ignored.
- It’s dangerous or a threat to my current existence — attack it to neutralize the threat, or escape.
- It’s too complicated to understand and thus may be a threat — get a really rough bullet-point summary and pass to the conscious mind for processing.
With any of these, you MIGHT get through with a complicated message — IF they’re significantly motivated by something else, such as liking you as a person.
But in most cases, THESE are the primary factors we use to reject things. The extreme majority of the 950 billion pieces of information our subconscious is taking in every day.
And these are also the primary factors your prospects are using to reject you.
How to counter them?
Well, my time is already running long…
But here’s a hint: go down the list.
Don’t be boring — be interesting, new, and exciting.
Neutralize any sense of threat you may pose — help them understand with the first impression that you’re there to serve their best interests.
KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID (the K.I.S.S. principle). Speak in simple, clear language, that’s eminently understandable.
Then, if your message is good, you have a hope of getting to the rational brain and not getting rejected there.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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