What’s bias got to do with it?

Interesting people have opinions and beliefs that they they feel strongly about.

Let’s call these biases, especially when talking about theirs. Hehe.

Bias: A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.

What does this mean for you marketing a product you love?

1. Everyone doesn’t have the same biases you do. And they like their biases just as much as you like yours.

2. If you continue to try to force everyone to convert to your biases, the government might come out with a new Do Not Talk To Me Registry. Then what will we do? They’ll muzzle us all.

(The Do Not Call Registry has 120 million Americans signed up in the US. The deafening message from American consumers to marketers: “We don’t want to be bothered with your stuff – we didn’t ask for it and don’t want it.”(!)

3. Ask first for people who are biased the same way you are, or who are open to new information if they have no opinion yet. (First group gets you an instant relationship, by virtue of your shared biases. And sometimes you can enlighten someone who’s mind is open. But don’t mess with those biased against – then you’re in the therapy zone.)

Example #1: Say a gal markets nutritional supplements because SHE loves them, and she’s had great results: she’s not dragging around like she used to.

Of course, like the gal said on the call yesterday, now she wants to save the tired people of the world.

Problem: They didn’t ask for her to come save them, did they?

We are, despite our own beliefs and biases for our product, an uninvited guest.

Here’s how to get an invitation from those who are like you:

Begin by asking for people with the same biases as you.

Here are two biases from two different people: Which is going to be more fun for you to talk to (unless you like to argue instead of get a customer):

A. “I believe that prescription medications are probably best.

B. “I know that nutritional supplements are necessary because the food doesn’t have enough nutrients anymore.”

Can you let go of A? (unless you prefer doing therapy, but don’t expect gratitude.)

Example 2. Suzanne markets earth-friendly, non-toxic household cleaners, which she uses. Which person seems to have her bias?

“I think the traditional cleaners really work best, and I don’t think those big companies would put toxins and chemicals in them that would harm us. The Government wouldn’t let them.”

“I worried for years that my regular cleaning products were making me sneeze and my kids get sniffles and breathing problems. So I’ve always been on the lookout for alternatives.”

So what’s bias got to do with it? Uhh, everything.

Oh, and in case you think YOUR views are just common sense, not biases, sorry to disappoint:

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
– Albert Einstein

About the author

Kim Klaver

1 Comment

  • In the ancient game of Lawn Bowls (as played by Sir Francis Drake before he defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588), the bowls are weighted in such a way that they will always turn in the same direction.

    However, it is possible to alter the bias so that they turn in the opposite direction.

    So it is with people.

    People reach decisions based on the best possible information available at the time. They can, and do, change their opinion in the face of new evidence.

    So, how do you achieve this?

    By producing third party evidence (by definition you and your company are biased) and/or giving away FREE product. Non-believers who change their opinions are often your best ambassadors. (There is nobody so self-righteous as a convert.)

    Using Kim’s own statistics, less than one person in ten is going to embrace your product with open arms, therefore you need some sort of strategy for the other nine.

    All this being said, there is one major caveat, if you get any sense whatsoever that you are not dealing with bias but with deep entrenched beliefs; then for the sake of your own sanity, run for your life.

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