Integrated Biased

We’re all biased, even those who allegedly are not.

We come by it innocently enough because our biases were taught to us. Some we picked up listening to our parents. Weaker minds are warped by politicians and pundits. Instincts are actionable biases learned through Darwinian selection. Brand marketing’s primary job is to teach bias to buyers and cause customers to favor one brand over others.

But then again, I’m a little biased on the subject.

Stripped of fluffy pseudo-psych speech, biasing is a Maslow tool, designed primarily to avoid risk and in more rare cases obtain self actualization or esteem.  Marketing’s job is to determine which direction (safety or self) will motivate buyers and then teach customers their newfound bias. Apple is masterful at instilling self-esteem bias in gadget buyers. IBM remains very good at selling safety bias to CIOs. Donald Trump is biased about his ego, and that manages to ooze out onto unwitting bystanders.

In complex B2B and technology sales, time is a factor in establishing bias. Since many business and technology products are abstract, people must have functional understanding of the product. As they get to know the product, they perform what I call “mental integration.” They visualize how a product can work in their environment, seeing the relationship between other products, administrators and end users.

They also have time to develop a relationship with salesmen and support people who, if they don’t flat screw-up, will amplify mental integration by demonstrating how your company’s support integrates into their environment.

psn-circle-w350Mental integration biasing becomes nearly unconquerable to competitors. Once a buyer develops any product or brand bias, the odds of reversing that become difficult or impossible. Getting to a customer first and rapidly teaching them what they need to know in order to develop mental integration creates a buy bias and a competitor block. Getting in first is an advantage, but is not enough. Sales enablement tools must teach the bias on a functional level, but also illustrate how integrations occur. Even a simple diagram of the relationship between components (machines, software, humans, bosses) can create mental integration. Take as a quick example the “patient centered circle” we devised for Public Social Networks. Reports from trade events showed that people immediately understood how PSN’s product established relationships between everyone involved in patient care at hospitals.

Well directed short videos do even better.

You have to teach bias, and when successful you speed and ease sales because buyers are predisposed to your brand. This will bias your sales people to buy you drinks at the next trade show.


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