Ace Your Job Interview and Land That Business Contract: Case Studies, Framing Effects, and Referrals (Part 2)

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Part 1 can be found here:

What words and phrases should we use when interviewing or creating a proposal?

Framing Effects:

Small changes in the description of a proposal or question can greatly influence human decision making.

If you can’t talk to a member of the organization beforehand, the due diligence performed while creating the Case Study will be particularly useful. You need insight into the goals and values of the company. You want to facilitate compliance and reduce resistance as much as possible.

The age old sales tactic of “Assuming the Sale” is effective because it employs framing effects.  Assuming the sale means using actions and words that assume a prospect’s compliance with your request.

For example, after an initial phone consultation with a prospective client, a good salesman would say:

“This was very productive, but we still have some more to discuss. Let’s talk again in person.  I can meet on either Wednesday or Thursday. Which works better for you?”

Instead of:

“I think we should talk again. Would you like to speak in person?”

Words, deployed with a purpose, are powerful persuasion tools.

Acting as though a customer is ready and willing to buy reduces friction in the sales process and instills confidence in both parties. Something as subtle as “Shall I put you down for two widgets or three?” instead of “Do you want to buy a widget?” can be the difference between a sale and disappointment.

Always emphasize how your strategy can minimize losses instead of maximize gains. Our fear of losing is significantly more powerful than the joy experienced from an equal quantity gain. Illustrating how one can avoid big losses to economic or physical standing are much more effective for influencing behavior than focusing on how one can win or gain an equal amount.

Conversely, you can steer someone away from a particular option by verbalizing the opportunity costs (benefits forfeited as a result of choosing one option over another) of that decision.

Framing effects play a pivotal role in how we choose between alternatives. Changing the wording and language of a request can greatly affect the responses received.

It can be the difference between landing a contract and being shown the door.

Referrals are another important tool for service businesses.  As soon as you finish working with a client, ask them to provide a referral for you. Reviews from past clients improve your odds of landing future ones.

The more referrals you can present to prospective clients, the more you’ll distinguish yourself from the competition. Have them send a few sentences detailing how you solved their problem. You can even offer to write a short review of your performance for them and have them sign off on it.

Make it easy for your customers to provide referrals.

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