Confirmation Bias

Imagine this …

A friend from high school messages you on Facebook out of the blue.

You’re excited to hear from her, but it’s been 10 years since you last talked so you’re a little surprised. 

After a few messages back and forth, she reveals her real reason for reaching out: she’s selling some kind of Keto tea.

“I tried everything to lose weight and nothing worked for me,” she says. “But the keto diet is amazing. I’ve lost 30 pounds already and these teas make it so much easier!”

While you’re a little annoyed that she only messaged you to try to sell you something, you’re also intrigued. You gained a few pounds during lockdown that you’d like to shed. It seems like everyone is talking about keto lately, so you figure there must be a reason.

You click through to your friend’s Facebook profile and scan her photos. She’s not lying. She’s lost a ton of weight—you barely recognize her. 

Then you do a quick Google search. You type in, “Why the keto diet is so awesome” and read the first article listed. It breaks down the science behind keto and includes success stories from real people. 

This article reinforces what you’d already hoped to hear—keto works.

You return to Facebook and there’s a new message from your friend. 

She says, “No pressure, but do you want more info about the keto tea?”

What do you do?

In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re exploring Confirmation Bias – why we seek out information that confirms what we want to believe.

Let’s get into it.


The Psychology of Confirmation Bias 🧠

Confirmation bias is the tendency to favour information that confirms our existing beliefs or attitudes. In short, we often hear what we want to hear. 

Our desire to confirm that we’re right is often so strong that even when presented with new information that contradicts our beliefs, we often dismiss it or search for evidence that it’s incorrect. Social media can exacerbate this problem since algorithms are trained to show us more posts from people who think like we do, which can warp our sense of reality.

Inside Your Buyer’s Mind 🧐

Your buyer wants to be right. They may not realize it, but they subconsciously seek out information that validates their existing beliefs or supports the choices they already want to make. 

Being right makes buyers feel good about themselves. It feeds their ego and those feel-good vibes can easily be transferred to individuals or brands that share their beliefs. 

Why should you care about confirmation bias? Because it’s much easier to sell to someone who already believes what you believe than it is to change their mind.

The opposite is also true. If adopting your solution requires a prospective buyer to challenge a long-held belief… get ready for pushback. When our beliefs are entwined with our personal identity, changing our mind means changing our identity. That’s a really hard sell.

Many people would rather miss out on potential benefits than admit they were wrong.

How To Apply This 🤑

Find your believers: People are likely already searching for information that supports their worldview in a way that’s relevant to you. Find out who your champions are, what they believe, and who they trust for information so you can figure out how to get in front of them sooner. Arm them with any information they may need to help other decision-makers become believers too.

Validate their buying decision: Use facts, data, and success stories to make people feel confident in their buying decision. This should continue even after they’ve bought. Use thank-you pages, post-purchase emails, and customer marketing to reinforce to buyers that choosing your solution is a smart choice.

Give naysayers ‘an out’: If you’re trying to convince a prospect to change their worldview, bombarding them with facts rarely helps. As this article explains, there’s a better way: give them an out.

Rather than telling them that their current solution is wrong, show them how the world has changed. Now that new information or a new solution is available, they can change their approach without bruising their ego.

The Short of It 💥

People like being right. Being right makes us feel good about ourselves and, by association, makes us feel good about the brands that reinforce our perspective.

It’s much easier to sell to people who share your worldview than it is to convince them to change their perspective. That said, you can help buyers to update their beliefs by giving them an out.

Written By Hanna

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Wanna get inside your buyer’s head? Join our newsletter and get one buyer psychology tip delivered to your inbox each week. It’s like a 2-min workout for your brain.

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If you can figure out what makes people tick, click and buy, you can make big $$$. We're working on a new research certification program. Want first dibs when we launch it? Hop on the waitlist.

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