Status Quo Bias

Imagine this:

You’re the newest marketer at a business. Your first task is to organize a weekly webinar that’s meant to educate your customers and promote your product.

When you’re given the login to the existing webinar platform, you realize that the experience is terrible for the audience members and your team.

  • It doesn’t support mobile attendees
  • The event doesn’t appear in the attendee’s calendar
  • You have to manually email every attendee the join link

In other words, the current solution is a piece of junk.

You do some research on webinar platforms that are comparable in price and present the suggestion to your boss.

The answer: “Let’s just stick to using what we’ve got for now.

In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re taking a look at Status Quo – why change is more complex than we hoped.

Let’s get into it.

 

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The Psychology of Status Quo 🧠

There are two major cognitive biases at play when observing the status quo:

  1. Loss Aversion – Losses loom larger than gains
  2. Exposure – Familiarity leads to preference, not annoyance

Familiarity and stability are two very powerful psychological anchors that keep people from diverting from the status quo. 

Your boss may want to keep the inferior webinar platform for reasons beyond performance: because they’re familiar with the controls, the process, and the audience that shows up.

Their desire to stick with the current solution likely has nothing to do with performance or features. 

(Share this idea on Twitter)

So how do we get people to break the status quo?

Inside Your Buyer’s Mind🧐

As much as we try to embrace the new, humans are negatively biased towards change. 

As your buyer reflects on their decision, their mind will focus on what they stand to lose more than the opportunity for gains.

In the webinar example, you know that a better user experience will help increase the number of attendees, and therefore generate more marketing qualified leads for the sales team. In other words, this upgrade will lead to more revenue. 

But the buyer (your boss) fears that the number of participants will go down, they’ll lose their archive of webinars, or they’ll need to allocate more time towards preparing for the webinar.

These perceived losses have a much greater impact on the decision-making process than the possible upside.

How To Apply This 🤑

Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?

Have solutions to objections

Your customer is already listing potential downsides in their mind as they consider your product. Help them de-risk the decision by cushioning those objections with simple solutions. Ex. “I don’t want to lose my email list” -> “One-click export of email list”

Make decisions reversible

Offer the ability to reverse a decision if they aren’t satisfied. Money-back guarantees and free demos are a simple way to allow your buyer to experience the upside with virtually no downside. 

Understand the Job To Be Done

Not all problems require immediate attention. Find burning problems your customer is experiencing using customer research and uncover what Job they require your solution to fulfill. 

The Short of It 💥

Change is a loaded word. While many might say they want it, what they really want is to mitigate the downside of their decisions.

Interview your customers to understand their objections and create simple solutions for them. Offer reversible decisions when possible.

Until next time, happy selling!

 

Pssssttt…

 

Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?

There are a few ways I can help:

  1. Get explosive clarity about what works with buyers by learning how to conduct 1:1 Clarity Calls (2000+ happy students)
  2. *NEW* Learn how to mine online reviews from real buyers to generate ideas and copy that converts (250+ happy students)
  3. Book a 1:1 strategy call with Katelyn and get the answers you need to get unstuck and move forward with confidence

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Written By Katelyn

Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO of Customer Camp, a 4X founder, and a cheese lover. She lives by a simple mantra: whoever gets closer to the customer wins.

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