Reframing – Learn How to Change Buyers’ Perceptions
- How does the language you use affect sales?
- Can how you say things drive your customers away?
When you go to a grocery store, you see a package of ground beef labeled “80% Fat Free.” Would you buy it? Most likely you will. However, if that package is labeled “20% Fat,” most likely you won’t buy it. “80% Fat Free” and “20% Fat” are identical, but they trigger different emotional responses, leading to different buying decisions.
The Framing Effect is another cognitive bias that affects people’s decision-making and emotions. How marketing and sales presentations use language influences customers’ perceptions. Getting the framing right requires an in-depth understanding of the Neuroscience of Sales and Marketing.
Life and Death Framing Study
In a landmark study, two groups of volunteers were presented with a scenario where a deadly disease affecting 600 people had two available treatments. The volunteers were asked to choose the best treatment. Treatment A was explained simply, while Treatment B was explained through percentages.
- Treatment A: Save 200 lives
- Treatment B: 33% chance of saving all 600; 66% chance of saving none
- Treatment A: 400 people will die
- Treatment B: 33% chance nobody will die; 66% chance all 600 will die
- Group 1: 72% chose Treatment A
- Group 2: 22% chose Treatment A
For each group, both treatments offer identical outcomes. When framed positively as saving lives or negatively as losing lives, people’s choices were influenced. Clearly, the framing language made the difference. The decisions were made based on emotional reactions, rather than careful reasoning.
Framing Affects Predictions and Attitudes
“Could you live on 80% of your income?” When a group of people were asked this question, most said yes. “Could you give up 20% of your income?” When another group of people were asked this question, most people said no. The only difference is in the framing of the question. A loss of income is viewed negatively, while keeping most income is seen more positively.
Irrelevant Framing Affects Choices
About 1% of the population has celiac disease, which is seriously aggravated by consuming food items containing gluten, a protein found in wheat flour and some other foods. Some others are also sensitive to gluten but less seriously. Books, articles, and social media have raised awareness of this, giving gluten a broadly negative reputation. “Gluten-Free” labels now appear on many products and menus to improve sales. Even plain bottled tea and meat, which never contain gluten, have been so labeled.
Apply the Neuroscience of Sales and Marketing
Does your marketing message project positive or negative outcomes? The Framing Effect is just one of the cognitive biases that influence people’s emotions. It interacts with other biases, like the outcome, anchoring, loss aversion and confirmation biases in complex and intricate ways. What you say is important. How you say it is even more important.
How buyers view what you have to say, and how that affects their emotional responses can make all the difference in their decisions. Since about 95% of all consumer decisions are based on emotions, rather than reason, it pays to take a second and third look at everything you do. When your sales and marketing are powered by Neuroscience and Neuromarketing, you can persuade your customers to buy.