Your Customers Don’t Value What You Think They Do

One week after starting my speaking business a dozen years ago, I met with the owner of a speaker’s bureau in London to discuss representation. In the meeting he expressed serious interest. So much so that a few days later he called me about a potential gig. The call came to my...

Blizzards and the Birth of the ATM

“Build it and they will come.” We hear that mantra a lot. But with innovation, it is often more like, “Solve a pain and they will come.” The ultimate success of the automated teller machine (ATM) is a great example of this. The other night I was having dinner with someone who in...

Persuasion and the Presidential Primaries

Although I rarely write about politics, the current Presidential campaigns are giving us some interesting examples of psychological manipulation. For example, this morning’s newspaper’s headline was, “(Obama) says Clinton’s attacks paved way for her big night.” It is believed...

Increase the Price – Increase the Pleasure

I wrote a blog entry entitled, “How to Lose a Sale By Charging Too Little.” In it I describe why charging too little reduces the perception of value. According to a recent Stanford Graduate School of Business study, there are biological reasons why price impacts...

Surveys Uncovers Surprising Results

Back in the 1980’s, executives used to joke that you would never get fired for buying “Big Blue” (IBM) computers. It’s not that IBM was the best, but you knew they would not screw up. When I worked for Accenture (then Andersen Consulting), the Economist once called us “The...

How One Word Can Change Your Beliefs

Once again we explore the power of language. This one was given to me by Michael Wiederman, Professor of Psychology at Columbia College. Imagine that you serve on the jury of an only-child custody case following a relatively messy divorce. The facts of the case are complicated by...

10½ Ways to Improve Your Life – By Losing

In two previous blog entries, (#1 and #2), I discussed the psychology behind risk taking. In particular, I explored why people take risks to minimize losses, yet play it safe when it comes to increasing gains. In this blog entry, I discuss a number of implications of this...

How to Leverage the Pain vs. Gain Mentality

In an earlier blog entry, I discuss the power of language. I want to explore this a bit further today. Here’s my variation of the “Asian disease problem” mentioned in that earlier blog entry: Which would you prefer? OPTION 1: A guaranteed gain of $75,000? OPTION...

How to Change Your Results by Changing Your Language

Which magazine do you think men are more likely to buy: a men’s health magazine with the cover, “Lose Your Gut Fast” or a similar magazine with the cover, “Get Six Pack Abs”? One study showed that over 80% of men chose the first cover – “Lose Your Gut Fast.” Why? People are more...