I love learning about human nature. When I hear about research that reveals more about how you and I act and react, I just find it fascinating. And more to the point I think I become a better entrepreneur by understanding more about what motivates or demotivates us.
One time I was in a health club reading the New York Times, and there was a story reporting an experiment on a college campus. Participants had to show up at a certain time and take a survey. What the participants didn’t know was that they would be intercepted en route, engaged in conversation and asked to help someone juggling too many items. They would be asked to hold either a cup of water or a cup of hot coffee. Then they would go on their way to the survey and take a test measuring their emotional response to a situation. Here’s the thing: the participants who held the cup of coffee, just for a few seconds, consistently responded to the questions with WARMER emotional choices than the participants who unwittingly held the cup of water. Is that cool, or what? Or hot…
Entrepreneurs dream up their product/service, they put sweat and tears into creating it from scratch, and then put it out to the world. But how do some companies succeed at getting consumers to adopt their product and in some cases, change behavior, while others fail miserably? I think it starts with figuring out the vital behaviors of your customer.
The book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything reported this case: There’s a consistent stat that around 3000 people drown in public swimming pools every year….under the supervision of a lifeguard! How could this happen? It turns out that when you examine the activities of a lifeguard they typically:
– greeting members
– adjusting swim lanes
– picking up kickboards
– testing pool chemicals
So someone came up with something they called “10/10 scanning.” It means this:
-every 10 seconds the lifeguard has to scan her area of the pool
-the lifeguard has to be at the person going under within 10 seconds
Take a guess what the result was? Deaths dropped by TWO THIRDS!
Think about your customer. What are the vital behaviors they engage in? Now think about your own winning ways. What are the few things that are vital to your success?