We believe that decisions are made based on data-backed facts and that the decision-making process is rational and logical. But what happens is fundamentally different. If you introduce data early in the sales cycle, it will create distrust and kill conversions on your website and digital marketing. This is caused by a strange psychological quirk of the human brain.

As a web and digital designer, I had to be very good at sales and marketing. Ultimately, my work is judged on how much traffic my website gets and how many sales it generates. loading speed. The challenge of the internet is that you have to move people into action without being able to see how they will react.To win that challenge you need to master practical psychology. .

For a long time, I believed that data was the ultimate trump card for customer acquisition. If something is empirically better, more efficient, or offers actionable insight, isn’t it always the best option someone would choose? .

Data is more challenging than stories and narratives.

The purpose of the data is to give clarity and provide an empirical way forward. Be as factual as possible to reveal the truth. I hope it changes someone’s perspective so that they think, act, or do something different. That means doing business with us.

What happens instead is shocking. People challenge the data, fill it with holes, ask more questions than before and walk away. Sales calls end with the frustrating “I have to think about it,” vague reasons, often with no specific follow-up questions. It hardly matters whether something is a fact, is empirically the best choice, or is backed up by numbers because it cannot be recognized as a fact if it goes against what you have experienced in life. . This is simply because humans are emotional creatures.

Another common mistake is to assume that the more analytical or data-driven someone is, the more effort they should put into presenting the data. Doing this is exponentially worse than presenting the data to someone who is not numerically driven. Because the more data-driven people you have, the more experience and context you have to challenge what you’re presenting.

Experience guides interpretation of data, and imagination builds trust.

The exact clarity that data can provide is exactly what data fails in sales and marketing. Because the answer has already been presented. Instead of creating scenarios in which they can all imagine how something could work, prospects leave their doubts by questioning all the reasons why it might not work based on their own biases from experience.

This is why narratives and stories work so well in persuasion, sales and marketing. A story allows a person to imagine “how” something works or is achieved. Number people do the hard work of figuring out how things work in your head. A non-analytical person is drawn into the story, understands it, and sees things in a different light. In both cases, it is the person who “sees” and hypothesizes how the pitch works, thus increasing the credibility of the pitching.

The paradox is that early in the sales process, stories create trust and data create suspicion.

The best time to use data is when prospects trust you and then justify your narrative.

The best time to use the data is after a major sales pitch, marketing collateral, or website opt-in. That is, after experiencing the narrative and emotional reasons why someone should do business with you. Importantly, data must be at least at a basic point of trust in order to be well received and accepted. is completely changed and its impact is amplified.

People choose to take the next step with you and your ideas based on their emotional connection to you. Data allows us to logically justify our decisions. For data to work effectively, trust and emotional connections must be established and followed by data. This happens because they are open to what you say and do not have a skeptical mindset to challenge your point of view.

The opinions expressed herein by Inc.com columnists are their own and not those of Inc.com.



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