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Ignorance Keeps Most People from Being Willing to Buy from You

Jan 20, 2008
Many potential beneficiaries and customers are ignoring you because they don't know enough about you to consider what you offer. Busy lives and schedules allow relatively little time for searching out better alternatives -- except when it seems there is no choice but to do so.

You, like your potential customers and beneficiaries, know relatively little about the businesses and benefit organizations in your immediate vicinity. If you doubt that, make a list that details everything you know about every such organization you can think of within a 5-mile radius of your house. Then go for a drive and notice how many organizations you didn't even remember to put on your list.

Let's consider some of the most common causes of such harmful ignorance. The barriers to knowledge include how our brains work, the psychology of being too easily satisfied, challenges with finding useful information, and a misguided understanding of what needs to be learned. When you overcome these barriers, you can quickly find yourself becoming aware of and employing vastly more advantageous choices.

Your Reticular Activating System creates tunnel vision. The tendency to exclude options is enhanced by the way our brains focus on only a small percentage of what we see around us, a function of the Reticular Activating System. That mental process assures that our conscious minds focus on only what we are looking for.

Tell some people not to think about green, and all they will notice is green. In a famous experiment, researchers put together a brief film of teens passing basketballs. Before the film starts, viewers are asked to identify how many passes occur. People diligently count. Despite paying attention, less than half find the right answer.

Next, researchers ask if anyone noticed anything unusual. Around a third of the people will comment that someone dressed in a gorilla suit walked through the basketball players. The rest don't remember seeing a gorilla suit at all.

I was most impressed when I recently recreated that experience and found myself with the wrong number of passes and having missed the gorilla suit -- despite knowing about the film and the experiment before watching.

As a result, someone might literally drive by your place of operation every day for years and never notice that your establishment is there. This lack of awareness is especially likely to occur whenever there's a distraction nearby that's of more interest.

In fact, it was drivers' focusing on reaching Mount Rushmore quickly that caused all but a handful of motorists to bypass the little town of Wall, South Dakota, where Wall Drug was based until the famous signs offering free ice water were added along the highway.

Even worse, our modest knowledge quickly weakens as the radius expands away from our residence and place of employment. And only a small percentage of people have been in more than a handful of the regions in their own part of the world.

How can you eliminate that ignorance?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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