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Once Satisfied, We Happily Drive Past the Competition Who Offers a Better Alternative

Jan 20, 2008
Naturally, most potential customers don't even know that the average business with a superior offering exists. Why? They aren't looking for that particular offering when they come into contact with that business. Or they don't realize they need such an offering.

I visited my mother recently and was shocked to see that she was badly stooped over. I told her that she needed a special kind of massage, rolfing, that would help stand straight. A local friend also gave her some tight body stockings that pulled her up straight. She didn't know about either alternative. She just thought that she had to be stooped over for the rest of her life.

Let's consider a more optimistic case. Assume that a potential customer or beneficiary is fully aware of an organization and what it does. What are the chances that an individual with such knowledge will actually buy or seek benefits from the organization?

Less than 15 percent of those with such good knowledge will bother to step inside the premises. Why? They don't think they need what the organization offers.

Here's an example: There are dozens of dry cleaners within a 5-mile radius of our home. Because business styles have emphasized more casual dress for a number of years, we don't often need dry cleaning.

All dry cleaners in our area have signs with price specials in their windows. The prices are all about the same.

Where do we take our dry cleaning? We go to the same dry cleaner we've been using for more than 20 years. They do good work, win awards, and are not any more expensive than anyone else. Why should we try out other dry cleaners?

But just a few months ago, we did try another dry cleaner. We needed some alterations made. Our dry cleaner's tailor was about to go on vacation and couldn't handle the job in time.

We walked 100 feet away to another dry cleaner whose tailor was on the premises, and the work was done on time and in a way that was indistinguishable from our cleaner's tailor.

We will remember that experience, and the second dry cleaner will probably be getting some of our business from time to time when the parking lot is full at our cleaner or their tailor is out.

Having found two perfectly acceptable dry cleaners with good tailors, there's not much chance that either of us will now go in search of a third choice. Our ignorance will continue about those other choices . . . until we need a third choice. Should a third choice be needed, a more convenient location will probably determine that selection.

How can you overcome this bias to be satisfied?
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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