Have you ever noticed how you get more sure of something the more time you put into it? Or more convinced that a purchase was worth the money after you’ve bought it – to the extent that you defend your decision to those who question it? A couple of Canadian psychologists (Knox and Inkster, 1968) [...]

Marketing is not a dirty word

I’ve been thinking about why marketing and salesmanship seems to have such a poor reputation among so many people. It tends to conjure up images of Bryl-cream-haired, shiny-suited arseholes trying to sell you a crappy used car. (And, granted, there are a few of those types around.)  Perhaps it’s because what we’re trying to do, [...]

Back to psychology: reciprocity. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours then ask you for another favour. This is why the Hare Krishnas are so bloody annoying. Have you ever seen them around, doing their thing with the orange robes and the dancing and the tambourines? Now, I don’t have patience with any religious [...]

Please read this blog because kittens

A social psychologist at Harvard, Ellen Langer, neatly demonstrated a form of human automatic action with a library-based experiment. It’s well-known that when we ask someone for a favour, we’ll be more successful if we give a reason. What’s less well-known is that reason can be anything: from the perfectly reasonable to the utterly ridiculous. [...]

Are you putting people to sleep?

Is there someone in your group of acquaintances who makes your heart sink whenever he gets you in his tractor beam? I bet there is.  We all know someone like that. Someone who may well be lovely, but they’re just so bloody dull, all you can think about is that big pile of laundry you’ve [...]

What business owners don’t know about price would fill a shelf-full of books. Me too, at first. It’s a steep learning curve, this running a business, isn’t it? This is a long blog post, so get yourself a cuppa and read it carefully. I reckon the ideas in here are among the most valuable in [...]

Once upon a time, there was a talented, yet frustrated business owner… Nah, I’m just kidding. You don’t need to start your stories like that. You could start them like I did in the subject line though: I bet you couldn't resist clicking, huh? Because you know there's a story in there and we're all [...]

A picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone says so. But is that really true in all cases everywhere? I’d say not in all cases. Not in advertising, anyway. Here’s why. Ads are expensive. Pictures in ads are very expensive because they take up a lot of space, space that could be used for selling [...]

Question: What’s the most difficult way to sell stuff? Answer: Directly off the page. Cold. As a stranger, with no lead in or romance. Why? Well, the answer is twofold. Firstly, they don’t know you from Adam, so why should they trust you? Why should they choose you over the many other options they probably [...]