Learn the exact things that you need to know and where you need to meet your customers to ensure that they can move closer to you without making the mistakes of pushing them further away and digging their heels in making you double, triple, or quadruple your efforts, money and time spent by just not simply standing where they are.
Welcome back to another episode of the MInd of George podcasts. I am so excited about today’s episode. So if you’re listening to this, what I’m holding in my hand is one of my all time favorite books. This book is called the catalyst by Jonah Berger. How to change anyone’s mind and I can ask all the time, like George, what books do you recommend? And people assume I read hundreds of books. The truth is I don’t. I find one book or three books or five books that make an impact and I read them over and over and over again.
Until I implement every part of that book to put it into practice and there are some books that I highly recommend that are non negotiables when it comes to business. And in that vein, they are the entire Jonah Berger catalog. And really the book that probably that catapult in my career and gave me a job and gave me success was the book contagious, which was his book on why things catch on. And I absolutely love that book.
Everybody needs to read it a hundred times and his new book, the catalysts that came out in March of 2020, I was lucky enough to receive some advanced copies. And I’ve already read this book twice and I’m going through it on my third rung.
And I was reading a section the other day and. It stuck out to me like a sore thumb, given the current state of the world, the current state of marketing realize that this one particular section, breaks down exactly what every single business owner, whatever single entrepreneur, what every single person in the world needs to understand in order to be successful. Because at the end of the day, we’re in relationships with people. And if we have a business, a product, a service, our job is to meet people where they are. And then enroll them into coming over to where we are because people will be living their life and they might realize, Oh, I want to work out or I want to eat different. I want a different life or a different business, but there isn’t a big enough of a catalyst to get them to shift.
Good,is okay for most people and that’s why they avoid great. And so then what’ll happen is we spend a lot of time. You’ll see this traditional marketing across the world, trying to convince you right, convince you. It’s going to be better when you drive this car, you’ll be able to drink this beer and have this lady/ when you work out like this, you’re going to be able to look like this person who works out 17 times a day and take steroids, but we’re going to lie to you, right? It’s a whole lot of convincing versus enrollment.
And one of the biggest mistakes about marketing that I talk about all the time is when you are in the game of convincing people versus enrolling them, you push them further away. And everybody calls bullshit on me all the time. But the truth is, is that you have to understand why this works. And so I’m going to cover this, but I highly recommend that everybody picks up a copy of the catalyst by Jonah Berger.
And it’s particularly, there’s a section in there in the distance chapter about people’s zone of acceptance and region of rejection. And so if somebody is in their life and they come across an ad of yours or a video of yours or a piece of content of yours and it triggers their attention, right, it’s a pattern interrupt and they’re interested. If they are interested. And what you say falls in their zone of acceptance. Like it’s not too far out of a belief or too far fetched for them to believe it, then they can accept the idea and explore its possibility. But if it falls out of that zone of acceptance in the zone of rejection, then it actually pushes them further away.
And this is why marketing messages don’t work as a shock going across the board because everybody is in a different state of mind in a different state of their journey. And so in Jonah’s book, the catalyst let me just read the back of this to you. Getting people to do change their mind often seems tough if not impossible, but could there be a better way everyone has something. They want to change. Marketers want to change their customer’s mind and leaders want to change organizations. Startups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world, but change is hard. We encourage push pressure and cajole, but often more often than not nothing budges. The catalyst takes a revolutionary approach to changing minds and organizations successful change agents know that it’s not about being more persuasive or providing more information. It’s about taking a different tack instead of pushing harder. It’s about doing the opposite, removing roadblocks and reducing barriers to change. Instead of asking what could I do to try to convince someone they asked why haven’t they changed already and what is stopping them?
And so this one particular part in this book stood out to me today, and I want to share it with you and give my thoughts on it.
So the part I’m talking about in Jonah’s book that catalyst it’s broken up into five phases of getting or having the ability to change somebody’s mind. So the first stage is reactants. The second stage is endowment. The third stage is distance. The fourth stage is uncertainty, and then the fifth stage is corroborating evidence.
I always struggle to say the word corroborating evidence. And so inside of the distance section, which I said, I highly recommend you get this book inside of the distance section. I’m going to read you through and give you my cliff notes version of the section on confirmation bias, because this is probably one of the most detailed and powerful when it comes to marketing and also the simplest to implement when you understand. And once you understand it, it’s really a very different game when it comes to playing this game..
So the confirmation bias. When trying to change minds, we often want big change right away. We want a big raise. Now we want to tractors to immediately become supporters. We think that if we just give people enough information, they’ll come around. If we just share more evidence list, more reasons or put together either the right deck, people will switch. But just as often, this blows up in our faces rather than shifting perspectives, people dig in their heels rather than changing they become even more convinced. They’re right. That is the definition of a customer journey right there.
I want to say this again, and we think that if we give people enough info, they’ll come around. If we share more. List more reasons or convince them more they’ll switch. But this just as often blows up or faces rather than shifting people, digging their heels, rather than changing, they become even more convinced that they’re right where they are. And this is called reactants.
Reactants is one reason when people feel like someone is trying to convince them their guard goes up, they counter argue against the persuasion. But even when there is no attempt to persuade, sometimes even just providing information backfires. And the region of rejection explains why people have a range or zone around their beliefs, that they are willing to consider staunch conservatives, oppose government spending and regulation.
Tell them about a bill to eliminate deficit spending or protect free markets and they’ll probably support it, but go beyond that zone to things like raising the debt ceiling or providing universal healthcare and it backfires the further, the further afield the message, the less likely they’ll listen. And the more likely please we’ll push them in the opposite direction because the region of rejection not only impacts change. It shapes how people perceive and react to information, people, search for interpret and favor information in a way that confirms or supports their existing beliefs.
Let me say this again. I talk about how important it is to understand your customer and speak to them where they are because people search for interpret and favor information in a way that confirms or supports their existing beliefs.
So there was a study in this one. So after watching a football game between Princeton and Dartmouth, for example, students from each university were asked several followup questions. It was a rough game and mental many penalties were called on both teams. Princeton star tail back got a broken nose and a mild concussion darkness. Quarterback had his leg broken after being tackled in the backfield. Princeton ended up winning, but tempers flared on both sides and they were heated discussions about who was at fault.
How fans saw the game though depended entirely on which side they supported. Princeton students thought Dartmouth started the rough play and committed twice as mental penalties. Dartmouth students thought both sides had been rough and that Princeton had caused more penalties. Exact same game, two very different perspectives. These biases even shaped, whether people believe seemingly objective things like scientific research. Professors at Stanford university gave people information about two studies that examined the efficacy of the death penalty. One study whose finding suggested the death penalty worked as a deterrent compared murder rates the year before and after the adoption of capital punishment in 14 States, it found that in 11 of the 14 States murder rates were lower after adoption of the death penalty.
The other study who’s finding suggested the death penalty was not a deterrent compared murder rates in 10 pairs of neighboring States with different capital punishment laws. It found that an eight of the 10 payers, it found murder rates were higher in the state with capital punishment. In addition to the study results participants were giving formation about how the research was conducted procedural details about the methods. And so on then participants were asked how convincing they found the study and about the quality of the research whether each study was well done or poorly conducted. Well, it makes sense that one team’s loyalties might affect how they see a game. One would hope responses to scientific research would be more objective, particularly in such an important domain. Like the death penalty where lives are on the line, but it turned out that how people perceive these seemingly objective scientific results depended entirely on their position in the field. People who supported the death penalty thought this study, we suggested it was an effective deterrent, was more convincing.
Death penalty opponents thought the exact opposite, the same held for how well they thought the studies had been done. People who supported the death penalty thought the study suggested it was an effective deterrent was well thought out and seemed to have gathered data properly. Opponents argued that the abundance given is relatively meaningless without data about how the overall crime went up in those years for the study that found the death penalty ineffective, the perspectives were reversed.
Well, death penalty opponent said things like using neighboring States helps to make the experience more accurate because they are similar locations. Supporters said things like there might be very different circumstances between the sets of two States, even though they were sharing a border. Even seemingly objective faxed hinged on the preexisting beliefs of the people interpreting those facts.
People’s decision to accept the findings or search for flaws depended less on the specific procedures employed and more on whether it’s results aligned with their existing beliefs. Let me say that again. People’s decision to accept the findings or search for flaws depended less on the specific procedures employed and more on whether it’s results lined with their existing beliefs.
No wonder one person’s truth is another’s fake news. Whether information seems true or false, depends on one’s position on the field rather than uniting opposing sides, exposure to evidence sometimes just widens the gap, the tendency to look for and process information in a way that confirms one’s existing viewpoint has been called the confirmation bias.
And no one is immune confirmation bias shapes the treatments, doctors, prescribed decisions, jurors make and strategies, investors follow. It drives what actions leaders take, research scientists pursue and feedback employees internalize. As psycholog as psychologist, Thomas Gillvic noted when examining evidence relevant to a given belief, people are inclined to see what they expect to see and conclude what they expect to conclude for desired conclusions. We ask ourselves, can I believe this? But for unpalatable conclusions, we ask must I believe this. These biases make changing minds all the more difficult, not only do people have to be willing to change. They have to be willing to listen to information that might open them up to possibility.
When ideas or information comes in, people compare it to their existing view. They consider and weigh it to understand it, how it fits in with their existing beliefs. If it falls within the zone of acceptance, it gets the seal of approval. It’s marked as trustworthy, safe and dependable. And it shifts people in that direction.
But if the ideas or information falls in the region of rejection, it faces deeper scrutiny. It seems as unreliable, antidotal and erroneous, or even worse, ignored, completely and shifts attitudes in the opposite direction.
So how can we combat these biases? How can we avoid that region of rejection and encourage people to actually consider what we have to say? There are three ways to mitigate the distance barrier. And number one is to find the movable middle number two is to ask for less. And number three is to switch the field to find an unsticking point.
So that section on confirmation bias completely changed the way in which I was able to explain certain things and feel about certain things. But the truth is we talk a lot about our business, our marketing, our messaging, our congruency, and I always talk about how our job is to get people to thereafter state. But you have to meet them in their before state. And the marketing that loses is the marketing that’s speaking to the after state, because if you’re speaking to the after state, there are so many people who believe that it’s not possible to do email marketing the right way, or to lose 10 pounds or to eat a certain way, or to look a certain way or to work out a certain way. And we continue to give them the view or the messaging or the copy. About the after state thinking, it’s going to motivate them or move them.
But really what it’s doing is pushing them further away because it’s not in that zone of acceptance. It’s in that zone of rejection. It is too far gone or too far away. In their body and their brain and their being in whatever it is that they’re measuring it against to be acceptable. So the moment that information comes in, it actually does the opposite and it pushes our customers further away. And this is what I talk about all the time. This is where it’s important to know your brand, to know your message, to know your avatar and to know where they are because if you think your avatar is somebody who only got five pounds to lose, and you’re talking about, we can lose that last five and 10 minutes or a day in a week, right. But your avatar has to lose 15 pounds, every time you say that,not only did they don’t feel seen, heard, or respected? They’re like, Aw, I wish I only had to lose five, but start now. This is only for people. Who’s five. I have to lose 15 and it ends up pushing people further away and closing them down.
And so the point of this, if you really, really think about this on our captains assessment sheet, when we talk about the depth of understanding our avatar, we talk about the rocks, the reefs, the Shoals, right? Or their internal beliefs, their external beliefs and their paradigm beliefs. What we’re trying to find is where they live in the world. So what we’re trying to figure out is what’s their position on a field. And so if you can envision a football field and we are on one end zone, And they’re our teammate, but you know, we want to get them to ours, but they’re all the way on the other.
We have to figure out where on the field they are. There’s a potential that they’re all the way back in the other end zone and they have a hundred yards to go. Which means if you visualize this, if I’m talking to them in that end zone from my, and I’m like, you can get over here. They’re like, that’s a hundred yards it’s too far, but come out of my end zone and come to their 20 yard line. I fall into their zone of acceptance. And so let’s say the entire football field is losing a hundred pounds or writing a hundred emails or scheduling out social content for a hundred days or making your first hundred leads or making your first a hundred clients sales, whatever it is, right.
If somebody all the way to the left in that end zone. And I’m like, I’m going to teach you today, how to lose a hundred pounds. There’s no way but there’s zone of acceptance. They might feel motivated or inspired to lose five. So I can come out of my end zone to the five yard line and meet them there, get them to five and then get them to 10 and get them to 20 and bring them all the way there.
And then obviously the closer they go down the field to my end zone. The scale starts to tip in my favor. So once they hit that 50 yard line, they’re in momentum and they’re more way there than not. And so I don’t maybe have to break it down into five pound chunks or 10 pound tracks. I’m like, Hey, you’re doing it, there’s only 50 pounds off. You’re crushing.
And just like, if somebody’s like, I want to be an entrepreneur or I want to take my business from retail to digital for the first time. If they’re like, how do I do? And I’m like, okay, so today we’re going to get your first thousand emails. They’re like, what’s an email. How am I going to do that? That’s going to drive them absolutely bonkers and not even know, but my five yard line might be starting an email list and importing their existing customers so they can send their first email.
And so what you need to understand in the captain’s assessment, the stuff that we teach it in your avatar is you’re collecting all of this data to figure out where your customers are on the field or in my experience. And I said, the ocean. How many buoys away are they from your business and your content strategy, your social media strategy should be to meet them where they are and incrementally move them closer to you by having them, like I said, in the book and Jonah covers this. The three ways to mitigate the distance barrier are to find the movable middle, you get into their zone. number two, ask for less. Don’t tell them to lose a hundred pounds, ask them to lose five pounds and switch the field to find an unsticking point. And I mean, to give you an example, but I highly recommend you go read that chapter, but to to switch the field to find an unsticking point.
So you might be working with a client that wants to lose a hundred pounds. And every time they try quit because they just can’t do it. They have a bad belief system around it, but maybe if you eliminate the ability to talk about weight, but they really love nature and they love being outside and he loves solitude. You say, I don’t care about your weight. All we’re going to do is walk for 15 minutes every morning. You down for that. And they’re excited about it, right? Because they are not passionate about losing weight. They’re not passionate about counting calories or calorie restriction or doing cardio, but they are super passionate about being in nature, walking and having solitude. And so that would be the movable middle, where we know a byproduct of that is going to be weight, loss and health, but it’s not where it is. We have to meet them where they are and then get them into momentum. And so that’s one of the, one of the examples of how you switch the field to find it on sticking point.
And so as you go about your day today, think about your business. When you think about everything that you have out there, what you need to be asking yourselves, it’s like, okay, we know our customers, and I think most of you do know your customers, but now you have to think about now that we know our customers and where they are, where is that zone of acceptance in their life?
Like, where does our marketing message have to land? Where does our content have to land even better? If we have an avatar and we love them. And that influencer is that influencer so far out of their zone of acceptance, that it’s going to hurt our business versus help. And this happens all the time. Everyone’s like, yeah, I have, you know, a thousand people that want to lose, you know, 30 pounds of helping them get fit and healthy. And then you bring in a fitness celebrity, that’s got like a 12 pack. That literally looks like in wash clothes in their abs and do whatever they looked like they were chiseled out of a Greek gods statue, whether male or female, and like, yeah, this is going to motivate them.
I want that influencer where the million followers and you go spend an exorbitant amount of money, which is absolutely stupid. And then that influencer comes, creates content does a shout out and your engagement goes down because that is so far out of the zone of acceptance for your avatar. That they can’t even picture it and it pushes you farther away, but you jumped down and use a micro-influencer, that’s documenting their journey and playing it a little bit differently. And then they fall into that zone of acceptance. You’re going to motivate your people and pull them closer to their goal and achieving their goal.
And so I just want you to think about this. So I wanted to share this because it’s super prevalent in the world and our marketing message with our teams. I’ll give you another example on how you can apply this to your business. Let’s say you’re having a conversation and maybe you are a business partner and you believe things to be one way and your partner believes them to be another way, but no matter what you have to move forward. Well, you have to do the same thing. You have to find the movable middle. You have to get them, ask them for less than get them involved and enrolled and then switch the field to find an unsticking point.
Let’s talk about email marketing,.You can be like, yeah, we need to spend 25 grand on email marketing to double our business. But your partner doesn’t think like that, right? They’re like, no. Maybe your partners and think about doubling or tripling, but maybe they do think about retention and assurance and safety. And then you can go the other side, like we have to do this to maintain customer loyalty, to maintain monthly recurring revenue, to keep the morale of our team and customers up because it creates consistency and predictability and all of a sudden that’s the movable middle for them, or that’s the field to find it on sticking point because they might not be driven by double or growth hacking or conversion rate optimization, but they might be driven by retention and values and culture. You’re going to accomplish the same thing and use the same tool, but it’s really finding that unsticking point and then getting there in that spot of zone of acceptance and moving people one step closer.
So highly recommend you read the book, the catalyst. I love the thoughts that this book provokes in my brain when it comes to marketing messaging and so there are five stages to changing anybody’s mind. They are reactants, endowment, distance uncertainty, and then corroborating evidence. And so go pick up a copy of the catalyst. But what I want to hear from you hit me up on Instagram, send me a DM on like, where you can apply this to your business. Like hit me up. My Instagram is It’sGeorgeBryant, but it’s all linked @ www.mindofgeorge.com, but hit me up, send me a DM, like where you can apply this. Like how are you going to adjust your marketing message? You even asked me a question about it. Because it’s the most prevalent thing that you can do. And then I want you to share this episode, share it with a friend, a colleague, one of your employees, whoever handle your marketing, your messaging, and let them listen to it.
So they can start thinking through the lens of like, wow. I can know my marketing all day. I can know their after state all day, but if I don’t get connected to my customer and figure out where we fall with our messaging, with our content or with our product or service in that zone of acceptance, we have absolutely zero chance of succeeding. And the only way to implement this is not something to do, and it’s not hard work. And it’s not something you study. It’s just a microsecond shift in changing how you think about it which will give you astronomically different results. So that’s all I got for today. I absolutely love you guys. All, there’s gotta be some updates coming to the podcast, which I’m super excited to share with you.
So I am starting to create some different content on the same show. So the shows are going to continue to be released on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday, we’re going to call Monday minutes and every episode is going to be less than five minutes. And I want you to listen to them on Monday mornings when they drop and it’s going to be a focus or a thought or a question or a quote or something that keeps us in this space of entrepreneurial growth and success and momentum and movement with accountability. And it’s going to be short. Tangible to the point. You can come back to it. You can listen to it. If I drop it on Monday and you get disconnected, you jump on a Wednesday, listen to it again.
And then Wednesday episodes are going to be like this. They’re going to be in that 10 to 25 to 30 minute range, tactical, tangible, strategic thought provoking, put this into practice, do this.
And then Fridays are going to be free for all Fridays, right? Our interviews with our best guests, we have a ton coming up with people that you love. I’m actually interviewing Steve Sims tomorrow. So that episode will be coming soon, absolute hoop, but those episodes are going to be documenting their stories and what they share with you in their gifts. And those are going to be the longer ones. So you have Fridays to hear it Saturdays and Sundays to digest. So you can listen to all of them. You can listen to one of them, but that’s what I got.
So any questions or ideas that you want me to cover on Monday minutes? Shoot me a message. Let me know any topics or tests, strategies, or tactics you want us to break down on Wednesdays, let us know. And then Fridays, any guests that you want, tell them about me, introduce me. I will interview them. We’ll get them on the show. I will answer questions with them. I will take your questions and ask them to them and we will get this going. And remember I have this one piece of advice for you. Make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast. Make sure you review the podcast, make sure you share it, but also make sure you consume it and then you put it into practice immediately. So like on Mondays, what’s my intention. My intention is to help you and entrepreneurs ethically build and scale their business, which means on Mondays. I only want to three minutes of your time and I want you to listen to it.
And then I want you to put it into practice immediately. And then on Wednesdays, if you do listen, or when you listen, take it, take one thing and put it into practice. Don’t worry about 10 things or a hundred things like even today, in today’s episode, oh my God. I covered a couple of things. Yeah. But maybe all that stuck out for you was, you know what. I really need to make sure I’m falling in that zone of acceptance for my customers this week. All I’m going to focus on finding that zone of acceptance of my customers, and that’s all you focus on.
And so whatever it lands for you, whatever you remember, whatever made you want to take that note or get you excited. That’s the thing that you want to remember and put it into practice. So this cast only works for you if you work it. And that’s, my goal is to give you tools for your toolbox that you can use. And so I want you to actually use them. So tell us about, comment on these on Instagram, tell us in the Facebook group tells us however you want to tell it, but I want you to listen, put it into practice and keep going.
So this is another episode of the mind of George show. I’m sure I’m going to record another outro, but until the next show, please remember that relationships always beat algorithms and I absolutely love you all.