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Psychological Biases: Loss Aversion in Sales Presentations

A negative response from defeat isn’t limited to real-life choices. They can also be present in business situations, including sales presentations.

If you’re stuck between the pain of losing and the fear of risking, then you’ll miss out bigger and greater opportunities ahead of you, like a new business venture, or a better career offer.

Never miss the boat on that new deal and business partnership. Let the psychological bias of loss aversion help you out in accepting losses to continually grow as a professional and achieve greater sales.

Defining ‘Loss Aversion’

People are reluctant to lose or give up something, even if it means gaining something better. Some play safe and avoid changes to protect their business from market loss or any disaster.

This phenomenon of escaping a losing position is known as loss aversion. First coined by researchers Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, it suggests that the desire of having something suddenly increases when someone takes it away. This means we tend to feel the pain of loss more than the pleasure of a comparable gain.

Even if losses are unforeseen, you shouldn’t let your fear of taking risks stop you from tasting the sweetness of success.

Why Use This in Presentations?

Marketing campaigns and promos are two examples that explain this cognitive bias. For example, people are more likely to go shopping when they see ads like “For limited time only” or “Sale ends soon.”

In this case, the fear of losing promotions make people act on their impulse and can influence their buying decisions.

Using this technique builds up your product’s worth, helping you achieve company gain.

How to Make Loss Aversion Your Ally

Losses translated into gains attract more sales conversions. To persuade your audience to invest in your idea, focus more on highlighting the benefits.

Position your offer as if ignoring it means a great loss for investors. Explain what it does and how it differs from your competitors—from its uses, to cost, and new experience it might bring.

If you’re selling an advanced cooking equipment, try saying something like: “You won’t save up to 3 hours of cooking time if you skip this offer, and stick with normal ovens.”

No matter what you sell, it’s always important to put earns on top of the losses. Frame your product benefits well for them to make decisions quickly.

Conclusion

Often times, the fear of loss impedes the desire to gain. It misleads you from reaching the road of growth and success.

But losses turned into gains are a different thing. Present in a way that customers will feel like they can’t afford to lose you.

Practice the power of loss aversion to create a sense of urgency and make your sales pitch sound more persuasive!

References

Kay, Magda. “How to Use Cognitive Biases for Effective Marketing.” Psychology for Marketers. n.d. Accessed November 26, 2015. http://psychologyformarketers.com/use-cognitive-biases-effective-marketing

“Loss Aversion.” Behavioural Finance. n.d. Accessed November 26, 2015. http://loss-aversion.behaviouralfinance.net

Pammi, C. & Srinivasan N. (2013). Decision Making: Neural and Behavioural Approaches. Elsevier.

Popolskis, Alon. “How to Persuasively Leverage Loss Aversion for Your Company’s Gain.” Business to Community. December 30, 2015. Accessed November 26, 2015. www.business2community.com/strategy/persuasively-leverage-loss-aversion-companys-gain-0725284#uxhqSgb1Gx3YmeDf.97

Snider, Emma. “How to Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better and Faster.” Hubspot Blogs. January 31, 2015. Accessed November 26, 2015. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/psychological-biases-sales

Featured Image: “Losses” by GotCredit on flickr.com

Psychological Biases: Overconfidence in Sales Presentations

We used to believe that too much of anything can be a bad thing; these include excessive sleeping, drinking, and eating. Beside these daily activities, there’s one human trait that can best explain the above mentioned adage: overconfidence.

Overconfidence is a self-delusion that may lead to disastrous situations and wrong decisions. For example, overconfident drivers and motorists who take great risks on the road are more prone to car accidents. Being overconfident, however, can also be a good thing.

According to a study, people who are proud of themselves are more likely to get rewards than those who are self-conscious. The research implies that delusional confidence isn’t absolutely a negative trait. In fact, it can help you reap better results at work and other aspects of life.

Here’s how psychological contexts discuss overconfidence and how it can make sales presentations more effective.

Defining the “Overconfidence Effect”

The overconfidence effect refers to a biased way of seeing oneself and placing too much faith in personal knowledge and opinions. It’s a cognitive bias in which people think they are better than their own characteristics, abilities, and judgement. This is a common phenomenon for entrepreneurs who are not afraid of making risky decisions when improving their chances to succeed.

Why Use Overconfidence in Presentations

Being overconfident during sales presentations may add value to your pitch and boost your professional image. It allows you to persuade the audience through confident postures, body language, and vocal tone. This appears to be a significant factor in making people see the huge potential of your proposal. It also allows you to realize your full capabilities.

As Anisa Shyti writes, the probability of succeeding in something depends on three things: how well you know the topic, how familiar you are with it, and how difficult you think it is. When you think that you’re stronger or smarter than you really are, you’re close to motivating yourself to perform better.

How to Make Overconfidence Your Ally

This psychological bias will only become your friend when your actual presentation performance equates to your promises. By this, we mean presenting with reasonable confidence and guaranteed accuracy. Self-belief and performance should meet halfway to come up with good results.

This is why you need to know your sales presentation by heart, from start to finish, to make your buoyancy a genuine one. Emphasizing your successful sales records and sharing client testimonials are some of the effective ways when justifying self-confidence. To boost your credibility and prevent damaging your self-worth, every information that you present must be 100% true.

Think You’re the Greatest

Even if overconfidence has gained a bad reputation in society, its psychological bias still presents many advantages. Our confidence influences a determined personality and attracts greater possibilities. A strong character allows you to show positive and convincing presentation cues, which can make your pitch more effective.

Take advantage of your self-worth to give your speech more charisma and power.

Featured Image:Consumer Confidence by Chris & Karen Highlandon flickr.com

Study Shows Simplicity is Key When Creating a PowerPoint Presentation

At what point is your PowerPoint taking away from what you have to say, ultimately doing more harm than good to your presentation? German psychologist Chrstof Wecker did a study on oral information retention when using a PowerPoint presentation, and his results were very interesting.

The study’s abstract states:

“The objective of this study was to test whether information presented on slides during presentations is retained at the expense of information presented only orally, and to investigate part of the conditions under which this effect occurs, and how it can be avoided.”

The study found that “regular” slides negatively affected how much of what the presenter said was retained by the test audience. This means the presenter would be better off using no PowerPoint at all if he or she wanted the audience to retain more of what was said during the presentation.

By SlideGenius
An example of a simple, effective PowerPoint slide by SlideGenius.

However, the study found that correctly done, concise slides were by far the best for maximum retention of information, both orally and visually. This is because the two complimented each other without overloading the audience’s ability to take in new information.

We’ve all heard this lesson many times before, but here is scientific evidence that you don’t want to overload your audience with cluttered slides, because the mind naturally prioritizes visual information over auditory information.

Another important lesson to take from this is to keep in mind that your PowerPoint presentation is there for your audience; it’s not your teleprompter. Many people will cram their slides with as much information as possible, and then use them as their talking points. This is detrimental to a presentation for a couple reasons.

 

First, while there isn’t likely to be much information lost since you’ll essentially be repeating everything on your PowerPoint slides, you’ll create a totally impersonal presentation. You’ll take away the need for a human being presenting the information, which obviously has the capacity to be more engaging than words on a page. You’ll also fail to make eye contact while you’re speaking if you’re constantly reading off your PowerPoint, which is sacrificing a great tool for drawing people in while you’re speaking.

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While simplicity and conciseness are hugely important when creating a visual aid to accompany you in a presentation, there are several other factors that come into play to guarantee that your presentation packs a punch. Professional PowerPoint designers and presentation specialists are vital in taking all these factors into account when creating your presentation in order to ensure your presentation is both easily retained and enthralling.

The Psychology of Color Use in PowerPoint Presentation

Do you know the difference between making a tie-dye shirt and a corporate presentation? Most people don’t seem to.

You wouldn’t go out in a red suit with green polka dots that has purple sparkles, yellow buttons, and shiny silver stars (unless you’re a clown at a birthday party, in which case…no judgment), so why dress your investor presentation like that? Color is like a magical potion, it can change our mood in a matter of seconds, without us even realizing it. While it’s a powerful tool to wield in your PowerPoint presentations, it’s important to utilize color correctly, because using the wrong colors will often leave your presentation worse off than if you had just left it in black and white.

We’ll divide our advice into two categories: how to contrast colors in a presentation, and how to choose the background colors for it.

Color Contrast:

-Avoid putting colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel on top one another (background and text) in any slide. This is particularly true for green and red, but the heavy contrast can have a straining effect on the eyes, making your audience grow tired from viewing your presentation.

Color Wheel by Excalibur
When choosing colors for your PowerPoint slide, it’s best not to layer colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel.

-15 to 25 percent of men have at least some mild color blindness, usually having trouble distinguishing between red and green, blue and black, or blue and purple. Avoid putting these colors too close to one another.

-Less is more: If you’ve established that you’re not making a tie-dye shirt, keep it simple and professional. Leave the creative endeavors to the professional presentation designers.

Color psychology:

Different colors carry specific connotations depending on the culture you find yourself in. For the sake of convenience, we’ll stick to western culture. The following colors can have a significant emotional impact when used as a background color:

Pink: Despite being a generally warm, pleasing color, it carries a connotation that denotes a lack or seriousness, and is generally regarded as unprofessional.

Red: This one’s tricky, and there is a bit of dispute over its practical use. It’s been shown to increase heart rate, which is often associated with agitation and restlessness, but it can also be associated with passion and desire. Use with caution, and avoid as a default background tone.

Blue: Typically regarded as a safe, calming color. However, because of this, it’s become so common in the business world that it’s now often regarded as unoriginal. Try blending different shades of blue and getting a little creative with it.

Green: Associated with financial success and interaction; usually a safe color for any business or presentation.

Black: Regarded as the most neutral of all colors, in regard to eliciting an emotional response. It also signifies finality, which can be useful in financial presentations.

While obtaining a rough understanding of color psychology will no doubt benefit you in your own PowerPoint presentations, it’s no match for the creative and graphic design expertise found with professional presentation designers.