Jul 26, 2019
Last week was the tribute to
NASA in honor of the 50 year anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first
steps on the moon. In that episode I told you about the space race,
the Cold War, and how that all boiled down into five tips your
business can learn and implement from the success NASA saw during
the 1960s. If you haven’t listened to it yet, give it a
Today, we are going to talk
about partitioning, which I mentioned briefly in episode 56 on
mental accounting. This is essentially about how the way things are
offered or packaged can either encourage or discourage additional
purchases and actions. I will let you know how this works both for
physical products and service businesses, and how you can use this
concept within your business.
- [04:09] Partitioning has shown
us that when you put tiny barriers into place, it causes a consumer
to consider their options and be presented with a new decision
- [04:46] If you are sitting in
front of the TV with a giant, party-sized bag of Cheetos in front
of you…how much will you eat? It's likely you will eat more than
you intend even if you don't realize it.
- [05:30] When food items are
partitioned into smaller containers, and you're required to take an
action like grab another one out of the box, it creates a new
decision point. The small transaction cost will drastically reduce
the number of people who will go get a second serving.
- [06:26] An experiment was done
with bottomless soup bowls. A group whose bowl kept refilling,
without them knowing it, ate 73% more.
- [07:55] Have you ever found
that putting less on your plate and having to go back for seconds
caused you to eat less?
- [09:10] Decision making
opportunities increase awareness and the amount of cognitive
- [10:31] One study found that
once something became common – like a white partition between
cookies – it no longer acted as a partitioning
- [11:52] It isn’t just effort
that matters, but drawing the attention of the conscious brain
really matters too.
- [13:03] Partitioning and
aversion impacts can also be seen in gambling.
- [13:49] A gambling study
featuring partitioned envelopes showed that once an envelope was
opened…all the coupons inside were likely going to be bet, but the
number of envelopes significantly impacted the total amount
- [15:50] Gamblers will think of
house money differently and keep cash or chips in different pockets
while playing. They have instilled their own method of
partitioning, even if they don’t realize it.
- [16:43] In another study,
people with a higher aversion to gambling were significantly
impacted by the partitions.
- [17:57] Partitioning money has
also been found to help people save more or spend less.
- [18:45] The Shopping Momentum
effect is where once you start the process of spending, you are
more likely to spend again until you hit a partition.
- [20:32] What does this mean for
your business? It's not only impactful on eating and spending, but
other behaviors are impacted. It doesn't need to be a physical item
that needs to be opened or unwrapped. Any cognitive interventions
can trigger partitioning.
- [22:11] Having an AC that shuts
off automatically and you have to walk over and turn back on is a
nudge to use less energy.
- [25:03] Anticipated regret can
force you to rethink a decision and possibly change your
- [26:56] Questioning the price
of a customer's purchase is a lose-lose situation where adding a
partition is worse for everyone involved.
- [27:08] It's easy to talk
people out of a sale, or make them feel bad about a purchase (or
start to regret it) even when you are trying to be
- [27:24] If you keep asking
someone, “are you sure?” you are creating unnecessary partitions
and of course they are going to say, “I guess not” at some
- [28:00] Setting up targets or
progress markers, on the other hand, can be great partitions for a
business to set up to keep on the radar of their current, past or
- [29:06] Removing partitions and
obstacles can be great for businesses and customers
- [30:08] Schedule a follow up
call and get on their calendar RIGHT THEN at the event. I do this
all the time thanks to the advice of Sales Maven Nikki Rausch, and
it has made such a difference.
- [32:10] Every piece, whether it
is an email or a Facebook ad or a direct mailer should be clear and
concise. Can someone look and very quickly know what they are
supposed to do? What the next step is? Simplify to eliminate
- [33:49] The moral: make it easy
for people to do business with you. Remove unnecessary partitions
in the process and everyone will be happier.
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