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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Jan 17, 2023

I love partitioning! It is such an under-discussed concept, which is why I decided to refresh this episode from 2019 for you here today. Partitioning is closely related to friction or sludge, but it isn’t exactly the same. While an experience that has partitions may be creating friction/sludge, it isn’t just about that. And, it isn’t always about reducing it. Sometimes, adding a partition is really useful when you want someone to stop and think. I’ll get into that more as we dig into the episode. 

As you get ready to listen to the episode today, I encourage you to have some experiences in mind. Try and think of a time when you had a great experience with a company, where things were seamless and streamlined or it felt easy. And another where you were part-way through buying and then stopped or when you changed your mind on a project or whatever else. Try and think through what happened along the way and keep that in mind as you consider the idea of partitioning. Where were the unintended partitions and where did the lack of them make a difference? 

Of course, look to your own experiences in your company as well. If you have a hard time closing deals or lose people partway through an application form keep that in mind too. It can all tie back to partitions. So let’s dive in and learn how you can use partitions in your business to create a seamless experience for your customers. 

Show Notes:

  • [00:37] Today’s episode is all about partitioning. I love partitioning! It is such an under-discussed concept.
  • [02:39] 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 point. This can be good or bad on both sides depending on the situation. 
  • [04:33] Melina shares a study with bottomless soup bowls. 
  • [06:34] Another study found that adding some sort of measurement reminder can help reduce consumption even if the cups are large.
  • [08:45] One study found that once something became common it no longer acted as a partitioning mechanism. 
  • [10:21] It isn’t just effort that matters but drawing the attention of the conscious brain really matters too. 
  • [12:56] It is so easy to be tricked by our brains. 
  • [15:07] Those with a high aversion to gambling were significantly impacted by the partitions.  
  • [16:24] Partitioning money has also been found to help people save more and spend less. 
  • [17:26] Essential with shopping…once you start the process of spending you are more likely to spend again until you hit a partition. 
  • [19:07] Any cognitive intervention (something that makes the user stop and think) can trigger partitioning. This can be done using sounds, rhetorical questions, targets, or progress markers. 
  • [21:37] It doesn’t have to feel bad or negative for the consumer. 
  • [23:41] The cashier in an airport store bringing up the price of the almonds and forcing us to rethink our decision multiple times caused anticipated regret and lowered the total amount spent significantly. 
  • [25:18] It is easy to talk people out of a sale, make them feel bad about a purchase, or start to regret it even when you are trying to be helpful. 
  • [26:07] 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 potential customers. 
  • [27:21] Removing partitions and obstacles can be great for businesses and customers alike.  
  • [29:29] Partitions in the selling process are a recipe for getting ghosted. Always schedule circle-back meetings in the moment. 
  • [32:03] Make it easy for people to do business with you. Remove unnecessary partitions in the process and everyone will be happier.
  • [32:13] Melina’s closing thoughts
  • [32:42] The concept of partitioning can help you to look for opportunities to make it easier to work with you, especially up front. Partitions are particularly dangerous early on and in the selling process. 

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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