The Power of Social Proof

13 May 2008 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment

I live in NYC and I love to try new restaurants. But no matter how enticing I make it sound, if my boyfriend and I show up at place and it’s empty, he refuses to stay. He’s offered me two main reasons for his reluctance to be the only table in the joint.

1) When places are that slow, service is usually either overly solicitous
or incredibly negligent. From experience we know that to be true, so
no matter how great the food, it’s just not a very nice meal.

2) The psychological issue of “Why are we the only ones here?” “What
do other people know about this place that keeps them away”? He just
can’t get over that barrier. 

It’s that second factor that demonstrates the power of social proof. People feel more comfortable doing business with companies and people that are successful. An empty restaurant “feels” wrong to most of us, and so we’ll stay away. Now obviously someone always need to be first table of the night and many times we will walk into an empty restaurant because we know it and we trust what our experience will be. But to take a chance on something unknown AND unproven…that’s much tougher.

Unless you have a retail location, leveraging the power of social proof for your design business is bit more subtle. Testimonials on your website from multiple clients; a portfolio that illustrates the range of your experience and most importantly, legitimate referrals that you follow up on. These are all methods to show your prospects how many other people are doing (or have done) business with you. 

People are most comfortable doing business with those they know, like and trust. Social proof adds to the trust factor. A strong referral is an introduction you can’t afford not to follow up on. And the like part? That’s up to you!

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Entry filed under: Client Relations, Marketing. Tags: , .

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