Primacy and Recency – a perfect pair of biases to make selling to corporates easy-peasy

In another session, I spoke about how you can use the focusing effect bias to land corporate clients. 

Today, I want to show you how you can use another two biases to adjust your messaging so that it becomes easier for corporate prospects to say yes to working with you.

Let’s play a little game. 

  1. Imagine you have the choice of two holiday destinations. 
  • The first one has mosquitoes, old-fashioned amenities, slow wi-fi, great views, beautiful beaches and a fabulous climate.
  • The other has a fabulous climate, beautiful beaches, great views, slow wi-fi, old-fashioned amenities, and mosquitoes.

Which one would you choose? 

If you said number two, you’d be with the majority of people. It’s called the primacy effect, where we pay more attention to the first things we hear about a place, a person or an event. 

The science

  • You’ve just experienced the primacy effect, which is the tendency to remember the information at the beginning of a list better than those things further down.
  • This is because we have short attention spans which are more focused at the beginning of a list. You are also likely to repeat items at the beginning more, which means they make their way to the long-term memory function. Finally, we have limited capacity for memory so our brain has to make choices about what information goes to long-term memory, what sticks in your short-term memory, and what is forgotten. Items at the top of the list get the first chance to go through this process and end up in your long-term memory.

But wait

  • Are you put off by the mosquitoes I mentioned in your choice? See, you remembered them from the second list, even though they were at the end. 
  • That’s a result of the recency effect – the tendency to ALSO remember the information at the end of a list. 
  • That is because this information is still readily available in your short-term memory, a different place and process compared to where items from the start are stored. 

How to apply this

Using the primacy and recency effects together can make your messages much more powerful.

  • Pitching your services? Make a list of what information you want to communicate to listeners. Put the most important information at the top of your list and use this list to write your pitch. 
  • Sending outreach messages? Place your most important convincers of why prospects should take your call at the beginning and end of your email.
  • Creating marketing material? Organize your ‘What is the most important information that you want to share’? If you put all of the important information in the middle of your material, it is more likely to leave the minds of whoever is reading or consuming that information. Instead: intentionally organizing this information will help you communicate your message more effectively.
  • Going on a sales call? Don’t forget to make a good first impression. If you communicate (through body language or your tone) that you’re confident, this impression will continue to stick in your prospect’s mind throughout the conversation. AND to finish with summarizing the next steps – then thank them and express your excitement at whatever you agreed to.

Want to work with corporate clients but not sure if they buy what you offer? 

I help coaches and consultants identify exactly what they can offer that corporations are desperate for, how to package it, how to find the right prospects and how to have non-icky sales conversations to land 4 and 5 figure contracts in as little as 4-30 days, all while they are making a massive impact on the world!

If you are a coach who can get results for individual clients and want to play a bigger game, DM me to find out if you could sell to corporates or book a complimentary Diagnostic assessment here:

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Miriam Gilbert, founder of Impactfulness Lab, smiling

About Me

With more than 20years experience as a corporate decision-maker and CFO, 8+years running my own 6-figure consultancy I KNOW exactly what goes on in corporate mindsets – and how to sneak into their brain, charm their mind and get them to throw their budget at you.

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