How many times have you read where some guru said "one of the biggest mistakes I made when I was getting started was to take too long to start outsourcing?" I'm guessing you've heard that several times.

How about "one of my biggest mistakes was waiting too long to start building a list?" You've probably heard that even more often.

When you hear things like that, do you run right out, start outsourcing, start building a mailing list, etc.? Probably not. At least not very often.

Why not? Because you're not convinced that their advice really applies to you.

Why not? Maybe because you're smart enough to see the holes in their sales pitch -- that they're just saying whatever they think will earn them a commission on the sale.

On the other hand, maybe you're missing out on good advice because you're failing to cross the emotional distance between you and the product. Over at Neuromarketing today, Roger Dooley wrote:

Researchers Arul Mishra and Himanshu Mishra at the University of Utah looked at how people perceive disasters, and found that if the disaster site was in a neighboring state, people felt more secure even when the absolute distance was the same. In effect, it seemed that the border either made the disaster seem more remote or provided a barrier of protection. The Mishras dubbed this effect "border bias"...

...could border bias affect marketers, too?

Most marketers don't have to worry about border effects "“ either they are in the same geographic entity as their customers, are far enough away that one border won't matter, or are geographically ambiguous.


Another kind of border bias can kick in as well: the "us vs. them" syndrome.

There are a million ways this emotional distance can manifest itself. You might tell yourself "outsourcing is for the Big Boys. Maybe someday I'll be a Big Boy, and then I'll outsource. But right now, I'm a little guy."

Reader Comment:
Nikole Fairview said:
It is interesting to think that many times we just do not take action on potentially good advice simply because we do not think it applies to us. A great example was given here about the advice to start using outsourcers and to build a list. Of cours...
(join the conversation below)

But there are lots of things you can get done for as little as 5 bucks. Surely, you don't need to be a Big Boy to do that.

You might tell yourself, "that tool is for serious bloggers. I'm just an internet marketer who blogs sometimes."

You might say, "sure, a person with his natural gifts can succeed at that. But I'm just an ordinary guy. It won't work for me."

You might think, "that works for guys, but I'm a girl."

In every case, there's an emotional border between where you see yourself and where you see the product or practice being applicable. And "border bias" makes the other side feel further away than it really is.

But the point of this post isn't to say, "get over it, hop the fence, and buy the product." It's to point out that...

You Need to Sneak Your Customers Over the Border.

If your customers see a border between themselves and your product, they'll hesitate to cross it. You need to punch a worm hole across the emotional gap and get them to see the shorter distance -- which, if they're really in the target market for your product, isn't very far.

How do you do that?

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What other ways do you know of to sneak prospects over the emotional borders between them and your products? Leave a comment and let us know.