A universal business truth
No matter which industry you work in, one truth is essentially the same. Consumers typically chose the first option of any given list of available options. A study published in the PLoS ONE journal found that the majority of people, when given an ordered list, will choose the first option, even if it’s obvious that the first choice isn’t the best option. This behavior is called the primacy effect, and some believe it goes back to historic behaviors of humans. Perhaps this behavior seems a little simplistic or even illogical, but you can actually use it to your business’ advantage.
Any company in any industry can use the primacy effect to gather more leads, more business, and more profits. It all comes down to be found and being found quickly. Make yourself and your company easily accessible. Depending on your industry, it could mean creating a stronger web presence, attending more networking conferences, or reaching out to your target market through unique and interesting methods.
Being listed first online or in industry-specific directories can bring you more of the business you need. You may have to pay extra to get a top spot or you may choose a business name that would set you at the top alphabetically. Whatever you choose, get your name up there so your target audience can see it.
Example: consumers typically hire the first Realtor they interview
Take the real estate industry, for instance. A recent study was conducted to determine how buyers find real estate agents, revealing that 65% of buyers only met with one agent before beginning their searches. This means they were satisfied with their first option and decided to stay, not necessarily because they thought they were the best agents out there, but potentially out of convenience and simplicity. The same is true for almost any industry.
While it’s important to be prominently visible to your customers, it’s also about setting yourself apart. Many consumers will continue to search, even if it’s not the first one, for a viable option—if they have a specific price point in mind, for example. So, even if you’re not listed or mentioned first, you can strengthen your presence by beating out the competition through pricing or service differences.
Applying the primacy effect to your business
The concept of the primacy effect can also be applied to how you set up your services and pricing lists. You can encourage your consumers to see the greatest value products or services first. And that may be all your customers need as encouragement to purchase, all just by categorizing the most important services first. As you redesign and update your website, brochures, or price list, keep the primacy effect in mind and see more business come your way.