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Use the primacy effect to get more leads, business, and profits

The primacy effect is influential in consumer behavior and how purchase decisions are made.

the primacy effect

the primacy effect

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.

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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.

Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.



  1. share market

    July 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Many business owners think generating leads is hard, while in fact, it’s fairly easy, as long as you follow a simple procedure and put in a bit of effort. You also require to make sure that you actually are doing lead-generation and not just saying you are and then trying to make a sale right away.

  2. Ashley Balstad

    July 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I have noticed this when I am shopping. I tend to compare all secondary options to the first. Great article Charlene!

  3. Apartments in Chennai

    August 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I agree with that very first option for the buyers getting satisfaction because, the real estate agents do not want to miss there opportunity to earn from there clients/contact. Now a days they having very good options to show to the buyers.

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