Learning Lab

Need to convince people to sell?

Sales can have a mixed reputation. Some people love sales and understand the depth and complexities of the people they are selling to respectfully. Other people think that just clobbering people over the head with information constitutes selling. In today’s world there is so much ‘advice’ out there on how to do things it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we like to base our advice on solid scientific groundings. Sales training can be fun, informative and also come from the depths of neuroscience and research! If you in any way need to convince people of anything in order to make sales then read on.

Fantastic research by by Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwarz illustrates the importance of font when selling. The first experiment was based on the premise that their success in getting people to sign up to an exercise regimen would be dependent on how long they thought the workout would take. The longer people estimated it would take, implied a bigger commitment and therefore people would be less likely to sign up.

One group were shown the description of the exercises written in arial (a simple font) and the other group saw the same description written in brush (a more complex font).  Considering that a huge proportion of companies use written material in some form or another in getting their message out there information as to what the font you use is doing to your readers seems very important.

The results were incredible! The complex font lead people to estimate the regime would take nearly twice as long! 15.1 minutes compared to 8.2 minutes! And as predicted, the people who thought it would only take 8.2 minutes were much more likely to commit to the regimen.

Another experiment was performed this time using a sushi recipe. Arial this time resulted in a 5.6 minute estimation, while Mistral resulted in 9.3 minutes.

So what does that mean for your sales? Well, you need to start by thinking carefully about the outcome of each written piece of material. For example, if you are writing a leaflet to help people understand more about volunteering and you want them to give their time to a good cause – a simple font that unconsciously makes them think it will take less of their time is the obvious choice. On the contrary, a website for a company delivering corporate lunchtime complimentary therapies, like Indian head massage or aromatherapy based reflexology would obviously choose a more Mistral like complex font.

Think carefully before choosing a complex font…however if you are writing a brochure for massages…may be the perfect time for Mistral! If you are wanting readers to get a feel for efficiency though, and that you deliver results quickly, like a solicitors firm, then your materials may benefit from being in an arial type font.

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