Losing hurts more than the joy of winning

Human Brain, Labelling, losing, winning

I have read multiple psychologists write that the brain always tends to get impacted more with a loss than an equivalent or higher gain.

Today I had a real experience with both the loss and gain at the same time,.

I had ordered groceries from BigBasket which is one of the e-commerce sites for delivery of grocery items. They have a very convenient mobile app through which I order and they come and deliver all the items. Unlike other marketplaces, where each item comes at a different schedule, the benefit is that everything comes together.

So I am not trying to do an advertisement for BigBasket. But there’s a relevance to the statements above.

So I had ordered a lot of items and the delivery boy started handing over each of those. This was early in the morning at 7 AM and I had just brushed my teeth and washed my face. Now within these items zi had also ordered 2 packets of buns. This item was more critical than all the others because I had to make breakfast for myself with those buns.

While this boy was handing over the items he handed me a box of chicken drumsticks. Now I had not ordered it. So I handed it back to him. But he insisted I keep because it was complementary. Just so that you get a relevance – this free item may be worth Rs150 or 2 USD. So I was happy to get a free gift early in the morning.

But because I had my breakfast in mind I had my eye on the 2 packets of buns. Otherwise I would have to go to the shop and get them physically….early in the morning that’s a pain.

Now my man handed over one packet of buns. Then he gave me other items and finished the delivery and asked me to check. I was agitated since I had got one less packet. Then the boy checked his delivery receipt and it showed 2 packets, so I got even more agitated. Again for relevance we are talking about a packet of about Rs19 or 25 cents US which had not come.

I was brooding over an item which was 1/8 of the free gift they had sent me. But my brain was seeing the negative that I would now have to go and get the item. For full disclosure, when the boy realized that there really was a gap, he immediately put it out in his “app” and BigBasket immediately credited the money into my wallet instantly for the one packet of buns which were not delivered. So it was not that I had lost money , it was just that now I would have to do extra work.

Since our brains are designed for survival, they always find the negative in a situation and remember it longer. So the extra work was what made my brain make me feel bad about.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Possibility thinking

Affirmative action, Human Brain, Labelling, Marketing, possibility thinking, Sales, Thinking

A lot of times I get stuck in my thinking. This especially happens in stressful situations where I ascribe an intention without the facts. To all of us, a person not picking up the phone – seems like the person is trying to avoid us, then our mind goes in frenzy identifying all the reasons that the person could be avoiding us and our mind takes us back into some random situation and we feel all bad and low.

We end up putting labels on the person, that he/she is bad, deliberately doing this to us etc. etc.

Its quite possible that the person’s phone was on silent and she didn’t notice. She may end up calling you when she sees your call and then you realise you have ended up wasting so much time.

So generally what I have started doing when I feel that something is not okay, I take the initiative in trying to check out first if everything’s okay. A lot of times I have come to realise that the person was going through some personal challenges of his own and could not have been in a position to talk with me.

But more than that I realize that there was nothing personal that this person had against me.

Now why did I give you all this story. Because a lot of times when a prospect stops responding to you, we end up ascribing all kinds of motives. When a product that you were so passionate about is not picked up in the market, then also we start ascribing all kinds of ideas.

With possibility thinking you try to look at – is there something else, is there something which I am not noticing, is there something which is absolutely unrelated to us because of which the prospect has stopped talking to us.

In sales this happens most when suddenly the prospects stop responding to your mails. More often than not I have observed that the manager gives another responsibility to the person you were interacting with and he puts your proposal on the back burner. Nothing personal with you.

One of best ways to get someone to open up in such situations is to write an “apology mail for bothering her and asking if there’s something we could have done better to not have put her off” In most situations an apology mail like this gets the person to respond with the exact situation because most people want to be fair and they don’t want you apologising for something you didn’t do.

On the other hand you could also have competition which you never thought of , suddenly appear and suddenly sabotage your sale by targeting the boss of the person you were interacting with.

With possibility thinking you like to keep asking questions without getting negative about the situation, and then getting it clarified. Time is the most important thing for a sales or marketing person. Spending that time , rueing about and ascribing all kinds of ideas to the person is a waste of time. its better to keep eliminating negative possibilities and identifying more positive possibilities.

This is not about positive thinking, about a glass being half empty or full. This is about being constructive in your usage of the limited resource that you have – called time.

Till next time then. Keep thinking in terms of possibilities.

Carpe Diem!!!

Labeling your experience makes a difference

Human Brain, Labelling, Thinking

I learned this line of thinking about 20 years back.

I was in Singapore on a business trip. My partner in Singapore had a customer who was having a “problem” and they needed our expertise to solve the problem.

Till that time I always labelled a “problem” as a problem. As engineers we are trained to solve different kinds of problems. Whether they are problems related to calculus or related to magnetic interference in an electrical signal.

Now when I met my partner in Singapore, he changed my whole attitude towards ” problems” by calling them challenges. Especially when dealing with people – and all business problems are about dealing with people – if you label the problem as a challenge, the brain functions differently.

When you look at something in business as a problem the approach that your brain takes is adversarial. It kind of goes into figuring out all kinds of ways of how to oppose the person/company which is causing us the problem.

On the other hand when you label something as a challenge, you try to work collaboratively with the prospect / customer to find a solution. It now makes the whole situation completely different and easier to manage. Now your brain starts doing possibility thinking and looks for various options.

Coming back to my partner in Singapore, I was amazed at the way he labelled the situation with the customer also and then collaboratively worked out a solution between them, customer and us. This turned out to be our first order from Singapore twenty years back.

Since then a lot of times I have observed that the way I label the situation has a lot to do the way I solve it. If I am labelling the situation as manageable then I find a solution faster. The brain does get influenced by the labels we put.

Try this and let me know who you benefit.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!