The snowball effect as it relates to consumer spending caught my attention due to media highlighting of ballooning personal debt.
Its basis is that when people are confronted by an amount of borrowing that has spun out of control, dazzled in the lights of trying to clear their debts, they choose the wrong ones to pay down first. The impact of which can be devastating, as they can then get saddled with a mountain of owings seemingly never capable of being reduced, let alone eliminated.
The plight can be seen when you have debts with more than one lender. Most typically, say you have three credit cards. The mistake people make is paying off the larger amount first. When in fact, the trick is to pay off first the one for which you’re paying the highest rate of interest (known as APR in the UK).
The dreaded snowball begins to roll because your level of relative debt rises, despite paying off what you assume to be enough of a sum to keep it in check, if not decrease it. And the spiral into the financial (and personal) abyss suffocates.
This term is often generally applied to any situation where an action or event makes an overall situation more perilous. As the random wikipedia page editor of the day noted;
Metaphorically, a snowball effect is a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger (graver, more serious), and also perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle)
So thinking of its specific solution selling slant, I wonder how useful a lens this is for you to help your prospects to view their current list of pressing issues.
I’m reminded of the time management favourite of the urgent-versus-important. Where the mistake most make is to focus on the urgent, rather than important task. That discipline’s gurus always say focus on “Important”.
Could it be that where you are feeling your project’s ranking on their to-do list is dropping, you can subtly jump it back up? Particularly, when that which overtakes you in fact can be framed as not being something that’ll mushroom or knock back all sorts in its orbit. Unlike that which you propose.
Could you safely suggest that without prompt attention the problem the project you pitch will resolve will snowball to the detriment of all other hopes and so must surely be Top Priority?
Another way of using this winter analogy, is by successfully showing how the problem concerned might grow. If your prospect thinks things are bad today, just help them shudder at the thought of how if unchecked they may be way worse off tomorrow…