Foreshortened Forward Thinking

As I blog this, here’s a manhunt for an armed killer on the run in England’s N East. He has apparently said that he “wants to go out in a blaze of glory”. I caught criminologist Jamie Wilson describe his state of mind on Sky News. His worried assessment included that he is:

  • a paranoid narcissist,
  • thinking superficially, shallowly,
  • avoiding responsibility, projecting it on to others
  • seeking to be the centre of attention
  • looking for power and control denied him in other parts of life

Heading towards the denouement, the highest barrier to a safe conclusion (the alternative being more loss of life and what the Americans call ‘suicide by cop’) is what he termed ‘foreshortened forward thinking’.

The expert was pleased that police messages emphasised the future and that the gunman had been assured that he had one, should things be resolved without recourse to further violence.

It’s all fascinating stuff, straight from the mouths of fictional on-screen mindreader Cracker and his ilk.

Buyers are not fugitive crazed murderers, of course. Foreshortened forward thinking though is a trait that I’ve been frustrated at encountering myself during sales campaigns.

Why do they only see what’s at the end of their nose? The inability to consider anything beyond next week can really grate. The most typical instance is in the difference between  what the thing they’re buying costs today, and how much it’ll cost once bought.

There is nearly always a gap, usually a large one, between what the original signed order’s monetary value shows and the total figure including maintenance and upgrade costs over the period of usage. In short, these are often referred to as Day One Costs and Lifetime Costs.

According to the criminologist, the way around this is a twofold pincer movement.

Prolong, &

Talk futures

Firstly, the longer the period of time, the more likely it is that the penny will drop. Snap decisions lead to ill-judged decisions in this context.

Secondly, to take the focus off the present, you must try and drum home what a positive future will be about. For buyers, this is better, quicker and easier service with all the associated benefits these entail.

As the pop-sales sayings go:

quality, service, price – you can only ever choose any two, &

buy on price, pay twice

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