Shaping Your Prospect's Reminiscence Bump

This week I learn that psychologists uncovered their reminiscence bump. It suggests that the older we get, the less well we remember those ‘middling’ years.

Adolescent experiences retain strength, as do many things which are fresh in the mind. Yet our Autumnal reflections find those times in between easily fade.

A pair of selling points struck me here.

For starters, there’s the classic primacy vs recency debate.

When part of a competitive field, should you pitch first or last?

I’ve read a great deal around this. I have to say that despite whichever way wikipedia may lean on any given day, research is not conclusive. I’ve found it tends to be better to frame the debate, rather than follow it.

Then there’s how long may something linger? At what point does the tailing off kick in? Also, which kind sticks more, sweet or sour?

From a separate tidbit the day of blogging this, I saw England’s biggest-selling thriller writer (long since departed for America) return to his childhood home. When standing outside what was his suburban semi, his instant recollection was, ‘this was the place with the phone in the hall on which my first girlfriend dumped me’. With a chuckle recognising the irony of not being a “happy memory” caught on camera as exclamation.

A lot to chew over in relation to a sale. Particularly long-term customer management. Nothing is perhaps more crucial than the experience of delivery.

I’ve met salespeople who believe an implementation disaster can be fine. As being able to put it right can create a way firmer relationship. I’ve never fully bought into this. For me, it wrongly allows catastrophe.

Still, knowing about such a “bump” can be a useful reminder to test what is actually stored away in your prospect’s mind.

What experience(s) with you for them sums up what you’re about? When did you have most impact on their results? Where – when something may have perhaps gone a little awry – was it fixed in a fashion that they’d like to think they would also enact?

Maybe the key to strong and lasting client connections is to smooth any reminiscence bump and check that auto-recall of your best hits are the norm.

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