Beware your beliefs

I was working with a client and we were discussing the power of Beliefs; there was a light bulb moment that prompted a memory from the client “years ago”. He said, “my wife worked for an antique jewellers and silversmiths and she was telephoned by a client, who said she was looking to purchase a wine funnel.” His wife checked the stock register and replied that they did have one and it was priced at £65 (it was a while back!). The client replied that she was looking for a ‘better’ wine funnel and that as this was £65, it was not going to be good enough. On putting down the telephone, the shop owner told my client’s wife to wait for 30 minutes and then he rang back the client to explain that they had had another look through the register and yes they did have a ‘better’ wine funnel in stock and it was priced at £165!” Apparently the client purchased the funnel there and then.

For those of you who might have just woken I should perhaps explain that she had purchased the self-same funnel, the only difference being that she had happily paid £100 more, happy to believe that because it was more expensive it must be better.

Now I am not condoning this particular method of selling which today would border on the criminal, nor am I relating the story as an amusing anecdote of some collector’s naivety; the story struck me as a powerful illustration of the power and the danger of beliefs.

Our beliefs force us to act in ways that rational analysis would describe as being totally irrational.

This doesn’t apply to you?

Maybe, but just pause and consider a typical belief that I have encountered this week:
‘Waitrose is better quality than Tesco’ a belief that keeps middle class housewives flooding into Waitrose.

And then consider all the beliefs surrounding the mystique of choosing wine, or on the golf course, or about restaurants and airlines (BA are polite, budget airlines are rude).

Real evidence seldom if ever, is a part of the creation of the belief, although individual experience frequently reinforces the belief.

It may well be that in everyday life these beliefs have little major impact on us as individuals, apart from preventing us from experiencing alternative and possibly cheaper or better options.

But what about in your business life?
What are the beliefs that you hold that are limiting your business from super-performing?

Remember Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right”.

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