I’m standing at the checkout and have a ballpark figure in my head, I always mentally calculate items in my head as I go round. The cashier tells me the price, but it doesn’t match the rough numbers in my head.
She rescans everything and finds that the Pesto sauce was scanned twice, no big deal. She then adds all the items up and tells me the new price. I furrow my brow, it’s still doesn’t match the numbers I have in my head.
I pay anyway and she gives me the receipt and I look through the list of items and find that I’ve been overcharged for my chocolate indulgence. I show her and so she goes off and checks every other item in the shop to make sure I stand and wait a long time at the checkout. She comes back after a three hours and tells me I’m right, which I thought was amazing because I thought I was making the whole thing up.
Anyway, she has to call over a supervisor to put the item through the till again and take off the offending over-charged amount, a full 69p (About $1). I’m handed the money back in small change and then the Chief Super informs me without asking: “You have to sign your name and address on this form.”
My back is immediately up, invisible high walls and barriers have just been instantly erected. I inform her that I’m not signing anything for anyone. She then informs me again that this is: “THE RULES!”
Now typical Steve Bishop comes into play: “I don’t care what THE RULES are, they mean absolutely nothing to me, they’re irrelevant.”
I can see Chief Supers cogs turning internally, ‘does not compute, does not compute.’ She’s probably a good person, but doesn’t meet many people who have an opinion about something and don’t mind sharing it.
As far as ‘I don’t have to follow your rules’ is concerned, everyone watching seems to be amazed at this revelation, including the queue behind me who are waiting in line while this guy at the front of the queue in his light brown shorts, faded red T-Shirt causes a scene because he was overcharged for his chocolatey treat.
I go into some rant about privacy and I don’t have to do anything and Chief Super realises that the handsome chocolatey man is serious, he’s not going to sign the death warrant, he’s immovable on the subject, he’s hard, rugged, straight and cool.
She then tells me: “Wait a moment I’ll have to go and get the Head Chief Supercheese.”
Half smiling I tell her to “Get whoever you need.”
I see red and blue flashing lights as Head Cheese Boy swings a right at the end of the aisle and arrives and before he speaks I inform him that it doesn’t matter what explanation he’s about to give, I’m not signing anything.
I told cheese boy that for me it was a privacy issue, you don’t just inform me, ‘oh by the way you have to give us your name and address because that’s how we do things around here, because those are the rules.’
Cheese Dip told me that the only reason for the name and address thing was because if money was taken from the till, I was the witness to money being taken, which actually makes a lot of sense. But I’d already stated my position and wasn’t going back on my word. If I was informed of that earlier I could have signed, left the shop and had a chocolatey mess around my lips by now.
And so it goes on.
It was only later I thought how this all could have been avoided. Instead of just telling me I HAVE TO do this thing because it’s THE RULES, which is a sure way to NOT get me to do the thing, if she would have offered me a simple ‘Reason Why’ I would do this thing, I would have signed and all this could have been avoided.
If she would have said something to the effect of would it be possible for you to put your name and address on this form ‘because’ we had to take money out of the till and to avoid cashiers being accused of stealing money, you would act as a witness.
I have no doubt I would have signed because their ‘Reason Why’ made a lot of sense, but she didn’t lead with that, she TOLD me what I was going to do, I had no clue about why I should do what they said and I had NO say in the matter.
You experience ‘Reason Why’ philosophy all the time in copywriting or webinars, you’ll hear the the person tell you something to the effect of… ’In this video I’m going to talk about XYZ, the reason why you might want to consider XYZ is because…’ then they’ll either give you the benefits to watching the video or a reason why XYZ will help you avoid some problem.
The idea behind this type of approach is to give a reason why a customer should buy into what you’re saying or buy your product or service. In every message you send out, especially if you want someone to take some kind of action, you must give your readers or listeners a ‘Reason Why’ they should take this action. ‘Reason Why’ copy has worked since the days of Claude Hopkins, and it will continue to work way into the future.
So before you bark your orders at people or prospects and tell them what you want them to do, give them a ‘Reason Why’ they should listen to what you have to say.
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