To feel dumb

Imagine this.

Most texts on writing style encourage authors to avoid overly-complex words. However, a majority of undergraduates admit to deliberately increasing the complexity of their vocabulary so as to give the impression of intelligence.

As this.

Most texts on writing style encourage authors to avoid overly-complex words. However, a majority of corporate websites deliberately increase the complexity of their vocabulary so as to give the impression of expertise.

The paper introduced by the first text found that students using more difficult words actually end up giving the exact opposite impression: “needless complexity leads to negative evaluation”.

Using a very non-scientific method, I’d like to extend the findings to the situation I made up in the second text.

Nobody likes to feel dumb.

Free trial

Does your audience want a free trial? Of course.

Do you have the resources to offer a free trial that delivers the right experience to the right audience, making them excited to continue on their journey to become champions of your own perspective?

Most companies would answer no.

And yet, they offer a free trial.

And that’s because a free trial, with the right form to capture the right information – credit card, of course – is very little about experience, about user journey, about changing minds and behaviors, while it is very much about boosting vanity metrics.

Your choice.

More rounded

We think of most things as linear experiences.

That’s certainly true in business. The funnel is linear. The go-to-market process is linear. The sales pipeline is linear. The launch of a new product or service is linear. The very same metaphors we use to describe those things (funnel, pipeline, launch) are linear.

And yet, success requires that you circle back and iterate with the new information you have acquired. That you adjust the trajectory continuously with the help of what you are learning as you go.

It turns out that to be succesful in what matters we need to apply more rounded thinking.

Lazy sales

The laziest sales approach must certainly be the following.

I have just came across your company on LinkedIn. Not sure you are the right person to talk to, in case could you connect me to one of your colleagues?

You don’t know my company.

You don’t know me.

You are asking me to do work for you.

I hope you’ll never be asked to resort to this.

The best bargain

Free stuff is not easy to give away online, and that’s true for second hand clothes as it is true for learning programs.

It’s probably because the buyer does not perceive any value. It’s easy enough to raise one’s hand and say “I am in”. But as soon as life gets in the way, something that is free is just not worth any hassle.

If you have something you need to get rid of, or an idea you are proud of and want to spread, that’s something to take into account.

For as counterintuitive as it might sound, free is not always the best bargain.