A pile of cards

Counting on the Joker – the Magic Power of Positive Uncertainty

Business development depends on leaving a message that is simple, compelling – and memorable. When you’re no longer in the room, your message needs to be working for you. It needs to stay with people when you’ve moved on.

Don’t “Show up and Throw up!”

Yet how often do you hear a pitch which is interesting and well presented, but quickly turns to a blur as the blizzard of detail falls out of focus? So many business developers overwhelm people with a stream of information that seems important (to them) but is totally forgettable (to us).

I’ve written here before about keeping your messages simple, memorable and shareable, and failure to do this costs so many entrepreneurs their best chance of growth. They are so busy pitching that they cannot enlist a community of referrers to spread their message for them.

Positive uncertainty

Lessons from psychology (notably BF Skinner and more recently the brilliant Andrew Huberman) show that uncertainty – and especially variable rewards – can play a powerful role in capturing our attention.

We can use this in business development.

While others try to list every feature and benefit of their product or service, consider leaving details for later. You can use the same “cliffhanger” approach that Charles Dickens used when he serialised his novels. Leave the people you’re talking to wanting more – and uncertain just how much better things can get.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but we find it easier to remember something when there is a tantalising missing piece, and the possibility that we will eventually learn what it is. Business developers can incorporate this into their pipelines with transformational effect.

If you would like to develop your business development, start to hit your prospects with positive uncertainty. You could start by nominating them for a prize, for example.

Or get in touch with us to dig a little deeper.