A myth has long swirled around the topic of executive decision-making, and it stems from the broad and untested perception that executives are strictly rational agents—logical and analytical in their approach to business decisions.
Now that we’ve put that premise to the test, we can also put that perception to its rest. Because it’s not true. New research from Corporate Visions reveals that intuitions and emotions have far more sway over the executive decision-making process than many sellers—or executives, for that matter—realize.
The study—which had 113 executive participants from a wide array of industries, including software, oil, finance and aerospace—yielded many unexpected findings about how much emotions influence executive buying decisions. Perhaps most compelling among them was the idea that you can provide executives with the exact same “math” with respect to a business proposition, but get significantly different results depending on how you frame the situation.
Specifically, the study tested the principle of loss aversion, an idea pioneered by social psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, which says that people are more willing to make a change or seek a risk to avoid a loss than to acquire a gain.
The study revealed that executives, across both personal and professional scenarios, are not exempt from this principle. They demonstrate a far greater appetite for the “risky choice” when you simply change the way you frame the scenario.
Words trump math!
Purely rational decision-makers executives are not! To learn more about the study and its findings—and what implications they may have for your message development and delivery—check out this article in CMO.com based on the research we did with our partner, persuasion expert, Dr. Zakary Tormala.
Read the article here.
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