Breaking through the savings illusion

“In order to change an attitude, it is necessary to modify the information on which that attitude  rests.” 

Richard Petty and John Cacioppo, Attitudes & Persuasion 

Over the weekend I was watching a show regarding the brain and how optical illusions actually  work. 

What stood out was a comment made by an expert in the field that our brain can be extremely  quick and capable in processing new information, but it doesn’t bother with the details if it  has already reached a pre-programmed conclusion. 

Hearing this reminded me of a recent discussion we had with a leading industry analyst  regarding the level of automation our customers have been able to achieve. Specifically, he  suggested that we were for lack of a more delicate term lying. After all, how could we in such  a short time implement a solution that could deliver such immediate and significant results  when others have been at it for much longer were unable to do so? 

The irony of course is that this kind of a reaction from traditional mainstream industry experts  is nothing new. In fact, it is common for the vast majority of disruptive innovators to be met  with such skepticism, not only from the ranks of the analysts and media but also from many  of the end-users they seek to serve. 

The reason for this is quite simple. Similar to an optical illusion, practitioners and observers  of the P2P space have been pre-programmed to believe that the desired results can only be  realized after a lengthy and costly implementation process (even though most of these said  initiatives have repeatedly failed to meet expectations). Or to put it another way, it is hard  for people to believe that it could be this simple. 

This overwhelming belief as opposed to the actual capability of the cloud-based solution is the  true obstacle to achieving the results to which our current customers can attest.

Understandably such reluctance is not entirely surprising when you consider the level of  investment in time energy and money one might have already made in a specific idea or way  of addressing a particular need. This is the basis for what I refer to as being the “savings  illusion.” 

So what do you do when faced with someone who despite overwhelming evidence to the  contrary insists that what you are saying is not accurate? 

To begin with, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself for introducing something so  disruptive that people find it hard to believe. 

Then, take the back seat and let your customers do the talking.