Framing Bias: How To Use Framing In Marketing

Framing is a very powerful technique you can use to improve your marketing and sales. It is a technique that has been known for many years and has been used in many advertisements for many decades, if not longer.

What is framing?

Framing basically means that what you hear is not the same for everyone and is not the same if you explain it different ways. It is not what you hear, but how it is explained.

For example, they did a scientific study where they asked participants how fast a car was travelling. First they said the car was driving down the street and at a certain amount of miles per hour. When they reworded the question and said the car was racing down the street, the participants said the car was going much faster even though it was essentially doing the same thing by driving down the street.

This is a very simple example of framing and a very simple scientific study that they did and it explains framing in the simplest way. You can say something differently and it means the same thing, but for different people it can mean something else. For me, a car racing could mean 120 miles per hour but for someone else racing could mean 150 miles per hour. It is an ambiguous term.

Framing can be applied to anything. Basically, when someone is buying something and you are selling something, they are initially focused on price and what they are going to get. If you just answer the questions with the actual price and what they are actually getting, then it is a very clear transaction. If you use framing, you can get a lot more money for the same product or service. You need to know what the product or service actually means to them.
How to use framing

There is a common example of how framing is used in sales. Good sales people will avoid certain words in their sales processes and scripts. They will not say, “Cost,” “expense,” or, “you will pay,” but they will use invest.

What does this imply if the buyer is still paying money and it still costs money? If you frame it as an investment, it means they will be investing something and they will be getting out more value than they put in. This reframes the transaction as if it was in the favor of the buyer and ultimately humans are emotional creatures and we do not make logical decisions when we are buying.

A lot of people like to believe they are logical, but I am sorry inform you that you are not. If you have been in sales long enough, you will see that people are not logical creatures but make emotional decisions.

Framing with emotion

Framing helps with that by making the decision to buy something emotional. This is a second technique in framing that is commonly used. Instead of talking about very logical reasons for buying and the benefits and features, you can focus on what buying the product will mean to that person in their life and how it will feel to them owning the item. What this does is reframe it from a point of view of not just a transaction but this is actually something to change your life and make you feel a certain way.

How much value would people attribute to that? It’s priceless, right? People will not pay you an infinite amount of money but they will pay you a lot more for the same thing.

Framing for a contract

Another example of framing is when you get someone to sign a contract, how do you get someone to sign the contract? You can tell them to sign and it will commit them to all these things and it can sound very scary. It is a scary thing and people associate bad things to signing contracts. However, put the piece of paper under their nose, hand them a pen, and ask them, “Would you please fill this in?” This is a lot less threatening. You are reframing the scary contract into, “Would you please fill this in?”

L’Oreal

The less fear you trigger in a sales process, in a sales page or video as well, the more likely they are to buy. These techniques have been used for decades and there are many more because there are different emotions being attached to different brands. For example, if you go look at L’Oreal, it says, “You are worth it.” It plays into a lot of biases, ideas, and thoughts that women have about their own body and how they feel about themselves. This reframes it in a positive way.

This is just one example out of thousands and thousands of examples in marketing and sales. I want to know how you use reframing and how you have seen it in business, marketing and sales.

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