Cognitive Bias 8 out of 25: Envy/Jealousy Tendency

Envy and jealousy are staples of the great American economy. These are the building blocks that our forefathers built this great country on. Emotions like these are what make us the poster child of greatness and what keep the American dream afloat…

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Alright that may be a little overboard. Now, these emotions do drive a ton of money into the economy of any country. People tend to let envy and jealousy dictate a lot of their actions and desires. Have you ever wanted someone’s nice car, dream house, girlfriend, boyfriend, shoes, six pack, positive outlook on life, etc.? I’m going to go ahead and guess that the answer is yes. No need to be ashamed! Everyone experiences this so you are not alone. What this does is drive a ton of money into the economy. All it takes is for one person in the family to get the new iPhone X and then soon everyone will want one. We get jealous of what other people have and instantly want it for ourselves. It’s like a domino effect.

What to Look Out for with Envy and Jealousy

I believe these emotions cause a lot of competition within people. The key is to not let this dictate your life or beat yourself up for not having that sports car you’ve always wanted. If you think about it, there is always going to be someone else that is more successful than you, more powerful, happier, etc. So when do you say enough is enough? You have to decide the answer for yourself.

“It’s not greed that runs this world, but envy” – Warren Buffet

It’s always more effective to chase after your goals or “reason why” instead of chasing after things you’re envious of. What happens to a lot of people is when they finally get that one thing, let’s say a Lamborghini, they have been chasing their whole and they still feel empty. This happens because they didn’t have a reason why. Now I know there is a ton of speculation on how you’ll be happier with a Lamborghini than without one. Don’t get me wrong I agree (more on how being agreeable is your best negotiation tactic here), but don’t think you can’t have both! You can have possessions and be happy. It’ll all be possible if you put a solid reason behind your goals and actions. Having stuff just to have stuff is never sustainable.

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Before we get to how this is used in sales, there is one more thing to look out for. You will have a higher chance to dislike or hate someone that you are envious or jealous of (my whole post on this here). Our brains will make negative judgments about people without knowing all the facts. Have you ever hated someone that was super wealthy just because of their power, fame, success, spouse, possessions, etc.? This flaw of the brain makes you more inclined to do so. That is why it is so important to not come to conclusions so quickly. Who knows this person may have a heartfelt story of how they became famous and wealthy that you could learn something wrong. My recommendation is to keep your mind open and don’t let envy and jealousy ruin your life.

How to Use this to Your Advantage in Sales

Let’s be real. People talk. Word of mouth travels fast. Along with that is an internal desire to have the latest and greatest or the biggest and best. You can capitalize on this desire with referrals. 80% of customers that have a positive experience are likely to give referrals. Yet only 29% do. That is because salespeople are not asking for them. Alright now I want you to think about this… and yes I know it’s tough but bear with me…

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By now you know that everyone is susceptible to envy and jealousy. You know that you can call satisfied customers and 80% of them would refer someone or multiple people to you. Since people talk, this referral would most likely already know about your products/services, your company, and of course you. They are already sick of whatever lame and outdated product or service they have and are ready for an upgrade. Referrals trust the word of mouth from their friends or family. They have an instant build up of trust about everything we talked about earlier. This build up of trust PLUS the envy/jealousy tendency pretty much make it a slam dunk! That is why you should ask each and every customer for a referral!

I know you may have been crying earlier… you know with all the thinking… but after you get all that money from those referrals sales you will be like…

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And then eventually like…

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So it’ll balance itself out.

The last place I have experienced this paying off handsomely is when a salesperson is selling someone and they have a friend or family member there with them. This acquaintance is experiencing their friend or family member buying something and will tend to get jealous. They could want a piece of the action too. Why not ask them if they want to buy something while their friend or family member is at it? People want to know that they are making a good decision. Since someone they trust just made a purchase, this confidence required to close a sales is already high. So the key here is to strike while the iron is hot! No better time than now. You may get two sales in the time it normally takes to close one. Talk about efficiency! Keep this tendency in mind to use envy and jealousy to your advantage. These suggestions will help you dominate in sales and business to help you achieve YOUR “reasons why.”

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Be great,

Cody Cameron