Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why "new" is tougher to sell than "improved"

This is the month that we'll be launching a totally new online service that allows anyone, anywhere to settle a dispute online, any time.  It's not just a better way for working Americans to settle their disputes, it's a totally new way to settle them.

Which means it's going to be much, much more difficult to launch this puppy.  Here's why:

If you look at the balance sheet, there's no question OneDayDecisions is a better solution for resolving disputes: No wasted time or money. No dragged out court dates. No chance the judge will throw your case out. No staring down the other guy in court.  Faster resolution. Faster payments. No credit damage for the paying party. Discounted payments for the paying party. Pay judgments by credit card -- the list goes on.

Essentially, you can get the matter done and move on with your life.  It unclogs court systems and saves taxpayers money.  There's no down side, except one:

It's new.

Not "improved." Not "advanced." New.  And that can be a problem. Because whenever people are presented with any concept, the first thing they do is try to fit it into their own frames of reference.  They try to understand it within the parameters of what they already know.  That makes it far easier for them to accept "it's what you know, only better" than "you've never seen this before."

People actually don't really like "new."  First, "new" can mean "strange and unrecognized," which some find threatening.  Second, "new" can be taken as a personal insult -- not everyone likes to be reminded that they aren't up to speed on the latest and greatest.  Third, "new" requires learning and some people just don't want to make the effort, even when that effort will drastically improve their lives.

So how to do sell "new?"  I'm thinking it's infusing education into sales, rather than allowing prospects to draw their own conclusions.  In the case of OneDayDecisions, that means running TV spots to drive traffic to the site, but more importantly, featuring short duration instructional videos on every page of the site, which educate and encourage prospects to explore further.

I'll be honest with you: We're in unexplored territory here. I have no idea just how effective the tactic will be.  I do know we have a much better service and it's totally new. It will drastically improve people's lives.

Assuming, of course, they can embrace something "new."


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