Availability bias

We all have a tendency to give the most credence to what we can most easily recall. If we can remember an occurrence quickly without much effort, we tend to find it perfectly suited to whatever the question that is before us! For an example of this, look no further than your relationships.

People in relationships often share the burden of household responsibilities. One of the main areas of contention between couples is “fair share” - as in, “is the person doing his/ her fair share of the work around here?” The conflict occurs when one person believes they are doing more than the other. What might actually be occurring is that both individuals are falling prey to the ‘availability bias.’ What you remember, and therefore exaggerate, is the last time you did the dishes, made the bed etc. So in your mind, you think that you always do the work and the other person never does it.

Availability bias can work to our advantage with running client relationships. Let’s say one of your client’s boss’s asks who’s the best qualified team for a particular brief. And in the instant your client (obviously) says “those guys”

What may have actually taken place is not a careful analysis based on price, reliability, quality and suitability. Rather the client has recommended the first team they remember. Our brains can often substitute questions for answers we easily know… In this case “who is best” has been replaced with the less intellectually challenging question “who can you name.” (And now, thanks to the principle of public commitment, they have gone on record and will now defend their selection!)

The insufficiency of reasoning is obvious, but it is a rare individual that would submit to the task of finding the statistics to genuinely answer the question. We all take the path of least intellectual effort – we’re human after all!

So, regular contact keeping your company top of mind will secure you more briefs! Success starts with turning up!

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