April 26, 2016

One Word to Yes

In Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: Science and Practice, he analyzes the psychological impact of the word “because” on listeners. In 1978, Ellen Langer, a psychologist and researcher from Harvard University, performed a simple experiment on the word “because.”

The subject was in a photocopy room and asked for a request to jump in line ahead of people to make copies using two different wordings.

Method 1: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

Method 2: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”

Both questions are asking the same exact thing, yet the subject received a go-ahead from 93% of people for Method 2, as opposed to 60% for Method 1. This proves that simply the use of the word “because”, the fact that people hear the word “because”, produces better results.

Sales Psychology 101: What Are Your “Because” Reasons to Make an AEC Sale?


Client: The company’s earnings last quarter were down, but it’s still important that we open this new office in Dallas . . .

You: I understand your concerns. We’re all feeling that crunch right about now. Because ABC Construction won the Texas State Affordable Housing Award in 2015, we’re the best fit for you because efficiency and savings is the foundation of our company.

Specialized Experience

Client: Our COO has a very specific vision for how she wants this project to go.

You: There’s nothing better than having a client with a vision. Because ABC Construction’s lead project Manager, Eric Johnson, just led our team in building a drilled pier in Dallas precisely like the one your COO is looking for, he’s the one we’re going to put on the job. Eric lives for collaboration.


Client: How quickly can you get this done?

You: ABC Construction has a reputation of quick turnaround because we have decades of experience. Also, because we hire the fastest and smartest workers in the game. Check out our Lakeland Mall project, which we completed in under six months.

Of course, your “because” reasons can go on and on. Just remember that including a “because” explanation increases not only your sales psychology IQ, but also your numbers!

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Feel free to also reach out to our sales team at sales@cosential.weareshellshock.com or 800-505-7089 ext. 1 with any questions you may have.

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