If you were to think back on your childhood, you could probably come up with an instance when you had the famous conversation with your parents about “how all the other kids were doing it.” You’d insist that you’d be the only “loser” who didn’t get to do “xyz” because your parents just simply couldn’t understand how important it really was. Much to your chagrin you may remember pitching a fit and then storming off to your room convinced you were the only child alive who’d never get to do what everyone was doing, Memories like these can often times lead us to chuckle, and even in most cases come to realize that our parents actually had valid reasons for not letting us just go along with the crowd. In fact, not only had your parents saved your from a disastrous event, but they also helped you from becoming a victim of social proof.
Social proof is the concept that people try and emulate what everyone else is doing, simply because everyone else is doing it. It’s a form of peer pressure that will take its roots in us at a very young age, and follow us all the way into adult hood. In fact, whether or not you realize it, you still could fall pray to social proof’s web of pressure. Don’t believe us? Think back for a second and ask yourself. “Did I laugh at a joke in a movie that wasn’t funny simply because I heard other people laughing?” “Did I stand up in church to that one song because everyone else started doing it, even though you wanted to stay still?” “Did you give that performer you just saw a standing ovation with the rest of the crowd, even though you just thought they were ok?” If you answered yes to any of these, or could answer yes to a similar situation. Then congratulations, you gave into social proof.
Now you might be thinking, why is this a big deal? After all, who really cares if you occasionally bow into a little harmless peer pressure? Well honestly, no one. But, you might when you start to understand that you can actually use social proof and Real Estate Virtual tours to your advantage when it comes to business and real estate. How might you ask? Well, it’s quite simple. You need to learn how to go from being the victim of social proof, to being the wielder. And it’s quite simple to do. You just have to take the principles of how it works, and spin it on its head.
For instance, the main principle behind social proof is that you determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct. Case in point, you view a crowd standing up giving an ovation, and you go along with it because you perceive in your mind for it to be the proper thing to do. So, the trick is to recognize when it’s happening and not give into its lustful charms. And then, you go even one step further, and apply it to your own negotiations.
For example, let’s say you want to buy that additional house to add to your portfolio, but you need the proper bank loan to get the job done. So, you go to your bank and sit down with the lending officer and you do two things. One, you have the complete willingness to walk away. This instills in them the idea that you believe if you don’t get the right deal here you can “do better elsewhere.” And then two, you inform them that other banks have already expressed interest in giving you the loan you would like, however you prefer to remain loyal to the bank who’ve you done most of your dealings with up till now. (Granted we recommend you only use this option if you actually have received other offers.)
By doing both of these above things, you play into the banks role of their perceived social proof, and that they better go along with you because you already have people that are willing too. And just like that you’ve gone from getting schooled by social proof to becoming the teacher.