Also known as cognitive bias or social bias

Oooh, a bit of a heavy topic this week – Indulge me though! Irrational judgement, which is also known as cognitive bias or social bias, is experienced by most of us at some point during our sales journey. These can essentially be seen as pre-programmed ways of thinking based on old habits and the way we were raised.

Now why on earth is this important in the sales process?

Let me tell you why!

Social biases – a breakdown
As we often face objections and even rejection in the sales journey, you certainly have come across social biases in some form or another, even if you weren’t aware of it, it has happened, and sometimes it would have had a negative impact on your sales journey.

Here are a few examples of social biases:

An Anchoring Bias
This type of bias says that your decision maker (prospective client) has anchored their decision based on the first part of information they have seen. It’s that typical thing of don’t judge a book by its cover. Too late! Judgement has been passed in the first 5 seconds, and as humans, it’s very difficult for us to move past that initial judgement. This can be applied to your sales quote for instance, or whether you were late for your very first meeting with your prospective client. The tone has been set and it’s going to prove to be very hard work on your part to turn that irrational judgement around to anything that will work in your favour.

The Confirmation Bias
This is your unique way of interpreting the information presented to you in such a way that you feel the info provided confirms what you already believe. So once you feel the info confirms your belief, you stop searching for further data or answers. This means that you have come to a conclusion based on your own bias. It’s almost like hearing what you want to hear. Half-truths didn’t get anyone anywhere, and it’s very difficult to align your business or service offering with a half-truth. Rather ensure that what the prospect needs is aligned with their wants, otherwise you know this is going to come back to bite you in the bum.

The Choice Bias
This is our rather human way of convincing ourselves that any past choices we made were good choices, and our brains tend to overemphasize the good of the choice and completely overlook the negative. So, if you happened to make a bad choice with on boarding a client that doesn’t align for instance, your choice bias tells you not to be too hard on yourself, that this happened for whichever reason.

Bringing it together
I get that a social bias topic in a blog can be a bit difficult to understand. The one thing to remember (to keep at the forefront of your mind) is that everyone has some form of social bias, based on their experience, their upbringing, who they hang out with and so on. These social biases need to be taken into account during the sales process. If you remember that they exist, already you are making the sales journey easier for yourself.

Otherwise, if you’re stuck, send me a message and I’ll do my best to untangle this for you!

Happy selling!

Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual. To learn more visit her website on or contact her directly on