How People Make Choices

Published by MLCH on

How can we identify how someone makes choices?

We can profile people based on their needs and decision styles. We can leverage those two things in every conversation.

There are six factors that filter how we make our choices.

#1 Deviance

They ask themselves, Will this help me stand out or break cultural norms?

Deviance decision-makers will choose products, behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, friends, personal image, and decor based on whether the action will help them deviate from normally accepted standards.

Their personal appearance will show others they don’t conform to typically accepted purchase behavior and social norms. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have blue hair, piercings, or tattoos… they can simply have an unusual suitcase.

Someone who is high on the deviance scale will also be a novelty-seeking personality. It might not be when deciding, but it might be part of their personality.

#2 Novelty

Is this noticeably new and will others see it?

Novelty decision-makers will decide based on whether the action will show that they are early adopters of new trends, technologies, and products.

They will decide based on how “new” the experience is and thrive on choosing behaviors that give them experiences they haven’t had before. It’s the guys who are always introducing you to new movies or music others haven’t seen before.

Someone who is high on novelty will also tend towards being social and standing out (deviance).

#3 Social

Will This make people around me show interest or connect with me?

Social decision-makers will decide based on how others will view and interpret the action.

They are more likely to adapt to new trends in fashion, hide their flaws, and display behaviors designed to impress or please people around them.

Their decisions are regulated by their estimation of how their behaviors will be interpreted by others. We see someone wearing a sports team jersey. They are wearing it mostly to show the team they support and people might notice it and connect with them.

#4 Conformity

Are others in my peer group doing this and is it acceptable to them?

Conformity decision-makers will choose products, behavior, beliefs… based on whether this action will maintain their status in a social group.

They typically are averse to radical shifts in behavior and will decide based on how it will appear to their close peer group.

When deciding, they consider social implications first and whether their peers are doing similar things. These are easy to spot. They don’t have crazy hairstyles, no tattoos, they dress like most people.

If you go to a rich neighborhood, you will notice people with similar outfits, cars, houses, offices.

You will see people high in conformity in both extremely high and low-income areas.

#5 Investment

Is this investment or behavior going to benefit me?

Financial decision-makers will decide based on how the action could affect them on a financial level. They will typically choose price over quality, and will still make wild decisions when the cost is low.

They are prone to overanalyze unless they are primed to be completely receptive.

#6 Necessity

What makes this necessary considering other options?

Necessity decision-makers will choose products, behavior, beliefs… based on whether the action will fulfill a specific purpose.

They weigh options more than others, and will typically be more patient with decision making unless they are triggered by the emotions like fear to act.

They are more motivated by scarcity.

Cell Phone Cases

A perfect illustration of spotting decision-makers is by imagining you are at a supermarket and you notice 6 people looking at cell phone cases.

The first one is looking at a cell phone case in the shape of Hello Kitty… we automatically know they’re deviant decision-makers.

The second person is looking at a cell phone case for the latest iPhone… we see novelty.

The third person picks up a case that says Dallas Cowboys… we see social.

The fourth person picks out the most boring case that everybody else has… we see conformity.

The next person picks out a waterproof case… we see investment. I want to protect my phone and maximize what I’m getting at from the investment.

The next person is on his hands and knees on the bottom shelf going through the cheap cases… that’s the necessity guy.

Even from a silly buy, we can identify potent personality information about people.

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