The power of social proof was one thing Joshua and Caleb ignored and it cost them 40 years and almost a place in the promise land.. But God!
Here is the reality of life – People believe the majority.
The majority have enormous power, especially when there is lack of adequate information.
If you lack reliable information when you are about to make a decision, there is a high tendency you will look at what others are doing to take a cue about what is acceptable and ‘follow’ along.
Imagine driving on a busy motorway and you notice that all the cars in your lane are signalling to change lanes. Because you can’t see ahead and you lack adequate information about what is ahead, you will most likely follow suit and change lanes. You might then get to the front and realise that there was no real reason for you to have changed lanes.
The tendency for us to take action ‘blindly’ by following others when we lack information is called ‘Social Proof’ in psychology.
Social Proof is extremely powerful and every marketer / company who understands the psychology of selling uses social proof to sell more.
In the bible, the lack of social proof cost two young men 40 years of their lives wandering in the wilderness.
It is the story of the 12 spies.
10 of the 12 had a bad report
2 had a good report.
It is puzzling that a good report is powerless when social proof favours a bad report. The same way a good product is powerless when social proof favours a bad product.
God was upset that the people believed the bad report, and a journey that should have taken 40 days eventually took them 40 years.
The 2 men with the good report, although they entered the promise land, also had to wander with the rest for 40 years.
Maybe Joshua and Caleb could have convinced more of the 10 to be on their side, rather than simply expect the multitude to believe them.
Maybe they just didn’t understand how powerful ‘Social Proof’ is.
Social Proof is a secret psychological hack to gain trust, buy-in and win others to your side.
In your business and work, get the buy-in you need, get people on your side, get your customer’s testimonials. Don’t leave things to chances.
But God… Joshua and Caleb did not grow old, they entered the promise land and Joshua reported that at 85 years (40 years after the incident) he was still as strong, can fight and still requested the hill countries to conquer. God preserved them as He has promised, because He is Faithful.
In 2014 God has been really faithful to us in this Mind and Mouth tribe. I really enjoyed having you has part of this community and I hope you had a great time too.
Except that I actually don’t want to hope that you had a good time, I will like to confirm and get some ‘Social Proof’ from you.
Do me a favour, simply answer these two questions:
- What did you like about and gain from Mind and Mouth in 2014?
- What would you like to see from Mind and Mouth in 2015?
Leave your response in the comments.
PS: If you want a more ‘business like’ guide to using social proof here is an article to help you. (click only after you’ve left a comment)
PPS: If you want a book recommendation, then Influence by Robert Cialdini is a MUST READ!