What’s inertia? My dictionary defines it as a tendency to do nothing. And a resistance to change
People often tell me I do a lot. If so it's in direction opposition to the challenge I face every day. Especially in winter when I’d much prefer to hibernate. Curling up and ignoring the world on a day the wind howls outside and the showers catch out the unprepared.
As business people, a head under the blankets attitude isn’t an option at any time. And these days there are so many things we have to keep up with. Facebook, Twitter, blogging and now Pinterest. Grr. Can you imagine me disappearing in the cloud of smoke of my tailspin. Which too often ends up in me taking no action at all.
Do it tomorrow is what I think. Or nobody’s listening anyway.
Not true though often we don’t realise they are. Not everybody sticks their head above the parapet to comment or connect.
So I have to carry on as if they need me. Need the help I can offer. A friendly word that might just turn around a difficult day for them. Or a solution so easy for them to take up it’s a no brainer.
As writers we're no different from our readers. We’ve problems and need solutions. We've woken up with a great idea and want to make things happen. Some day. Some day we’ll lose weight, buy the training package or get immersed in social media.
What stops us from sorting out all our challenges? We find out about solutions, we like the sound of them, we tell people how great it will be. Then we stick.
As a reader of a clothes catalogue I tear through it ticking off the items I like. In short I could spend a lot of money… which I’m sure the company wants me to do. But I’ve put in a pre buying strategy that says wait. At least 24 hours and better 48.
And what happens then? 9 times out of 10 I don’t buy.
How to counter inertia in your readers
When I examine all the techniques a company employs to try to break down my inertia I’m doing it both as a buyer and as a professional writer. As a writer I can admire their time deadlines, their offers to pay delivery, their limited availability.
As a buyer I’m deeply cynical and know they’re trying to manipulate my buying process.
How can we make our buying offers so important our readers can’t ignore it?
Dig deep and understand our buyers. After all, who are we? Can they trust us?
Understand how scared they are of changing. What if it doesn’t work out for them? What if their family, friends, colleagues make fun. We need to make their way to change an easy path.
The change they’re making might have been forced on them. At the back of their mind is always this nagging little voice – ‘but will it work?’ followed up by 'Can I get my money back?'
And the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle is accepting it may take several contacts with your buyer before anything happens.
My cat often makes several half hearted attempts to go out of the house in the morning before he gets all the way outside. He's sniffing the air, checking for intruders, thinking if he stays put we'll feed him again. When and only when he's ticked off all his worries does he take the plunge.
We as buyers aren’t much different from him.