fire extinguisher

It happens in the ladies room.

There is always a line in the ladies room.  Maybe it’s because we stop to do our hair, chit chat and adjust our panty hose.  Anyway, there’s a line and we get on it.

There are three bathroom stalls and a dozen ladies waiting in line.  Two of those stalls are occupied, and the third stall is empty, but no one is using it.

We wait in line even thought that stall is empty because…well, everyone else is waiting in line, so there must be something wrong with the third stall.  Right?

Then it’s your turn to use the next empty stall, and on your way you push open the door to the unused third stall.  And inside you find…

A normal stall.  Perfectly clean.  Perfectly empty.

So how come ladies jump to the end of the line without checking on the empty stall first?

The Mystery of Social Proof

It’s because of something called, “Social Proof.”  Social Proof is one of the principles of influence described in Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, describing the automatic programming in our brains that determines what influences our behavior.

The Social Proof Principle works like this: when we walk into an environment and need to figure out what to do, we look at what everyone else is doing and do that.  The more uncertain we are, the more powerfully social proof influences our behavior.  95% of people make decisions this way.

Most of the time, using social proof in our decision making makes sense because it’s a reliable short cut our brains can use when we need to act quickly.  For instance, when making an emergency exit from a burning building, following the people in front of you who are taking instructions from the fire department is pretty smart.

What the heck does this have to do with booking more weddings?

Book More Weddings with Social Proof

Well, brides are typically very uncertain about planning their weddings.  They’ve never done it before and they don’t know what to do.  So what influences their buying behavior?

You guessed it: they look at what other brides are doing.  This is why they go gaga for reviews.  That’s social proof.

Dr. Cialdini’s studies show that reviews work to influence customers’ buying decisions even when they know they are fake!  That’s how powerful this principle is.

If brides and grooms can’t easily find an abundance of reviews about your business, you are losing weddings.

If you don’t have any reviews, take a step towards getting them TODAY.

1. Create a free listing for your business.  (On a site like Wedding Wire.)

2. Email a direct link to your listing to your most recent couple and ask them
to post a review.

3. Include a small thank you gift like a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks before
they post the review as an incentive.

Remember the line waiting for the empty bathroom stall and take advantage of the power of reviews for your business.

How do you use your reviews?  Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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