If you give a package of candy to a toddler, he’ll ask you to open it for him. Customers, just like toddlers don’t like starting stuff. They will ask you to demonstrate, open or start things for them being afraid they may do things incorrectly or maybe they’re just opting in for easy. They don’t like initiating things, they prefer following. Here are some examples:

  • We’re less likely to tip if the tip jar is empty. We just like putting our dollar with other dollars. There’s a reason why smart bartenders start their shifts with some singles in their tip jar. Through suggestion, they invite us to follow. If they start their shift with an empty jar, they may wait longer for the first person to tip. This is also why they leave some singles on the bar, it’s to show that other customers are tipping.
  • We are more likely to comment on a post if there are already other comments.
  • We are more likely to see or buy something because it’s a best-seller, sign that many people had bought it before us. We say we like original but above all we love popular.
  • We love reading reviews and knowing that there were others who had bought a product before us, tested it and expressed their satisfaction.
  • We ask how many people are enrolled in a course and this influences our decision to join.
  • It’s proven that word of mouth is the most powerful marketing method.
  • We’re likely to make a donation seeing that others had donated before us.
  • We sign up for an email list where it says that there are already 1,000 people on the list.

Why do we need this permission to go ahead? Are we so afraid not to conform that this paralyzes our actions? Why are we scared to initiate and make our actions transparent?

We’re looking for approval, we prefer being joiners instead of starters. We join the crowd, imitate and conform. This is why it’s so difficult for us to break out of the norms and start living the life we want. There’s no-one else doing it. Those who do it are often considered too weird to pay attention to so we ignore them and keep being conformists craving for a change.

OK, I’m stopping here and giving myself the first green heart showing you that you will not be the first to like this article. Please go ahead and like it since others had liked it before you. Thank you!


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Originally published at medium.com