Do Your Insights Excite or Incite?


Selling with insights is no longer optional—it’s mandatory for marketers and salespeople hoping to tell an actionable story. But new research shows that driving action isn’t just about challenging your prospect’s status quo with surprising information and data points—the traditional insights-based approach. That’s a start. But to create urgency that’s actionable, your insights need to go beyond risk and show how you’re uniquely qualified to resolve the risks you’ve identified.

This is the difference between insights that excite versus insights that incite. The former message gets consumed and forgotten about. The latter drives buying decisions, creating the urgency to change and then showing how that change is possible…and better than what your prospect is doing today.

Risk and Resolution

A story that pairs risk and resolution seems like it’s moving in the direction of actionable messaging. But how does it play out in practice? Corporate Visions teamed up with Dr. Zakary Tormala, a social psychologist with expertise in messaging and social influence, to find out. The study, conducted online, included more than 320 participants, evenly split by gender. Specifically, it aimed to test the messaging effectiveness of two different types of insights-based messages, focusing in particular on the behavioral and emotional impact of each message type:

Risk-only insights designed to make prospects feel unsafe in their status quo by introducing surprising new industry data points.

Risk + Resolution insights, similarly designed to make the status quo feel unsafe, but also introducing solutions that resolve the prospect to a “new safe” in the same message.

The study revealed that you can gain a statistically significant advantage in both behavioral and emotional impact if your message includes risk and resolution, versus risk alone.

Want to learn more about the persuasive impact you can have with a message structured to create risk and resolution? Check out our research brief to learn more about the study.

Tim Riesterer

Tim Riesterer

Chief Strategy Officer

Tim Riesterer has dedicated his career to improving the conversations marketers and salespeople have with prospects and customers. His books, “Customer Message Management”, “Conversations that Win the Complex Sale”, “Three Value Conversations”, and "The Expansion Sale", focus on improving market-ready messages and tools that marketers and salespeople can use to win more deals. As chief strategy and research officer for Corporate Visions, he sets the direction and develops products for this leading marketing and sales messaging, content and training company.