New Study Reveals Insights That Combine Risk and Resolution Have Greatest Impact on Behavior and Emotions

June 2, 2016

Joint experiment between Corporate Visions and expert in persuasion shows significant advantage to insights approach that includes risk and resolution

PLEASANTON, Calif., April 27, 2016 — Corporate Visions, Inc., the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, announced results of an experiment that casts doubt on traditional approaches to insights development and delivery. For the experiment, Corporate Visions contracted with Dr. Zakary Tormala, an expert in persuasion and messaging who created the research and conducted the study. Separately, Tormala is a social psychologist at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The online experiment, involving 324 participants, aimed to measure the behavioral and emotional impact of three different sales messaging sequences that employed the properties of “risk” and “resolution” in various ways. The study found that participants—by a statistically significant margin—were most positively influenced by a message that introduces risk to create urgency, then resolves that risk by linking it to a new and safer scenario.

Specifically, the study revealed that participants were more persuaded by an insights-based message containing novel risk information tied to possible resolution alternatives, versus a message that just presents risk alone.

“Surprising figures and data points can excite prospects and create some uncertainty around their status quo, but as these results demonstrate, that’s only half the battle when it comes to delivering a great insights-based message,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy officer for Corporate Visions. “Our research confirms that a message that pairs risk and resolution both excites potential customers and incites them to take action. That’s because you’ve shown them how your solutions can lead them from a challenging, unsafe position to a new and better one with you.

“You still need to deliver compelling stats and ‘grabbers’ to create the urgency to change,” Riesterer adds. “But, to make that change actionable, the research clearly shows that you need to show how the change scenario you’re presenting can resolve the risks in their status quo.”

To learn more about the study and its findings, download the research brief.

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