The Curse of Knowledge
The Curse of Knowledge is a phrase that our team adopted in mass while we were going through a phase of consuming all the Donald Miller content we could get our hands on.
The Curse of Knowledge is a simple idea that revolves around the fact that—on a scale of 1 to 10—experts tend to speak to customers at 7 or 8 and customers tend to make purchase decisions at a 1 or 2.
For example, let’s say you are considering one of our companies health insurance plans. If you were to speak with a health insurance salesperson, they would most likely end up speaking way over your head. There’s even a possibility that you would be even more confused and frustrated after you spoke with them than before.
Cookies on the Bottom Shelf
As a practice, we strive to “put the cookies on the bottom shelf” for our patients by acknowledging that:
We have The Curse of Knowledge, and
We will have a strong tendency to speak over their heads.
You’ll really notice this on our website. Instead of saying Liposuction we say “permanent fat removal.” And instead of saying Rhinoplasty we say “nose job.”
Psychologically speaking, the lower you speak to a patient on the Curse of Knowledge scale, the more likely they will be to trust you, feel comfortable around you, and enjoy their experience with you.
As a point of clarity, by no means do we “speak down to” or “dumb down” the education we provide our patients. We serve extraordinarily educated women and men—we just don’t assume they are educated in the same areas we are.
By starting the conversation with them at a 1 or 2 on the Curse of Knowledge scale, you are affording them the dignity of choosing how far they are interested and able to travel up the scale with you.