Driven by Emotion.

Driven by Emotion.

From a recent Kiplinger editorial survey, “On Valentine’s Day, one in five die-hard sports fans turns down romance to watch a game. A good chunk of men, 31%, want their lovers to be bigger fans; 18% would take a pay cut to change their partners’ interest level. and both sexes would gain weight or add to their commutes to alter their lovers’ interest level in sports. A full 41% of men say rooting for the same team is a bigger deal than sharing religion. There’s also financial friction: 27% of couples argue over money spent on sports. A majority of respondents, 61%, say they’ve spent money they shouldn’t have to watch or back a team. And nearly four in 10 admit they’ve missed work because of a game.”

Listen. I get it. Sports are a big deal, in the U.S. and around the world. I like watching sports as much as the next person, but some of those statistics are shocking. 41% say sharing their sports team is more important than sharing religion. Does that mean, as a Christian St. Louis Cardinals fan, you’d rather wake up in bed next to a satanist or a pagan than you would a Chicago Cubs fan?

Four in ten say they’ve missed work because of a game, and two-thirds of employees are not engaged at work. 100% of employees think they should be making more money, but 40% will skip out to go watch someone else throw a ball.

The reason I share this interesting survey with you is to remind you of all the irrational and emotional behavior amongst humans and how you need to understand it and leverage it for the benefit of all stakeholders. If someone will take a pay cut or gain weight in order to alter their lovers’ interest in sports, why in the world do most doctors think their patients choose them for rational reasons?

When I ask doctors to talk about what makes them different, they talk about their level of care, expertise, treating people like family, high-quality outcomes, etc. You’re supposed to do those things. They are only valued in their absence.

What are you doing that would cause someone to increase their commute, gain weight, spend money they shouldn’t or change religions to come see you? I don’t literally want you to cause those to happen for your patients, but if you can articulate the emotional drivers that can make some people sports-crazy, you’ll have a much better idea where to start.

How do you create and sustain raving fans? What talking triggers can you put into your practice that would allow people to easily identify with you and share you with friends and family? What would make people want to check in with you and see what you’re up to, what new things you’re doing and whether you are winning or losing in the marketplace? Until you crack these codes to human behavior, don’t be surprised if your results are very mediocre.

Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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