Fact-Based vs. Reason-Based

Fact: noun

1. something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.

Reason: noun

1. a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, event, etc.: the reason for declaring war.

Here are somethings I do every day... 

1)    Meditation·

  • Fact: I started a meditation practice because it has been shown to improve brain function and reduce stress.
  •    Reason: I continue to meditate because it improves my perceived well-being.

2)    Ice Cold Showers

  •  Fact: I started cold exposure because it has been shown to increase norepinephrine, which has a positive influence on inflammation, mood and attention.
  •  Reason: I continue to do cold exposure because it gives me a euphoric feeling.

3)    Coffee or Tea with MCT oil

  •  Fact: I started to consume this because medium chain triglycerides have been shown to be an effective and efficient energy source for the brain. Additionally, nutritional ketosis has been shown to increase cognitive function and energy.
  • Reason: I continue to use medium chain triglycerides as my primary fuel source in the morning because I like the way it makes me feel.

4)    Use a standing workstation

  • Fact: Standing workstations have been shown to increase cognitive engagement and memory recall by up 12%. Additionally, I know that I burn approximately 30% more calories standing compared to sitting. This is done through non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
  • Reason: I continue to use a standing desk because I feel I can concentrate more.

5)    Do physical activity

  • Fact: Doing physical activity daily has a dramatic effect on your mood and is a simple daily habit to increase longevity, quality of life, and reduce risk of chronic disease.
  • Reason: I continue to train because I like the way it makes me feel.

So, do we need to have a reason why we do everything? Should the reason be backed by facts? Does it matter? Are your purchases always based on sound reasoning? Or Facts?

If a product gives you facts as to why you should buy it, does that mean you will buy it?

The justification is accepted and adopted via the value proposition of the product. The value proposition is often based on facts. There are things we know about the product that are true. This dialogue goes something like this…

Business: Buy this product because x,y,z (reason & purchase justification). Additionally, research has shown that 1, 2, 3 (facts & value proposition).

Customer: Okay, here is my credit card (customer can justify the reason for the purchase based off of the facts rooted in the value proposition.)

I think we like to think that we base our decisions on facts. The fact that backs up the justification is what we need to get our “foot in the door”. If we enjoy the product, service, or activity, we continue our engagement.  Yet, our engagement transitions from fact-based to reason-based. Meaning, our engagement becomes intrinsically rewarding, which influences our enduring involvement.

Facts influence social proof. When we describe why we do something, or why we bought something, we often rely on facts for our justification. The fact is an objective truth about the activity or product. Our peers and society as a whole, cannot object to facts. So we give facts.

“I do this for 1,2,3 (facts)”

But, the reason we give ourselves is often much more subjective. We like the product or the activity and we find engagement to be intrinsically rewarding, and so we continue. When we discuss this with our peers, people may disagree with your subjective reasoning. If this is the case, we go into defense mode and we disregard our subjective reasoning and we build our case around objective facts about the product or activity. People can argue and disagree with you over your subjective reasoning, but they can’t do that with objective facts.

            “I do this because I enjoy it (reason)”

Ask yourself why you do what you do? Is it fact-based or reason-based. Did it transition from one cause to the other? It is beneficial to engage in self-reflection to uncover why you are doing what you do. Reflection will help you define if you have routine. This type of self-awareness can make you more proactive and less reactive in your daily activities. When you are mindful of the intention you have behind what you do, you may find it to be more meaningful.

When building a remarkable product or service you will need facts to back up your value proposition. Fact-based justification will get your “foot in the door” with customers in the first three stages of customer development (see below). Yet, for customer retention and advocacy you will need to have built a relationship with your customer. The relationship must be perceived to be intrinsically rewarding for the customer. If people are reoccurring clients it is because they are enjoying the engagement they are feeling. It must have meaning to them, or add value in some perceived way. The final two stages of customer development, you can get creative, build a relationship with your customers and they will stick around.

So, why do you do what you do? Do you base your actions on facts or reasons? 

If you build it...

Most people have heard the "if you build it, they will come..." line from the classic American film Field of Dreams. While, in the context of the corn field, that may have been true it isn't the case in business. 

"If you build it, they won't come. You have to build it and then go and sell it"

This was once said to me by the Founder of a successful social enterprise, and it really stuck with me. 

There are two main aspects I want to discuss further regarding this adage, which is the build and the sell. The crucial component for the build and the sell is quality. Quality is difficult to describe and even harder to find In a world where you are constantly bombarded with noise, content, and social media. But when you experience true quality, you know it - you can feel it. 

Quality is always better than quantity. If you are building something, that you believe is truly remarkable, the quality of the build, the design, the feel, and the functionality, is far more important than anything else. People may not remember what your product did or what it said to them, but they will remember how it made them feel. The lingering sensation that quality leaves behind for the user is your customer retention, and more importantly advocacy. Customer advocacy is the best marketing plan there is. None of this occurs sustainably without the build being quality. So, take pride in your products and services. Be the craftsman that does not cut corners. Tell a story with your products, and do something remarkable. 

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is needed for a quality sell. The best product, with the worst sales pitch, is not the best product. EQ is needed to partake in quality human interactions. It shouldn't feel like a pitch. Selling is like storytelling. We all know a great storyteller who can captivate you with their words, animated gestures, and their tone. The storyteller uses emotional information to guide their behavior. They feed off their audience and they truly care about the quality of the human interaction. Storytelling has been a significant part of human culture for thousands of years. This explains why when we come across a great speaker (a great storyteller), we feel calmed, but also engaged. For that brief moment in time, we are captivated. If the storyteller is good this is a very pleasant experience. When you build something that has a great story to tell your sell is postured to be high quality.  

Build something remarkable with a great story, and tell the story. Seek quality human interactions, over quantity. Quality is hard to find. Give people quality and you will have your customer retention and customer advocacy.