Overcoming technophobia.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Every aspect of a business, from a company’s name to its customer list to its telephone exchange, communicates a certain level of success to colleagues, clients, and customers.

Entrepreneurs, no matter how fiercely independent and convention-bucking they are, must compete within the corporate world. Every message they send out, whether consciously or not, should say “success” in corporate vernacular.

Judging confidence.
People say not to judge a book by its cover, but if the cover is unattractive or disconcerting, we’ll pass it over. You can project the confidence-inspiring air of a cutting-edge firm occupying the top 20 floors of a glass-and-steel high-rise.

Invest in a website.
As a sales tool, a website does double duty: Job two is identifying your product or service. Job one is imbuing your organization with an aura of authority and professionalism. When it comes to the design of your website, simplicity and elegance are key. You don’t have to shout.

tech-robotTechnophobia: The six main fears of potential technology buyers.

1. Size of expenditure.
The bigger the price tag the greater the perceived risk.

2. Relative newness.
The high-tech sale becomes difficult if something is perceive as too new. Is it supported by the industry? No service? No support?

3. Fear of obsolescence.
What if they buy it and there’s no service or support because it’s too old? Is a better gizmo coming out tomorrow?

4. Complexity.
Everyone wants things simple. No one wants overtime to figure out the latest techwhizmo.

5. Differentiation.
Is it an appliance or a toy? Where does it fit among all the other solutions?

6. Professional embarrassment.
No one wants to look foolish buying the wrong thing; especially an expensive wrong thing (see # 1).

The right words reduce technophobia.
Most people are intimidated, when approaching a new technology, by the sheer number of new ideas we must learn. Research shows we only need a limited number of concepts to communicate effectively.

Communications can be divided into two categories:
1. function words (activities)
2. content words (vocabulary)

Focusing on function words, the essential core of language, enable us to more readily put new knowledge to use. Few content words are used every day.

Linguists discover core vocabulary.
In the past century, linguists and second language teachers discovered a core vocabulary of fewer than a thousand words can provide semantic coverage for nearly every idea expressible in a human language. (Basic Core English is 800 words.) Typically, the top 100 to 200 words account for 80 percent of the total words communicated. The most powerful or novel words when converted to graphics/illustration enable the viewer to fill in the blanks; a short cut to understanding.

Beating Technophobia

  • Show the product as new but its function as traditional.
  • Show continuity with the past, not a break from it.
  • Show how everything in the past led inevitably to your new product.
  • Show new growth as the users growth.
  • Overcoming buyers remorse.

Post-Decisional Reassurances
Once a purchase is decided/accepted, users want communications reassuring them they have made the proper decision. Cognitive Dissonance is post-decision doubt. “Buyers Remorse” happens when the product doesn’t match the user’s self-concept.

Preventing buyer’s remorse.
Reassure your customers about their decision. Educating your customers about their purchase. Making the strange sound familiar. (see technophobia.)

The first web seconds: first impressions count.
During the first seconds: We search for cues to justify our acceptable reasons to purchase: such as economy, dependability, (logic, denotative things.) We also unconsciously search for cues to our hidden non-rational reasons to buy: such as pride, conformity, comfort, individuality. (feeling, connotative things.)

Committee Selling
A website makes it easier for committees to understand and buy tech products. The site should appeal to the purchasing agent, the decision maker, the scientist, the user, and the influencer.

A website should do the following for the product or service buyer:

  • Reduce perceived risks.
  • Provide information.
  • Promote product understanding.
  • Give reassurance.
  • Establish credibility.
  • Build loyalty.
  • Overcome barriers.
  • Reinforce product identity.

What a website should do for the site owner:

  • Forecast sales.
  • Obtain feedback.
  • Stay in budget.
  • Stimulate growth.
  • Create a database/ mailing list.

What others think of us:


"Steve Teare bailed us out. Our organization had two outdated sites and lost our volunteer web designer. The site rebuilds entailed a great deal of work to sort out all the outdated content, images, and documents and get to work on our updated goals." visitpalouse.com Washington, USA

by - Mike Milano