The WSJ article on President Obama won the Health Care vote describes how he changed the conversation:
Mr. Obama’s most effective move may have been calling for a bipartisan summit on health care, shifting the conversation away from Democratic paralysis. Aides knew there was little chance they would reach a bipartisan agreement, but it forced Republicans to put ideas on the table, framing the choice as between two sets of ideas, rather than simply a referendum on one.
Framing helped the President make the conversation between two ideas instead of a referendum on what was labeled by some as Obamacare. The power of options and framing in decision making is extensively studied and reported in Behavioral Economics. With people like Cass Sunstein (author of Nudge) working in his administration and Dan Ariely who worked on his campaign, it is not a surprise to see the President use these methods in winning his most important campaign promise.
Be it a vote, negotiating a deal, charging for extras or pricing a product – make the decision be about selecting one of many available choices vs. a referendum on the only option you are presenting. It is easy to say no when the choice set has just one item, it is awfully hard when there are two, and with three you are most likely to get the middle option. [tweetmeme source=”pricingright”]
If one price is good, two are better!