It’s a common assumption…that customers are irrational.  Not a very good assumption.  But it is out there.  In fact, you may have fallen prey to it.  At some point you may have found yourself thinking, "They [your customers] must be insane to not snap up this deal!"  Or, "they just don’t know what’s good for ’em." 

Probably we’ve all thought it at one point or another.  It is dangerous though.  Here’s Peter Drucker’s take, from The Practice of Management:

"To assumeas has lately become fashionablethat customers are irrational is as dangerous a mistake as it is to assume that the customer’s rationality is the same as that of the manufacturer or supplieror that it should be (p. 96)."

Why does it matter to all of us?  Well…the tendency is to make excuses for what we’re doing when it doesn’t have the effect we thought it would (or predicted it would).  What should we be doing?  Call it what it is.  And take a look at the real world of your customers.

The Delusion of Customer Irrationality