What is Psychology and what has it got to do with sales?

Let’s define “psychology.” It is “the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.” To be able to boost sales and gain influence with our customers we need to understand them. If you don’t understand the physchology behind sales, then your sales are going to fall flat or stagnate. To figure out how to gain an edge we’re going to learn about psychology and how we can use sales triggers to get more subscribers, get referrals, get sales, have people download your app, whatever your goal may be! So keep reading…

  • Social Proof

  • We’ve all been sheep at one point, and we’ve all followed the herd at one point or another. Psychologically, seeing other people doing things and enjoying things puts us at ease. We’re social creatures and we take validation from seeing what others are doing and then following along. Now, you can use this tendency to confirm in your own businesses’ sales process. All you need is to show other potential customers that everyone else is “doing it” and then they will too. Let them know everyone is buying this product, or all these people liked this blog post or look how many people joined our mailing list. And voila-they’re also going to be more likely to join now.

    Social proof will help you get even more people doing the same thing-essentially the thing you want them to do. Check out the video below to see this in action

    Social Proof/Conformity

  • Scarcity

  • I won’t drag on to much about the psychology of scarcity since I’ve got a entire article dedicated to this on the blog here. Basically this comes from the idea that humans place a higher value on something that is seen as difficult to attain, or rare. It’s also kind of like the fear of missing out, which you’ll read more about below. Think of white girls and the limited time Pumpkin Spice lattes are out. Or McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes during March. Knowing these items are scarce makes you feel like you “won” and got to be part of something if you managed to snag one. If you want a more extreme version read about McDonald’s and their ‘Limited Time Szechuan Sauce‘. I’m serious-Google it.

    Penguins experiecing scarcity since only 1 fish is left for 4 of them

  • Authority

  • We all know that the phycology of Authority works. We’ve all been students before and just blatantly believe whatever our teacher told us. If they told you that you could hold it and wait to use the bathroom, you trusted them and believed them. People are generally hard-wired to respond to authority (or those who appear to be an authority figure).

    Even a little authority is enough. Selling books? Have a top author pick a few of her faves and share that list. Selling fitness products? Have a trainer give details on a few of his can’t-live-without-these items. Even just a “staff picks” section could be enough authoritative-ness to convince a purchase.

    Boss Nametag

  • Liking

  • We’re more likely to yes or agree if we like or feel connected to a person giving an offer. Why do you think cashiers are always forced to plaster a fake -seemingly nice- smile on their faces? Make your brand and personality clear. You need your colours, images, theme and so on match what you’re trying to sell. You’re not going to make your kid’s clothing store all black with skulls and teenage boys modelling (I mean unless that is what you’re going for?) because it won’t match your message and won’t make you likeable.

    You can also make things shareable. Let your products be linkable to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, whatever media you want. When customers share your products, blog posts, FAQs, whatever it may be, they are showing loyalty or trust in your brand. And then their friends who see the social media posting are more likely to trust you too because it was recommended to them by someone they know and trust.

  • Reciprocity

  • This term comes from the basis of reciprical behaviour. It’s our natural instinct to return a favour or something someone gave us. Imagine your friend takes you out for ice-cream and insists on paying. You relent and let them, but then next time you go out you’ll offer to pay for the ice-cream. That’s reciprocity in action-returning the favour someone did for you. To make this work in sales you need to remind people what you’ve done for them. Say you helped them fix their website free of cost you’d say, “Since I’ve fixed your website for free, I was wondering if you’d mind leaving me a 5-star review on my website.” It’s super easy and it works. You remind people what you gave them and ask for what you’d like in return. And if it’s simple and easy they’ll usually be more than happy to help you out.

    For online businesses this could be as simple as giving people free samples if they spend a certain amount or buy certain products. This tactic works because they feel as if they received a gift and that might earn you a second purchase!

    Dog Comic for Reciprocity

  • Trigger Fear

  • Fear tactics are scary…because they work. And I don’t mean jump-scaring your shoppers or forcing them to watch horror movies, no you can create fear in just 4 letters: F O M O, or fear of missing out! People are afraid of not joining the crowd or being left out, it’s how trends happen. You can create this same feeling in terms of selling. You need to try to create an offer that’s limited, that people could get left out of if they don’t act quickly! This can be coupons, early bird offers, flash sales, limited holiday sales, special editions of products out for a limited time; the list is endless. Just remind people of their fears and then watch the sales happen!

If you’ve made it to the end of this list of psychological triggers for sales, then you’re probably already an expert. Try implementing a few of these tactics and I’m sure your conversions will increase and lead to more sales.

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