I remember when I was at university during my degree and we always tended to laugh at the psychology degree in our faculty. We always said that it was the most boring degree and that’s why it had a very reduced number of students (obviously we had to say that because we shared the same building and they were our “rivals”).
A few years later, I must confess that psychology, and especially psychology of sales, has been one of the factors that helped me boost the sales of my business. (I’m sorry psychology students, I take it back!)
We need to understand how we act and think when we’re buying to tweak the way we show our products and services and entice our audience. I guarantee that if you implement any of these 8 techniques, you’re going to increase your number of sales and your conversion rate.
- 1. People love spending money
- 2. I take the mystery box!
- 3. Increase your sales reducing the options that you offer
- 4. People must love you or hate you
- 5. The theory of reciprocity in psychology of sales
- 6. People care more about what they lose than about what they win
- 7. Consistency is key
- 8. Reverse psychology works
1. People love spending money
And this is something that most people don’t believe in. But we love spending money, whether you like it or not.
We like spending money in something that makes us feel satisfied with ourselves.
For example, when someone spends a ridiculous amount of money in a very expensive car and then this person drives for the first time to work and everyone in the office tells him how fancy his brand new car is. He spent this amount of money because for him, being satisfied with himself means power and he feels good when people recognise it.
In fact, it’s exactly that thought that it’s in his mind when he’s buying the car to block any negative thoughts (such as the amount of money that he’s actually spending).
And this is just an example, the same applies to people that buy a car for other reasons, such as the safety of their families, the conversation of the environment or the dream of travelling around the words. That doesn’t matter.
That’s why I’m sure that you have noticed how different car brands appeal to different emotions regarding the type of car they’re selling.
How can we make people love spending money in our money?
And John Lewis is a great example of this. For example, let’s see an example of a Christmas campaign:
As you see, they’re not advertising any product in concrete; they’re showing the emotions and feelings that their audience are going to experience if they buy their products.
Now, what you have to do is to ask yourself:
- How do my potential clients want to feel when they think about buying my products or services?
- How do they actually feel?
- How can I reflect that in my marketing materials?
2. I take the mystery box!
I’m sure that you have seen this scenario where a contestant choses the mystery box over a real prize. Pretty funny, eh? (Especially when you see the face of the person when he opens the box and gets disappointed.)
Ok, getting back to the mystery selling, I’m not saying that you have to trick your audience at all. I’m saying that mystery sells better than you think. Actually, it is the foundation of most reality shows, such as Storage Hunter (have a look at it at your own risk so you know what I’m talking about!)
How can you start implementing mystery in your sales strategy?
Let’s imagine that you have a business idea in mind. You want to launch a new product or service. As you start developing this idea, you can tell your audience that you’re working on the best product for them. (Obviously, then you’ll have to reach these expectations.)
Set up a mail list where people can subscribe to receive tips about what this new product is about. Now wait and see the results!
People nature is curious. We always want to know it all, especially when it’s something that it’s going to benefit us.
3. Increase your sales reducing the options that you offer
I’m sure that you have been to one of those flea markets with loads of people selling loads of different products and yelling at you to attract your attention. How much money have you spent in this type of markets? Not much, right?
That’s because in these situations we suffer from what it is known as “analysis paralysis”. We have to analyse so many products and offers that we get paralysed before so much information.
Maybe you have heard about this test about selling jams in a supermarket. A supermarket selling a smaller variety of jams ended up earning more than a supermarket with a larger variety of them.
How can you decrease the number of products/services that I offer?
Well, it’s not exactly about stop offering a product or service to reduce the number of your offers. What you can do it’s to classify your products into categories.
This way, your clients will know where to go for a specific product and won’t have to go through a page full of products and offers ending up suffering from analysis paralysis.
4. People must love you or hate you
The moment you notice that some people hate you, you know that you’re doing something right. And I totally agree with this affirmation.
Important note: by people I mean your audience, not your actual clients. If a client hates you it’s because you did something wrong with your service or products. (Ups!)
Let me explain myself. You can’t make everyone love your products. Actually, you shouldn’t target everyone with your products. Now, you must make your targeted audience love your business. As long as they love you, that’s totally fine.
At some point, you’ll notice that someone won’t like what you do, but that’s fine, because you’re not targeting your services to him. Let them be.
Now, if you think that everyone out there loves your business, you’re doing something wrong. Step back and analyse the audience that you’re actually targeting.
5. The theory of reciprocity in psychology of sales
This is very simple. It’s basically means that if you do something for a person, this person will feel that he must make it up to you. And I truly believe that this technique is one of the best ones in the long run.
I’m a person that loves sharing things with others. And I have noticed that all these people that I have helped during my career, at some point have done me a favour in return.
Ok, but getting back to the business field, if we extrapolate this theory to business, it means that if we do something very valuable for our audience, at some point they’ll feel the need to do something for us (aka buying our services.)
How can I apply the theory of reciprocity in y business?
Let me explain it with an example. I’m sure that you’re using specific software that offers a one-moth trial in its premium offer. Let’s say Spotify or Photoshop.
They’re giving something of value at the same time that they’re showing you what they can do for you to entice you.
Obviously, once we know the advantages of a premium version of the product, we’ll be more likely to consider buying this version.
Now ask yourself: how can you apply this to your business?
6. People care more about what they lose than about what they win
A person is going to care more about losing 10 pounds than about earning 10 pounds. That’s a fact. You may think that it makes no sense, as it has the same importance, right? That’s again something that we do without even noticing it.
And if you think about it, I’m sure that you can relate, right?
What does this technique mean to my business?
Well, if we know that people care more about what they are missing, we should probably focus on telling them what benefits they are missing if they don’t buy from us. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
Now it’s time to do your homework. Make a list with all the benefits of your services and products and rephrase it in a way that you show your audience that they are missing them if they don’t buy from you.
7. Consistency is key
The truth is that most people aren’t going to buy from you the very first time that visit your website.
And now that we know this, we can’t just turn a blind eye. We need to act and do something about it. Now.
What can we do? If a visitor leaves your website, you’re not going to see him again. We need to collect some details so you can be in touch with him.
And that’s why it’s so important to invest some time to build a list of subscribers for your business. You have to work on these subscribers with good content until they get ready to buy for the first time.
But first you need to make them trust you.
8. Reverse psychology works
And I must confess that I LOVE using this last one.
Imagine that a client contacts you, and then you make a first offer. Then your client gets back to you saying that he was looking for something more economic (does that ring a bell?)
Your first instinct can be lowering your rates, but that’d show that you’re a bit desperate to get that assignment. You’d probably get it, but your reputation can be at risk if every time that a client asks for a discount, you accept it.
So, imagine that you’re not going to lower your price. You get back to your client saying: “I’m so sorry to hear that you can’t afford my services”.
That puts you in a higher position. You’re letting your client know that you only work with the best clients and, obviously, you can’t afford lowering your prices for him.
If your client really cares about quality, you’ll be impress how this technique will make him get back to you and accept the offer. If your client is price sensitive, well, he’s simply not a match for your client portfolio.
What do you need to take into consideration here?
You’re letting your client know that his sale is not essential for your business, obviously it’s because it’s not.
If you’re desperate to win this sale, you need to think about a plan B. What would happen if your client doesn’t accept your first offer and this technique doesn’t work?
Of course, we never want to get to this situation, and that’s why we should plan our business in a way that we don’t focus all our efforts on a single sale.
Now that you know all these techniques of psychology of sales, I have prepared a checklist with the actions that you need to take if you want to implement each technique. To download it, you just need to share this post with your friends!
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Have you ever used psychology of sales in your business? Did it work? I’d love to hear your experiences.
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