What psychological tricks are used for selling?

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There are many psychological techniques in sales. This is true about both one-to-one sales, such as a real estate agent with a potential homeowner, and one-to-many, like a commercial for a local car dealership shown to dozens of neighborhoods in the area. Confidence and other ethereal attitudes and concepts will contribute, but sales is largely about tried and tested patterns of behavior in people. Without patterns, people would not have been able to figure this stuff out.

Here are five psychological techniques commonly used to sell products:

1) Human beings like novelty. Every few months, there’s something new. A new flavor, a new event, whatever, have things going on. You don’t have to go too crazy with it. Find one really cool thing to spend several months promoting, to maintain your focus. The best example is Apple. Apple spends months pre-selling by holding industry events showcasing what they’ve made recently. And boy does it work.

2) Freebies and Deals. Getting something for free, or even just a bargain, is appealing, but only when the product is the solution to a pain point your target audience is feeling. That’s when a freebie or discount becomes an irresistible deal.. Sharing a sample of a product, or trial subscription of a digital product or service, can get you a customer initially and keep most of them for the long haul, provided your product is worth it. This technique is quite common in eCommerce, leading with a freebie.

3) Social proof. When it comes to making decisions related to money, we are surprisingly easily influenced by friends, family members, even celebrities. There are many ways of using social proof, such as a literal commercial with a celebrity in it or even just the implication in your marketing and branding that you are trustworthy. Testimonials from other customers, positive reviews, etc.

4) Praise and validation. Gamification, the implementation of computer and video game concepts into advertising and marketing, is an interesting and growing aspect of the online marketplace. Personally, I think the main thing that makes gamification work is validation. People are especially warm to being told they are working hard, or that they succeeded where others failed. People also easily form identities over habits in their life that give them these feelings. As an example, the foreign language learning app Duolingo keeps its users hooked by giving them very small daily progress goals and making it very easy to keep up an impressive, long-term learning streak.

5) Invoking urgency is fairly obvious, but critical in selling. Urgency and scarcity create effective calls to action. Get it now while supplies last, read this now before it gets taken offline. Agreeing to buy something is not entirely logical, it’s also emotional, and emotions can fade in absence. Letting your potential client get away with a maybe from your cold call so you can “Definitely check-in.” next week? You lost them, most likely. Time to wait is time to think, and people will think themselves out of decisions that will make them happier. It’s mostly all the majority of people do with their lives. So, we want anything that suggests FOMO, fear of missing out. If the person doesn’t take action now, this opportunity might not come back anytime soon. Scarcity and urgency help, because they wake people up from the haze of “something else will come along” or “I don’t need this yet.”.

So there’s five to consider, but like I said, there are many psychological techniques and I just offered a sample. So, I will quickly share something based on my experience and wrap this up.

If you’ve ever done door-to-door or cold-call sales, you know that people on average are more ready to say “no” to buying something, joining a group, or doing whatever it is you want than “yes.” I have found that there are five common objections that customers usually have when they have to buy something. The solutions to those objections is another set of powerful psychological techniques. I have discussed those objections and their solutions in my article, “5 Deep-Seated Customer Doubts That Kill Your Sales (And How to Erase Them)“. If you are interested, that article is on my website.

In short, psychology is a big part of sales, and people could spend days answering this question. It is best to implement psychological tactics that you learn and that come naturally to you, as long as you stay ethical.

Please feel free to reply if you need clarification.

Good Luck!



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