The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best. – Paul Valery
When thinking about the psychology of selling, are you thinking of psychological hacks to trick people into buying?
If so, stop reading now. That’s not what this article is about.
This article is about harnessing the psychology of selling and framing your product or service in a way that truly meets your customers’ needs.
This article is for people who have integrity, a quality product or service and a willingness to be a little unconventional with selling. The best sales strategy is to sell a quality product that you believe in, to build a rapport where you are really listening to people, and to enter into a mutual agreement where everyone benefits. The better your reputation for selling quality products without spamming others, the healthier business you will have.
Selling should not be a zero-sum game. It should be a win-win relationship.
Take a look this infographic. It illustrates how psychology can be used to persuade people into make buying decisions.
Psychology is what we human beings are made of! If you aren’t using it, you are missing out on your sales strategy, big time. Let’s jump into the 9 easy ways to sell to people, using the psychology of selling.
EASY WAY #1 – REACH OUT TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
Reaching out to your customers means knowing where they are. There are three ways you can do this – free methods; where you attract people through SEO or social media, paid methods; through ads and boosting posts, or a combination of the two.
You can reach people in many different ways. If you are beginning, you might not want to do them all, but using one or two and combining them with other methods can work well.
- Email lists
- Landing pages
- Capture pages
- Guest blogs
- Blog comments
- Social media
- Email signature
- Business cards
- SEO (Search engine optimization)
- Networking events
- Article marketing
- Video marketing (YouTube, Vimeo, etc)
- Image quotes
- Solo ads
- Joint Ventures
- Sponsored links
- Sponsored posts
- Repurposing (recycling) content
- Classified ads (Craigslist)
Look at this list carefully. Pick one strategy that you are comfortable with and one that you would like to experiment with. Use the one you like and learn everything you can about the other. Once you have mastered both, pick up another strategy. You always want to be marketing and reaching out to potential new customers.
EASY WAY #2 – ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY
Credibility is more powerful now than ever. People can look you up online and find out if you have been honest in your business.
If you are in marketing, it’s up to you to set the standard for credibility.
Printwand shares some ways to make your writing more solid, but I think some of these can apply to any business. They suggest:
- Backing up your claims.
- Citing sources.
- Showing, not telling.
- Being honest.
- Sharing your knowledge.
The key to this component of the psychology of selling is to create content that is useful, valuable and timely.
For example, if you own a hardware store, live on the East Coast and you know that a huge snowstorm is coming, you can:
- Create a blog post about a keeping snow and ice off of sidewalks and cars. Add something that no one else would think of, like forming a neighborhood snow shoveling task force, or carpooling to get to work, etc.
- Create videos to show how to put on snow chains and publish them on your blog and on YouTube.
- Post tips on Facebook or Twitter, with a link back to your blog post.
- Direct links to an online store or make your store’s address and directions prominent on your website.
Psychological tip: When you give something of value, people are more likely to give you something of value in return.
Shopify calls this reciprocity:
The principle of reciprocity means that when someone gives us something we feel compelled to give something back in return.
EASY WAY #3 – ESTABLISH RAPPORT
Look at the infographic below. So many personalities, so little time. So how do you establish rapport with them?
The key is to establish rapport with a few.
There are several ways to do this:
- Create a personality profile of a few people that you want to target.
- Outline the personalities of people who are already following you.
- Write as if speaking to people just like you, attracting like-minded readers.
- Write about a certain genre, and it will attract people interested in that genre.
- Write with passion, about something you like, and you will write easily and consistently, attracting traffic.
The easiest way is just to be yourself.
This case study by Michaela Angemeer illustrates why attracting people who identify with you is relatively easy.
Why do we like people who are like us, and why do opposites not actually attract?There are a few things contributing to this:
- We love feeling validated. Someone agreeing with your opinions just makes you feel good.
- We’re impressed by others’ good taste. So this is a little narcissistic, but we think we have good taste, and what we like is good – so when someone else feels the same way, they have great taste too – right?
- It’s so easy to talk to someone who agrees with you on everything. Less disagreement leads to a smoother conversation.
- We’re quite familiar with ourselves. It’s pretty easy for a stranger to become a friend when you can see a lot of yourself in them.
- We anticipate that this person will like us more. If I like blue, and you like blue, we can like blue together.
EASY WAY #4 – GIVE A SOLUTION TO THEIR PROBLEM
This video by Navi Radjou features a fridge, made out of clay, that takes no energy in India.
Let’s talk about the fridge for a minute. When selling it, you want to talk about the features, yes, but you also want to emphasize the benefits. Benefits show how this product solves their problem and fits into their lives.
Features: Fridge uses no electricity and constructed of natural materials.
Benefits: No electricity costs, great to use when going camping, on missions or other areas with no electricity.
If you know many people that are having a hard time refrigerating items because they live in remote areas, camp often or the cost of electricity is high, then you can solve a very obnoxious problem for them.
EASY WAY #5 – TESTIMONIALS AND SOCIAL PROOF
Copyblogger discusses the psychology of social interaction. Think of each testimonial as an unofficial vote to use your service:
Most people follow the crowd. Most of us are imitators. We look to others for guidance, especially when we are uncertain about something. We ask, “What do others think about this? What do others feel? What do others do?” Then we act accordingly. This is why testimonials and case histories are so influential.
Here is one testimonial for me. Testimonials are a great way to learn about people from others. It feels good too. 🙂
EASY WAY #6 – LOSS AVERSION: THE FEAR OF LOSING
I hate losing!
People are more paranoid about losing what they already have than gaining something of equal value. For example, most people making $50,000 a year would love to have a job that pays $100,000 a year. Yet if that meant stretching themselves and risking their $50,000 a year job, then most people will not do it. They would rather keep what they have than gain something they “might” get, even if it is more desirable.
Not only that, according to research, most people would be more upset at losing their lower paying job than not getting the higher paying one.
How does that work when in the psychology of selling? Simple.
Give ownership of your product to someone. Or show them something they could lose if they don’t buy.
For example, you can tell them that they will save $1000 a year, or you can tell them if they don’t use your product, they will lose $1000 a year.
See the difference?
Employing loss aversion can mean the difference between selling and not selling. It’s all in the way you frame it.
EASY WAY #7 – GIVE VALUE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL
Everyone can give value. Giving value like a true professional means not just providing good service or a good product.
Giving value means your first pour value into yourself by reading, listening to audio and attending seminars and events. The company I am affiliated with emphasizes reading and learning. There are hours and hours of tips and tricks to create great content and give value.
The best way to give value is to absorb it through reading.
If you sell Tupperware, you can put together a series of articles and videos showing how to use Tupperware in a unique way, say, using them to organize fishing tackle.
If you sell legal services, you hold a webinar once a week answering legal questions sent in by followers.
If you sell MLM, you can add your own product – like a training series, a free ebook or something else they would not get elsewhere, unless they joined your team.
Of course, when creating content, you want to create the best value you can, without giving away all of your secrets. Transparency, attention to detail and constantly improving yourself will give a lot of value to your audience.
EASY WAY #8 – CREATE SCARCITY AND LIMITATIONS
Scarcity is one of the major driving forces behind prices and larger economic forces and is an integral part of the psychology of selling.
Scarcity can be used in your business in several ways.
- You can create scarcity in products.
- You can create scarcity in services.
- You can create scarcity in time.
Scarcity in products.
You have probably seen these, especially when online shopping. When you are buying something online, there is a real time alert that tells you, “Only 4 left!” There can be 4 products left, or 4 products left at the sales price.
Scarcity in services.
This is great for coaches or consultants. Basically, you invite a certain amount of people into an irresistable coaching call or seminar for a price.
Scarcity in time.
These are offers that come with a clock that counts down. Once the clock stops counting, the offer expires.
The purpose of scarcity is to get people to act NOW. It helps indecisive people make a decision. You want to work or sell to these people, because they made a decision to buy. You don’t want to work with or sell to people who ask a million questions. Those people are less likely to buy.
EASY WAY #9 – CALL TO ACTION
Calls to action are the green lights of the sales process. They tell your audience what to do when they are ready to buy. If you want to sell, you need to tell people what to do and make it easy for them! ”
Customers can be very fickle. If they have to work for that sale, then they are more likely to abandon their cart or worse – never come back. If they can’t trust the process, they will most likely not buy from you.
Calls to action can go in landing pages, capture pages, email broadcasts, blog posts, or articles. They are very important. Every piece of content you create needs to direct your audience to do something – subscribe, click, or buy.
To recap, the nine steps are:
- Reach out to your customers
- Establish credibility
- Establish rapport
- Offer solutions to their specific problems
- Show social proof
- Give value
- Tap into loss-aversion
- Create scarcity
- Call to action
A FINAL THOUGHT ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELLING.
Remember to always be improving yourself, your marketing and your content creation efforts. Your sales efforts are only as good as the value your bring to the table. Perfect these nine steps of the psychology of selling and keep customers coming back again and again.
Don’t forget to thank them!
How will you use this list? Was it helpful? Comment below.
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