August 6

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12 sales psychology tricks to make people buy from you

By Kara Lambert

August 6, 2021


Can I be honest? I don’t like the word tricks, it makes it sound like you’re deceiving your audience using psychology to get more sales. Like anything, neuromarketing (using psychology to influence marketing and therefore sales) sits on a scale of ethics. Some of the techniques are so commonplace they are mainstream and we just don’t realise that they use psychology to influence customers to buy. All techniques can be manipulated or applied to unethical means or achieve unethical ends. It all depends on our intention.

If you consider a trick as a way to influence or improve or even a method not often employed to give an advantage, then I’ve got a list of 12 psychology tricks to help make people buy from you.

1.Foot-in-door technique

Think back to the image of a 1950s or 60s door-to-door salesman. The movies showed them talking their way into a home to make the sale, often by putting their foot in the doorway or getting themselves inside by asking for water on a hot day to prevent the door being closed. Now I’m not suggesting that.

This technique is more about the fact that once we perform one small action, we are likely to perform another.

Example: Taking an upsell after free plus shipping offer.

Example: Adding upsells at or after checkout (Vistaprint are big on this one)

2.Mimicry

Apologies to anyone who has anyone who has spoken to me and thought I was mimicking their accent, I’m an unconscious mimic.

Mimicry is using the language, tone, expressions of another person in your communication with them. Mimicry works as it makes you seem more familiar, trustworthy, and likeable. And we all know that people buy from those they know, like, and trust.

Example: removing industry jargon and using the common terms used by your audience to overcome objections to a sale.

3.Visual cues

Sometimes we all need that extra nudge and especially in our time-poor, distractedness, we need all the cues we can get. By adding claims with the prices & help reinforce the consumer’s belief that the 9-ending price is cheaper.

Example: By using the terms “sale”, “discount”, “save”, “just” with a 9-ending price, we reaffirm the client’s psychology of getting a cheaper price than if the amount was presented alone.

4.Pay what you want pricing sales psychology quote steve ferrante

This is where a business runs a sale on the premise that the client sets the price by paying what they want. While customers will discount the majority of clients will end their offer price with a 0 or 5. The majority of purchases will end in a 5.

Example: when offering pay what you want pricing, suggest a price ending in 5.

5.Pricing and tipping

When a bill does not come to a whole dollar amount and tipping is required, customers will round their bill to a whole dollar amount rather than a percentage of the bill.

It’s believed that our preference for whole dollar amounts contributes.

Example: if your company uses tipping, a charity donation system where people add it to their bill or the like, ensure that the total is not a whole number to increase the gratuity.

6.Pricing and perceived quality

While there is a lot of information around about discounting and 9-ending pricing, what happens when you are selling a luxury or perceived quality item? The research shows that if your audience is interested in luxury items or perceives your offer as being a luxury item then you will have more sales if you end the price with a 5 or 0.

If your item is not seen as a luxury item or your clients are only interested in a cheap price or a ‘good deal’ then the research shows that you have more sales if you use any other ending number except 0 or 5 in the price.

7.Bundle pricing and sales

So what if you want to bundle products and services, how do you use psychology to make more sales? Well the research shows that if the individual items have an even price but the total price payable is odd, then there are more sales.

This reinforces the research that shows that psychologically, consumers see odd prices as being a bigger bargain or better value than even prices.

8.Reviews sell

70 % of Americans and Australians will read at least 7 reviews before making a purchase.

Want to make sure you sell more? Then make sure you get reviews and better still, use them as content for your marketing (FOMO is real and that’s a bonus way that reviews influence the psychology of your consumer)

Do you have reviews or testimonials on your sales page? Make sure you have at least 7 of them on the page. Wondering how much is too much? People remember 7 +/- 2 things, so a minimum of 7 and maximum of 9 reviews will do.

9. Reconsider influencer marketingsales psychology jon miller

In Australia, 63% of consumers aged 30+ said they would not buy from a brand if they used an influencer in their marketing.

Understand how old your audience is and if using an influencer would help or harm your sales.

10. Keep it positive

Back in 2012, Facebook did an experiment to show how the mood of posts impacted on the mood of the posts made. They found that the more positive posts seen, the more positive posts made. This backed up research done the year before that showed that more positive posts seen, the more positive the intent to purchase is.

So keep your posts positive on social media and your clients will be happier and have a higher intention to purchase.

11. Tell a story

We are hardwired for stories and when it comes to sales, stories help by making us feel good and triggering oxytocin (connection, love, happiness) and when we are happy we buy more.

Effective stories are relevant to the audience, we want to hear about us or people like us and how you make us better. We also like metaphors because they help us understand the story.

12. New sells

Want an easy way to make more sales? Do your customers like a bargain? Do you use 9-ending prices?

Just adding the word ‘New’ to a price via merchandising increased sales by 8.5%. No discounting needed, just a word and a price ending in 9.

Use with caution and sparingly as your consumers will soon realise that the item you say is new is actually old stock you’re trying to clear out.

Bonus sales psychology trick

I used psychology to get you here. When I researched top-ranking articles and videos, most had 10 sales psychology tricks to make people buy from you. We all like more and something for nothing. So I’ve given you 12 tips, well 13 including this bonus tip because I knew you wanted more!

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