The Big Tricks Behind Sales Psychology

For as long as there has been business, there have been tips on how to improve sales and performance. Whether you are selling a digital service or a physical product on Main Street, there is more competition now than ever: using every tool to your advantage is absolutely critical.

An entire industry has sprung up around this phenomenon: sales psychology. For decades, brick and mortar industries used this set of ideas to manipulate and persuade shoppers into buying more and coming back more often.

For those competing online today, there are a few big tricks that should be known: let’s look at them.

A Seemingly Lower Price

We’ve all seen it, even though most will argue they weren’t affected by it. Virtually every business offers products and services for one penny less than what seems intuitive: a product that basically costs $60 is advertised for $59.99. Most items on store shelves are advertised and sold this way, and this is known as the left-digit effect. By lowering an otherwise rounded sale price by one penny, consumers will subconsciously see the product as a substantially better deal and therefore be more likely to buy it. You’ll see everything from store shelves to ads pinging websites with this effect, and contrary to what many think, it is a very effective component of sales psychology.

Decoy Products and Services

Sales psychology permeates virtually every aspect of the business and shopping process – so much so that even specific products on shelves can be a ruse. One such example of this is the creation of decoy products and services that encourage shoppers to spend more money.

An example could be drinks on sale at a local restaurant. By default, the business may offer a small 12-ounce variation for $1 and a 40-ounce variation for $3. In most situations, shoppers would go with the more affordable option. However, when that restaurant adds a 24-ounce option for $2.50, many shoppers will look at the prices and decide to buy the most expensive option. This is due to the cost differential between the pricier two options: why not pay 15% more for 50% more product?

A Sense of Urgency

Another common psychological sales trick is to convince the target audience that there is a sense of urgency. Whether that be through a deadline to act or a limited product supply, this tactic has been used for ages and is substantially effective when combined with the right marketing techniques. While a sense of urgency won’t necessarily turn uninterested shoppers into buyers in any mass quantity, it can convert hesitant shoppers who are interested into actual customers. This is why so many brands can be found pinging websites with ad copy and imagery that implies products are only available for a limited time or in limited quantities.

Understanding how to persuade and even manipulate the minds of shoppers is a cornerstone of good business sense. Sales psychology involves numerous actions and methods of execution, but most businesses have unique strategies depending on their audience and offerings. However, the three sales tricks listed above tend to be highly effective in virtually any situation.

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