By Kayleigh Alexandra, Content Writer for Micro Startups
The right psychology hacks, when applied to your business, have the power to increase your sales figures dramatically. No matter whether you’re bold and outgoing or shy and thoughtful – with the right approach, you will be able to get leads through your pipeline. All it takes is to implement some quick psychological changes in your sales and marketing approach that will make your customers tick. Sales is all about appealing to emotions. Give the following hacks a try and let us know if they make a difference!
Minimize choice overload
You might think that the more options you have available, the more likely it is that your customers will see something they like. The reality is, in fact, the opposite. Our intuitive assumption that more choice improves the chance that we’ll find the ‘perfect thing’ turns out to be a fallacy; instead, when presented with more options, we often won’t make a decision at all.
When you’re trying to make a sale, avoid giving people too many options. If you do, the odds of them buying anything will plummet. Too much choice easily becomes overwhelming. Instead, try limiting the available options to just two or three, and see whether you notice customers becoming more decisive.
Focus on value
The whole point of a sales pitch is to help buyers see that the barriers to achieving their goals that can be addressed by the features or capabilities of your products. Let’s remember that no-one likes giving their money away. But we do like having nice things. In your sales pitch, direct the customer’s attention to the having of the nice things, rather than focusing on cost.
This means avoiding related terms like ‘money’ or ‘affordable’ and instead taking steps to show what they will gain – not how much they will lose. Try to use leading statements which focus on how the product or service will make their lives better: a result that will be harder to achieve unless they commit.
Don’t be an approval junkie
The need to be liked is one of the biggest barriers to successful selling. If you project insecurity as a salesperson, you unintentionally direct attention towards yourself, when you should be giving it to the customer. If you’re someone who is constantly seeking personal affirmation, this can have the negative knock-on effect of making you seem desperate – and no-one wants to buy from a needy salesperson.
Forget about what others think of you and instead put your focus on the person sitting in front of you. It’s also possible to go too far the other way and be overconfident – this isn’t a desirable alternative. The clue is in the name: be customer centric. Sales is not about you.
Create the right emotional environment
As mentioned earlier, sales is highly emotionally driven. If you want to be a master of sales, you must become a master of picking up on emotional cues and taking the customer on a journey – without being obvious about it. I’ll say it again: sales is not about you. Take some time to let your customer do the talking and find out what’s important to them. Try to feel what they are feeling before leading them, gracefully, to your product as a potential solution.
It’s very easy to get in your own head when a customer starts voicing their concerns, firing off strategic comebacks instead of really paying attention. You’ll do better if you allow yourself to become an emotional sponge and show them you’re on their side, you get it, and you have a solution that could help.
The psychology of selling online
So what about if you’re not selling in person, but online? If you run an online store, here are some tips for improving your sales digitally.
First, embrace content. It’s a powerful sales tool that will give you all sorts of ways to add value for your customers. It’s not all about self-promotion – it’s giving them something genuinely useful, a reason to come back to your website, with the added benefit of making you appear more knowledgeable.
If you use models on your website, consider whether they’re relatable to your audience. Do these people really look like software engineers? Are we buying this scenario? It’s easier to picture ourselves with a product or service if the models represent the way we see ourselves – or the way we aspire to be. Supermodels aren’t the only option.
Finally, you can validate your customers’ taste by displaying what others were interested in. Amazon does this all the time. It’s easy to add this simple functionality to your ecommerce website – if you use Shopify, for example, you can simply install the Also Bought or Frequently Bought Together apps to give your customers tailored recommendations. Everyone likes to feel they have good taste.
You can also flip this on its head and apply lessons from ecommerce to face-to-face sales negotiations:
- Content = your pitch and the way your product is ‘packaged up’. Is this an expert-level solution, or a beginner software? Your pitch has to reflect who you’re talking to, and be genuinely useful & helpful
- Online imagery = rapport. Try to build rapport with customers by reflecting their wants and needs. It starts with body language, tone, and listening
- Recommendations = social proof. If you can mention that someone they know and respect already uses your software, you will be much more likely to close the deal.
There you have it – five different psychology hacks you can start using to improve your sales and grow your brand. Keep these strategies in mind, and your sales game will go through the roof.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit the blog for the latest micro biz news and inspiring entrepreneurial stories. Follow them on Twitter @getmicrostarted.