Is selling a marketing gimmick
Sales Psychology: The 6 Best Sales Tricks
The psychologist Robert Cialdini is a marketing legend. He has collected psychological tricks that good salespeople use to get their customers to buy. In the Internet age, they work better than ever.
1. The principle of social proof
You are standing in front of two ice cream parlors. There is a long line in front of one. You would have to wait ten minutes. Nobody stands in front of the other. Which do you choose?
We assume that the ice cream from the full board has to be better - and we may even accept waiting times for it. As soon as we see a crowd of people, we get curious: there must be something desirable.
Man is by nature an imitator. When others clap, we clap too. When others look in one direction, we automatically look behind.
It's the same with buying. Trained salespeople make use of this principle.
- They encourage customers to post reviews on the Internet, for example on Facebook.
- They refer to the product they want to sell as a best seller.
- They talk about the satisfaction or success stories of other customers.
- You actively advertise with testimonials.
2. The principle of reciprocity
If someone does us something good, we feel obliged to reciprocate. The principle works - this has been shown by psychological studies - in all cultures. The need to create balance is deeply rooted in us. Sales strategies that take advantage of this are therefore highly effective. Clever salespeople therefore distribute gifts: this can be good advice, a free sample, a coffee or a balloon for the children. Free downloads are often offered on the Internet.
The internal pressure of having to give something back then leads customers to even buy things that they do not want to have. In the restaurant, the "schnapps on the house" - which does not come with the bill by chance - leads to higher tips. (Roberto Cialdini explains in the video below how waiters can increase tips by as much as 23 percent.)
By the way, a similar feeling of pressure is triggered in customers when they reject an offer. Some sellers therefore make their customers an offer that is far too expensive or guaranteed not to meet expectations. The customer refuses. At least with empathetic people the feeling arises that the seller owes something because he has been rejected. At that moment, the seller makes his real offer.
3. The principle of sympathy
It is difficult for us to refuse people who are sympathetic to us. Trained salespeople use this consciously. There are different ways to generate sympathy:
- Attractiveness: Admittedly, this screw can only be turned to a limited extent, for example with good clothing and a well-groomed appearance. Attractive people are automatically assigned a number of positive qualities, such as honesty, ability and intelligence.
- Similarity: We like people who are similar to us. We trust them. Trained salespeople use this tactic to be aware. For example, they adapt to their target group's clothing and emphasize similarities. “Oh, you are also from Hamburg?” Or: “You also saw the soccer game yesterday?” Or: “I also had the same problem.” In the sales talk, does the customer drink his coffee black? Then the seller does this and points it out again.
- Compliments: People like compliments. And that's why they like people who compliment them. Good salespeople do this casually. Something like this: “I enjoy working with you.” “Thank you for the constructive conversation.” “With you, you can tell immediately: You are a specialist.” And also: “Great watch, which brand is it?”
4. The principle of scarcity
An absolute recipe for success for successful sales is the close-of-gate panic principle. Those who credibly convey to their customers that if they do not make a quick decision, they will go away empty-handed, have almost won. Because people tend to be so excited that they stop thinking about the benefits of a product when there is only one of them left. This sales principle is of enormous importance, especially in times of online trading. The providers put the buyer under pressure: "Three other users are looking at this hotel room at the same time". Or: "Only two dresses in stock."
The thought of missing out on an opportunity or being late is so uncomfortable that it is enormously powerful.
Salespeople can intensify this reaction from the customer,
- by pointing out that the product or service is only recently in short supply. If something is always scarce, the effect is less strong.
- by creating a competitive situation among their customers (keyword: rooting table). Because what's worse than not getting something? Right: to see that someone else got it.
- by creating time pressure. “I'll make you a special offer, but that only applies today!” This principle is particularly exhausted in teleshopping, and it is also extremely successful in e-commerce. Either the sales phase for a product is limited in time or a bonus or discount is only granted for a certain period of time. Example: "Only those who book today will receive a travel guide for free."
The principle of scarcity has been psychologically well researched and confirmed. The nice thing about it: It still creates a good mood with the customer even after the purchase: as a feeling of superiority because he has received something that others will not be able to use.
Robert Cialdini explains exactly how the tricks of sales psychology work and what salespeople have to consider in a video that is well worth seeing (in English).
5. The principle of authority
Customers believe experts. Therefore, as a seller, it is important to have a certain authority to achieve expert status. First starting point: the appearance of the seller. According to Cialdini, two types of clothing in particular have a grandiose effect: the uniform, for example for doctors, stewardesses or craftsmen. And the “business uniform”, that is, the dark suit. Who would buy insurance from a sloppy-look seller?
In addition to clothing, behavior can also exude authority: a deep, calm voice, space-consuming gestures and a relaxed gait show self-confidence.
More difficult to achieve, but extremely effective in selling, is real expertise. Anyone who, as a seller, can convince through skills and a knowledge advantage, will succeed in getting higher prices.
But knowing a lot is not enough (then many a professor would be a millionaire). You also have to present your knowledge if you want to achieve authority. Fashion sellers who blog about fashion can gain recognition in their target group, electronics sellers can test products and thus present their specialist knowledge on the Internet. In a store, it is helpful to state your professional training on the name badge.
6. The principle of consistency
According to Cialdini, we have a deep need to behave consistently: those who have made a decision tend to stick to the decision and to defend it. People do not like to behave like this once and differently at the next opportunity. They like a unique identity.
Good salespeople therefore try to wrest a "yes" from their customers as early as possible. A customer who said yes to a test drive in the car or to a test glass of the expensive wine has already made a small decision. The seller then gets the second yes from the customer much more easily. Suppliers of expensive products in particular are therefore trying a salami tactic: They first offer small sub-projects before approaching customers with their high-margin main product.
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