By Cliff Kiel, Purchasing Power’s Vice President, General Sales Manager. Connect linkedin

Basic psychology can recharge your sales. Let me explain why. Freud is remembered as the father of modern psychology because he’s recognized as having ‘supernatural’ insights into how people think. If we know how people think, then we can influence them. And in the context of our jobs, that means more sales!

A recent Marketo blog by Chris Gillespie outlines the five most important psychology principles that all of us as salespeople should review. While the path to purchase may start with an unmet need, customers only purchase when they feel that they’re making a good decision. In other words – they might not buy the best solution, but rather the one they “feel” best about.

Here’s an overview of the basic psychology primer in Gillespie’s article. The five most important psychology principles that apply to sales are:

  1. Social Group
    We’re social animals and we look to others to make our decisions. So do your homework before approaching a new client and make a list of similar companies that use that product so they know they are in good company. Additionally, show your prospect how this purchase will help them by giving them real results for a company similar to theirs.
  2. Rule of Reciprocation
    People are compelled to return favors, even if you don’t ask for them. So do favors for your prospects, and make sure they know you are doing it so they realize what you are doing for them is not “standard.” Let them know the hoops you have to jump to get them what they need and they will realize they’re valuable to you.
  3. The Contrast Principle
    The underlying secret to many negotiations is that value is completely relative. Negotiators typically inflate their initial demands so that they end up with what they wanted to begin with and still seem reasonable. So when you share the price of your product or service with a customer, don’t be afraid to disclose the full list price and let it sink in. Give them time to react before alluding to concessions that you can explore with them.
  4. Authority Principle
    People instill automatic trust in things that seem official. A commonly overlooked form of authority is putting things in writing. Bolster your credibility beyond what you are saying, by using marketing materials including case studies and testimonials.
  5. Scarcity Principle
    We value things more highly when they are scarce or may become so. To apply the scarcity principle, create urgency with deadlines. There are different kinds of deadlines that you can use. For example, detail the deadline to sign the contract in order to get the program implemented before open enrollment.

Read Gillespie’s blog for more detail on utilizing the principles of psychology in sales.

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