It doesn't take a twirling gold pocket watch or a mysteriously flashing strobe to get into the minds of your buyers and encourage them to buy more of your goods. Actually, there's nothing very hypnotic about employing everyday psychology to help you sell more to your shoppers.
You don't need to look far to begin your psychological assessment of what drives people to make a purchase; just look in the mirror
Selling at the psychological level is nothing new in marketing or merchandising, yet many sellers overlook some of the most basic tenets of connecting with shoppers and encouraging them to make a purchase—or two, or five.
Selling with psychology is good business and the good news is that it's not difficult to do.
What's really mysterious?
You don't need to look far to begin your psychological assessment of what drives people to make a purchase; just look in the mirror.
Different things drive each of us at different times when it comes to buying something, big or small. Just think about what you've purchased in the last month and you'll recognize a gaggle of reasons why you took up new possessions.
Don't get tangled in judging what you bought. (Let your significant other help you with that.) Just think long and hard about why you bought that particular item at that particular time and for whatever particular reason.
If you think your motivations don't extend to the billions of shoppers out there, think again. You are "people," just like they are "people." Understand yourself and you're on your way to understanding others and the psychology behind why they buy.
Cues to use
If you now understand why you buy, you have a basis to utilize the same psychological triggers that goaded you into a purchase as will (likely) goad your shoppers. So here are those cues to make the idea of a purchase sound better and better with each successive step of the buying proposition:
Indicate how much better that can be than having to withstand the retail experience
Start with emotion. This one doesn't take much insight to figure out. People buy things based on how they feel. The emotion to touch here is one of desire. Develop a presentation (images, copy) that creates a desire within your shoppers, to solve a problem, reward a sacrifice or to appeal to the notion of "you deserve it."
Provide the justification. OK, so they want or need, or desire what you're now offering; how will you get them to truly consider it? Easy—explain the benefit in buying it, one they could easily and confidently explain to anyone who might question their decision.
Show them the gain—that is, the value—in making the purchase, as well as the smart thinking involved in making the purchase decision. This now touches on the logical thinking; in other words, why it makes good sense to make this purchase and how not to be negatively regarded for doing so.
Offer an incentive. Again, this works on the logical side of the decision-making process. "Look! I purchased two right now and got them for the best price around." Friends, family, and associates are often pleased or impressed by the prowess of a shrewd buyer and attentive dealmaker. This appeals to the need for validation, within oneself as well as coming from others.
Present alliances. Why do you think positive customer testimony or notable endorsements are such big deals? Because they convince undecided shoppers that others have publicly proclaimed a purchase to be good, beneficial and trendy. Shoppers can "join the millions of others" who've said this is a good thing. Now the shopper can be part of a larger crowd of allies.
All you're doing is crafting a method and marketing strategy that speaks directly to shoppers' inclinations and indulgences
Assure it will be convenient. Crowds and in-store crushes—who need's 'em? Sure, your buyers might have to wait for a couple of days to receive what they buy from you, but indicate how much better that can be than having to withstand the retail experience.
Especially play up the idea that what they buy from you might not be available in-store. Encourage them to get it now while it's available; tomorrow it might be gone. The fear of missing out is very, very real in many shoppers.
As you can see, there's nothing so mysterious about all of this, but too often sellers forget these basic psychological tenets of marketing and merchandising. Of course, buyer psychology is a shifty sort of thing; just when you think you've locked onto the "secret sauce," something changes.
Remember that your buyers' thinking process is ever-changing (just like yours) and so you need to keep a pulse on what is happening in the economy, in the marketplaces, and in the overall public psyche as you adjust and adapt your selling psychology approach.
Is this ethical?
At the end of the day, you're faced with this question: Is it right to employ psychological tactics when selling? The short answer: Of course!
This psychology is completely ethical so long as it is completely true. Provided you're not being overtly manipulative, deceiving, or blatantly dishonest (deliver what you promise, every time), all you're doing is crafting a method and marketing strategy that speaks directly to shoppers' inclinations and indulgences. There's nothing inherently wrong in that. It's how products have been sold for centuries.
No snake oil here, just good selling that appeals to your buyers' thinking.