The Psychology of Buying, Part 1

Do your sales reps know how to talk to a potential client and view the sale from the buyer’s perspective?

Understanding the psychology and triggers behind why buyers buy while learning to empathize with them can help any sales rep close more leads and shorten the sales cycle. Here are six triggers that enhance lead quality and boost sales:

Trigger #1: Storytelling

Stories help people form connections on both a logical and an emotional level. Adding a story to a product or service will be a key trigger that draws leads in and helps to convert those leads into sales. There are many reasons that this is the case, but perhaps the biggest is that storytelling bridges the gap between the customer and what it is you’re trying to sell. Storytelling makes customers a part of the experience and makes it easier for them to visualize what will happen if they use your products or services.

TIP: Use case studies and real-world examples to help tell your story.

Trigger #2: Keep Things Simple

Customers crave simple solutions. Make sure your message is clear and concise, sharing how customers can acquire a product or service and how that product or service can help solve a problem. The simpler a solution is, the more likely your leads are to follow through with it – it’s just human nature. Keep your interface simple, your information on point, and leave the complicated forms in favor of simple sign-ups because simplicity applies to every step of the process.

TIP: Avoid complicated sign-up forms or long questionnaires. Collect just the basic information such as name, title, phone, and email to keep things simple for users.

SUPER TIP: Consider using drop down menus to select product interests, location, or other data. This not only streamlines the user experience, but mobile users will appreciate less data entry.

Trigger #3: Harness Curiosity

A little bit of curiosity can be of great benefit to you in your sales and marketing efforts. People are constantly craving new information and new solutions to their problems. Opening the door just a crack to let your prospective customers see what you have waiting for them will increase their desire to push that door open and see everything you have in store. Pique their interest by giving them a taste of how your products or services can help them, and then sit back and watch as they follow through all on their own.

TIP: Don’t just focus on problems or pain points. Sometimes, identifying opportunities that someone may not have considered or known about can be a powerful curiosity tool

SUPER TIP: Remember – people buy for three basic reasons: (1) they trust you, (2) they believe you have the best solution, and (3) they believe in the potential your product or service has to generate or save more time, space, or money.

Trigger #4: Provide Proof

You can tell your leads all about what you have to offer, but the best impact comes directly through your existing, happy customers. Giving people access to testimonials and reviews (or “social proof”) from people just like them will help to build your reputation. Furthermore, it makes it much more likely that leads will be triggered to make a purchase based on those recommendations. Give your leads as much proof as possible to back up what you say. Information can include comparison charts showcasing prices, previous results you have achieved, and much more.

TIP: When you have a happy customer, ask him/her to write a testimonial when they are most willing to give it! You’ll find that your testimonial base will grow, which only helps strengthen your brand.

SUPER TIP: If you really want to get the best testimonials, provide several pre-written ones and ask your happy customers to select one that they are willing to attach their name to for use in your marketing materials. People in the film and book-publishing industries have been using this technique for years to generate reviews long before the movie or book goes to market!

Trigger #5: Make Customers Matter

If you want to differentiate your business from others, show your customers you care and that they matter to your business. Showcase your business’ responsiveness by giving them direct access to someone that they can talk to who can answer their questions or concerns. Make customer service an integral part of your sales and marketing plans during every step of the process. Make people feel important by showing that you are truly interested in their experience with your product or service. Feeling important is a powerful trigger, and it is much more likely to result in sales.

TIP: Social media is today’s customer service “hot line.” Do your best to respond to comments, inquiries, questions, etc. within 30 minutes. Most of your competitors won’t be as quick to respond. This will demonstrate, in real-time, how important both prospects and customers are to your business.

SUPER TIP: Want to ethically “steal” leads from your competitors? Watch their social media feeds. Look for problems that their customers are posting, and see which ones you can help to resolve. You’ll not only showcase your expertise, but likely win a new customer.

Trigger #6: Scarcity

Perhaps the only thing that might motivate a lead more than finding a great deal is the potential of missing out on a great deal. Scarcity is a tremendous trigger. Make it clear that a product, deal, or package is only available in limited amounts or for a limited time can be a great trigger to get your leads moving. There are many different ways to incorporate scarcity into your sales and marketing campaigns. Just remember that if you use scarcity to motivate people, you shouldn’t go back on your word later. While you may gradually open up an opportunity to more people over time, realize that people want to feel as if the action that they took means something.

TIP: Looking for ideas to showcase scarcity? Here are a few keywords: limited availability, only X number in stock, for a limited time, etc.

These are by no means the only triggers that you can use to convert leads, but they are some of the most important factors that influence buying behavior. It’s important for every marketing and sales professional to find the method that works best for their audience and the campaign. What’s important in the end is learning how to bridge the gap between what the prospect wants and needs to make a purchase, and what you have to offer. Do it right and you’ll net a steady stream of new customers.