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7 Ways Sales Psychology Can Help You Close More Deals

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People are growing more and more resistant to sales. They hear your pitch, or see your offer in an email, and turn away the moment they realize they’re being sold to.

If you don't get your prospect's attention, they won't know how you can help. But if you push the benefits too hard, you come off as salsey and the person will walk away.

How do you find a balance?

The key is to understand the human on the other side of your conversation through sales psychology, so you can naturally relate to each other.

Sales psychology uses psychological triggers to signal to a prospect that you’re a trusted guide who can help solve their problem. It's all about leading them to feel comfortable with you, while nudging them toward a desired outcome.

Today we’ll go over seven sales psychology tips and how they can help you close more deals with customers.

PC: Dynamics 365

1. Use the principle of liking to attract more customers.

It’s easy to get lost in perfecting the elements of your pitch or flashy email. But the reality is, you only need to focus on connecting with your customer.

People do business with people they like. And that’s because the principle of liking in sales psychology dictates that you’re much more likely to close a deal if a prospect likes you as a person, than if they just liked your pitch.

But how do you get people to see you as a likable person, instead of just as a salesman, in the short amount of time you typically have to appeal to them?

Listen closely and find common similarities.

Whether it’s during the actual sales call, or doing research before you reach out to a lead, be on the constant lookout for anything you have in common with the other person.

These common factors could be anything from having previously dealt with the same problem you know the prospect is currently trying to find a solution for, or checking their LinkedIn page and finding out you have family who went to the same college.

The key is that these similarities are real and not forced (or the person will pick up on it).

Worst case if you can’t find anything, just listen. Because not only will the prospect most likely open up and give you common ground—they’re also more willing to get their money involved if they get the chance to talk about themselves.

Giving people the chance to talk about themselves triggers the same receptors in their brain as food and sex. There’s no faster way to get a person to like you then giving them a chance to actually talk.

PC: Buffer

Read the room and watch your body language.

Beyond just common interests, it’s also important to have similar energy to the prospect's.

For example, if the person you're trying to connect with is super relaxed and chatty, mimic that. But if they're very to-the-point, just directly ask them how you can best help.

You can also mirror the prospect’s body language to further match their energy. 55% of language is nonverbal, so recognizing your prospect’s cues is going to make them like you even more.

2. Let fewer choices lead your customer to the sale.

Customers can become overwhelmed by too many choices, so keep them focused on the one that best suits their needs.

This can be as simple as honestly telling the customer when something is out of their price range or when there’s really only one option that fits their current circumstance.

It doesn't matter if you have a million products or features. You always stay focused on what your prospect is trying to accomplish, and don’t offer anything that won’t help them beyond that (at least until they’re sold on the first thing).

Think about it. If you say every single option you offer is an absolute perfect fit for the customer, it will make you feel disingenuous and overwhelming.

But if you can point the customer to the few options that will actually help solve their problem (like you should be doing anyways), you'll look less desperate, well-researched—and like someone the customer actually wants to work with.

3. Let the rule of reciprocity prep the customer to close the deal.

If you want the customer to like you, you have to do helpful things for them.

Customers are hard-wired to give you something back whenever you do something for them, according to sales psychology’s rule of reciprocity. This means if you give your prospect value that they can’t ignore, they’re going to be more willing to close the deal.

The value you bring could be anything from going to bat with your supervisor to get the prospect a better deal, to always providing helpful answers to their questions (even when they're not directly related to your product or service).

Think of it as you’re much better off giving guidance and resources catered to your prospect’s needs, than taking their time by cycling through a rehearsed pitch.

The rule of reciprocity also applies to any communications or commitments you make with the prospect. For example, if you always respond to their calls and emails ASAP, they’re more likely to feel obligated to do the same.

Other things you can do to bring value to a customer include:

  • Sending helpful blog content or statistics
  • Offering a free demo or trial
  • Giving free training or consultation
  • Sharing friendly feedback and support
  • Keeping up with their situation and making accommodations

All of this works to establish you as a friend. And everyone is way more likely to do business with a friend than with a stranger.

4. Layout how your product will solve your customer’s problem with storytelling.

If you notice your prospect immediately tunes out during your sales pitch, it’s most likely because you’re only focusing on you and your product.

But we’ve already learned that being customer-centric instead is the ultimate key in sales psychology, and there’s no better way to do that than through the use of storytelling.

Why is storytelling key to sales?

Customers naturally perk up whenever something is framed as a story, because they identify as the main character in their own. 

Stories also trigger the human brain on an emotional and chemical level, and drastically affect how a person feels about something if they’re shown how they’re connected to it in the story.

That’s why your pitch always has to open with the story of your customer and their problem first, before moving on to how you and your product can play a role in saving their day. At the end of their day, it’s all about their needs and desires as the main character—not your’s as a random salesperson.

Mapping your buyer’s journey through storytelling.

Storybrand, a company that helps businesses clarify their messages, has an entire buyer’s journey map you can use to frame your pitches as a story centered around your prospect. It’s steps include:

1. Define a main character (your customer) in 3 minutes

2. Identify your main character's problem

3. Introduce yourself as the guide to help the main character (customer) solve their problem.

4. Introduce your plan as the guide, without overly emphasizing how great it is (remember, you want your customer to shine as the main character in their story)

5. Give concrete steps to call the main character to action

PC: Storybrand

Case studies and reviews are storytelling with social proof.

An even easier way to establish you’re a guide in your customer’s story is to show them the other characters you’ve helped with case studies and reviews. This also provides valuable social proof.

Case studies are a great way to simulate the same journey you plan to take a current customer through.

Reviews can do close to the same thing, but on a much smaller and quicker scale. If you’re in need of or reviews, just remember that 70% of previous customers will give you one if you just ask them directly.

Related: How to Get More 5-Star Online Reviews for Your Business

5. Use your authority to encourage your prospect to take action.

Speaking of being a guide in your customer’s story, establishing yourself as a trusted authority is one of the easiest ways to get a wary customer to take action.

In fact, 76% of people want their sales reps to act as trusted guides because it helps them feel like they’re going to make the best choice.

You can establish yourself as a trusted authority by:

  • Speaking with clarity (instead of empty jargon)
  • Making it a point to stay updated on your industry
  • Presenting yourself as resource for your prospect
  • Being able to layout a clear road map for your customer’s journey

6. Get a commitment to keep your prospect on track.

The sales process can be long, so how do you guide your prospect through it without pushing them too hard?

You give them tiny nudges throughout to commit.

According to the principle of commitment and consistency in sales psychology, people are way more likely to follow through on something if they publicly say they’re going to do it.

That means if you get them to say they’re going to schedule a call or meeting with you, they’ll be more likely to follow through. Thanking your prospect in advance for doing these things can also further prime them to commit.

You can also encourage them to schedule a demos or sign up for a free trial.

It’s these tiny nudges that can continue to subconsciously lead your prospect down your sales funnel.

7. Use the principle of unity to upsell your prospect.

Say you used all the tactics we’ve covered so far to close a deal. How do you continue to upsell and grow that customer?

The sales psychology principle of unity dictates that you can keep drawing that customer back by unifying with their love for the thing they originally purchased. And the best way to do that is by offering helpful features and options that compliment the customer’s original goal.

For example, Wordpress sales reps will reach out to different customers based on the goals they listed when they first built their website, and offer additional features that best suit those same goals.

So, a customer who purchased a plan for a business themed website would be offered special SEO features for generating leads, and so one.

After the first sale, you know your customer’s values. So keep showing them you’re a company with options that perfectly unify with their mission.

Treat the Customer the Way You’d Like to Be Treated

Sales psychology is all about thinking like the customer—and customers really just want to be treated the same way you do.

Remember to always think of them as a person first, and a customer second. A positive experience with you and your company will naturally lead them to close the deal, become a repeat customer, and spread the news to their friends.

Related: 8 Biggest Challenges Facing Sales Reps (And How to Overcome Them)