When a marketer is selling a product or service, it’s important for them to really get in the head of their customers.
While it would be nice to just say that you have a product or service and tell customers what it does, this often isn’t enough to make a sale.
The thing is, while customers want the product or service that you are selling, they may not know it. They also may not be fully convinced that they need it.
This is where buyer psychology comes in.
Buyer psychology is the study of consumers and how they think.
I’m going to give you a 101 course on buyer psychology so you’ll be able to start thinking more like your customers. Once you get into the mindset of your customers, you’ll find that you are better able to target them, market to them and sell them on your products or services.
So, let’s get started with buyer psychology 101.
People Love to Buy (But Hate to be Sold)
People love to buy things…this is obvious.
If you consider the amount of stuff that most people have—heck, if you consider the amount of stuff that you have—you can see that the idea of purchasing products and services is an exciting one.
Still, as weird as it sounds, most people don’t actually like to be sold…even if they want that particular product or service!
In order to sell more, it’s necessary to become less salesy.
Instead, customers want to feel like they came upon their purchasing decision by themselves. This helps them to justify the purchase, and it makes them more likely to buy without hesitation.
Customers Want Social Proof
You may have the best product or service in the world, but it’ll be hard to sell it if no one else is buying.
Customers want social proof. They want to know that other people are making the same decision as them.
People like to feel like they are part of the group. We are social creatures, after all. So, when people see that their peers are purchasing something, they will be more likely to purchase that thing as well.
Make sure to provide social proof (if possible) to help drive sales.
They Want to Feel Safe
Have you ever purchased something that you weren’t completely sure about? Was part of the reason that you purchased it the fact that you were offered a “money back guarantee?”
Even if you didn’t think about it at the time, subconsciously you may have made the decision to purchase certain products and services based on the fact that you could return them—no questions asked.
This lowers the risk of purchase, which makes the purchase easier to justify.
Customers like to feel safe when they make a purchase. They want to know that if they don’t like it—or if they change their mind—they can get their money back.
That’s why the words “money back guarantee” appear so often. Marketers know that this little safety net can increase sales.
Customers Want the Feeling of Reciprocity
People like to do nice things for other people…it is hardwired in our DNA.
Because of this, if a business gives away free items, the customer is likely to feel the need to reciprocate.
This reciprocity generally takes the form of a sale.
If you can get a customer to feel like you’ve helped them out and they “owe you one,” it is that much easier to suggest a purchase. After all—you helped them out.
Consider “free” gifts that you’ve received from companies. How did these gifts make you feel about the company? If the answer is “good” or “positive,” it very likely influenced your decision to purchase.
Customers Want to Hear a Story
Humans are natural storytellers. It’s just a part of who we are.
Since the beginning of time, humans have told each other stories. We see this in scrolls, texts…even paintings on the walls of caves!
There is something about a good story that captivates us and draws us in…
Great marketers understand this. They know that people love a good story, so they want to tell one. They also understand that their product or service needs to be at the center of that story.
If I were to try to sell you a book by describing the book, you may or may not purchase it.
Now, if I told you a story about how that book helped me to lose 20 pounds, and losing that weight cured my type 2 diabetes, you’d be a lot more interested in that book!
Even a simple story is enough.
Great marketers can tell a story with as little as a single page in a magazine or a 15-second commercial.
Learn how to tell a good story and your customers will convince themselves that they need what you are selling.
They Want to Feel Like They Are Part of Something
Think about the culture that Apple has built.
People that buy Apple products are proud of those Apple products. They also feel like they are part of an elite class of people that are connected under the banner of Apple.
Apple understands this and has created a “hive” mindset since day one. Owning an Apple product is more than owning a device—it’s becoming part of a group of users that all agree that Apple is the best.
If you can convince your customers that they are part of a tribe built around your product or service, they will be more likely to engage with others in that tribe—and invite new people to join.
People are joiners. They like to be part of something. You simply need to give them something to be part of!
Using Consumer Psychology To Your Advantage
Buyer psychology is all about understanding what customers want, and why they want it. With what we’ve gone over, you should have a better understanding of what the mind of a consumer looks like.
Now, use this information and guide your customers to purchasing your products or services!