mindThe best marketers I know are very good observers of human behavior. They always keep their eyes open to understand how people make decisions and how smart companies sell them their stuff. This is something that no business school in the world can teach you. This is what gives the best marketers in the world the edge that everyone else just dreams about. These are the 9 weird psychological tricks they know.
Robert Cialdini, in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, talks about an experiment he did. They asked a group of people to put a huge sign in their yards that said “Drive slow; kids playing”. The overwhelming majority of the people said no. A second group of people were asked to put a tiny sticker in their windows with the same text. Almost everyone agreed. Then they were asked to put the giant sign in their yards. A large percentage agreed.
The takeaway? People want to be consistent with previous actions. If they said yes to something in the past, they’re more likely to say yes in the future.
What does this mean to you? You need to get your prospects to say yes to something. And the best way to do this is by asking for a tiny micro-commitment. For example, if you sell a $2,000 coaching program, you can have a funnel that looks like this:

  1. Download free report (only 3 pages; it can be read in 10 minutes)
  2. Get my free videos (total 45 minutes)
  3. Get my DVD (only $19.97)
  4. Free 10-minute phone consultation for people who bought the DVD (deliver a lot of value here. Provide “useful but incomplete” information. Keep them wanting more.)
  5. Group training ($499 and includes a 110% money back guarantee)
  6. Private coaching ($2,000 and includes a 200% money back guarantee)

The principle of contrast states that “People see things as good or bad depending on what’s around them”. For example, a regular house looks beautiful next to an ugly one but the same house looks ugly next to a gorgeous mansion.
What this means to you? You should have a bad offer on your website. Yes, seriously! We proved this to be true every time we tested it. It makes your main offer look so much better. One of our clients was selling 4 bottles of his product at $89. We added an option to the site for 1 bottle at $75. His sales (for the 4-bottle package) increased by about 60%. Decoy offers make “the real offer” look very, very good.
Social Validation
People want to be liked and want others to think they make smart decisions.
What this means to you? Explain why buying your product is a SMART decision. People will need to justify their actions with others and they’ll repeat whatever you say. Make a compelling argument so people feel good about buying your stuff. (And, make sure your stuff is extremely good!)
High Price = High Quality
Have you noticed that when you go to the $1,000 doctor you feel a lot better than when you go to the $500 one? The $300 pair of shoes is always better than the $150. Really? No, not really; but it’s all about perceptions, not facts.
What this means to you? You are hurting yourself by charging too little for your products. Raise your prices and increase the perceived value of your stuff.
People want what they can’t have. What restaurant would you rather go to: the one that is fully booked for the next 3 months or the one that’s empty? What school do you want your child to attend: the one with the 6-month waiting list or the one that is advertising everywhere trying to fill up their classes?
What this means to you? Make sure your prospects know you don’t take anyone as a client. Tell them they need to apply and you’ll be selecting the ones that are a good fit. This will make them want you even more!
If you sell products and can’t pull this off, try this: say in your copy who SHOULDN’T buy your product. For example, if you sell handmade lamps, try saying “if you’re looking for cheap lamps, you won’t find them here. If you’re the kind of person who appreciates the art of lamps made by hand by Asian artisans, you’re in the right place.”
Too Many Choices = No Action
Doesn’t it piss you off when you want to buy a digital camera, go to eBay and they have 3,497,765 cameras listed? You think “OMG! I’ll be here all day!”
What this means to you: narrow down the choices you give your visitors and increase your sales instantly.
People take action when the offer might not be available in the future.
What this means to you: giving people reasons to act isn’t enough; you need to tell them why they need to act NOW! Some ideas:

  • This offer expires on Friday
  • I’ll only be teaching this to 10 people
  • I’ll take only one client this week
  • 4 items available. When they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

Risk Reversal
The lower the risk an action has, the higher the chances are for someone to take action.
What this means to you: have a guarantee! Go beyond the standard “money back guarantee”. Some ideas:

  • If you don’t lose 5 lbs. in 10 days with my personal training program, I won’t charge you a dime, I’ll train you for free for an extra month and I’ll even pay for your gym membership.
  • If your back keeps hurting after trying the BackGenius 2500, just give us a call and we’ll give you 200% of your money back, pay for the return shipping and we’ll even take care of the pick up.

Guarantee results, not just “satisfaction”. Get very specific.
Note: depending on your market, about 1% of the people will rip you off, but your sales will double. Do the math and see if this works out for you. Hint: it will ALWAYS work out in your favor. Remember: your market is going to be taken by the boldest marketers. This could be you or your competitors. Don’t let fear of losing stop you from winning. If you’re afraid of things going south, just test your guarantee on 200 sales and keep some reserve cash just in case. Then compare the extra sales with the refunds you had to give and see if it makes sense to keep doing it.
Sex Sells
This is nothing new. Sex sells. That’s why models are hired to sell products.
What this means to you: you need attractive people to show your products. Don’t just call your cousin Joe (the one with the beer belly) because he’s willing to do it for free. Use stock photos if you have to or put an ad on Craigslist and you’ll get very attractive -although not famous- people to feature your products.
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