Let’s begin by sharing and busting two myths that seem very true.

The first is that people buy on logic.

That’s not true. People buy on emotion, and then rationalize their decision with logic.

The second myth is that understanding sales psychology is a form of trickery.

Not at all!

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Psychology in sales is an aid that the salesperson can use to understand buyer behavior, emotions, and reactions.

Now that we’ve busted those two myths, as you can tell, the common underlying thread is that emotions matter within the sales process.

When sales psychology is understood and used, salespeople do get an upper hand in the process, as they are trained to read deeper into the current situation, than a normal person would.

Sales psychology is not about tricking your customers. It’s about understanding them better and then adjusting your selling method to their likings.

Over the years, this concept has gotten so famous that Brian Tracy wrote a classic guidebook, “The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible.” for salespeople around the world.

The psychology of selling - Brian Tracy

What is sales psychology?

Sales psychology adjusts the traditional ‘push’ model to a ‘pull’ model of selling. Rather than forcing your customers to buy this product, you use methods to intrigue them into buying the same product. The psychology of sales thus is a combination of human-first interaction, emotion-based selling, and lastly, storytelling.

psychology in sales

Human first interaction in the world of sales psychology

In a world where digitization and automation are taking over our work – it’s important to be human-first.

Human-first is not just pinpointed to one aspect of the sales cycle, it’s more about the entire process. Leading the whole process with empathy, is human-first, for example.

It could start from a warm welcome on the phone or in-person, build a rapport, then figure out how to be consultative rather than advisory. When you’re human first, you figuratively can be in the other person’s shoes, and when you speak/sell, you do so understanding their place and points of view.

Human-first is one of the most basic sales psychology methods. Sales is a mindset game, which can be taught, but perfecting this, will surely take a while.

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How to leverage emotion while selling

This is an important aspect of selling anything; from a pen to a car, if a salesperson is not able to understand and gauge emotions accurately, it can lead to some disastrous situations.

When you use this sort of an approach, you will spend time to find out what your prospect values and how to emphasize that your product/service honors those values.

Two stellar examples of this are:

  • In an email: “Name”, Your package is arriving in 1 day!
  • On a phonecall: Asking great questions, and listening for an answer.

The reason these are both stellar examples is that they aren’t mandatory, but they’re certainly going to invoke a sense of emotion. For the longest time, emails couldn’t be personalized and every email looked the same – imagine how sad that was!

When asking questions, and actually listening to them, you are getting to know the person on a deeper, more connected level. A question such as “Do you want red or blue?”, can be reframed as “Since it’s the summer, do you want red or blue?”. Just by adding that emotive touch, you’ve intrigued your customer and played to their emotions.

Emotion-based selling is known to have great successes, across industries, through time.

The art of storytelling in sales psychology

The last and most important facet of psychological selling is storytelling. The reason behind this is because it takes into account emotions and logic. A good story winds those two up so seamlessly that the flow of information comes out in a narrative form, rather than dry facts or statements.

Another benefit of storytelling with sales, and why it’s proven to work is that it makes your customer the protagonist. When you do so, your customer not only visualizes themselves in it, it makes it more real – almost like owning that fancy blue sports BMW car!

The classic ‘Sell me a pen‘ is a great starting point for anyone who’s trying to learn storytelling in sales.

There are probably over 100 responses to this simple statement – and each comes out with a unique story.

the art of selling
Source: Actplanb

Most effective sales techniques used in 2020

As we talked about sales psychology, and it’s important facets, it’s only given that we talk about techniques. These techniques all use psychology and emotions to close a deal – the product does not matter.

Learning and using these techniques in a timely manner will definitely help the salesperson seal the deal.

Give first, then expect a reciprocation

Psychological selling involves preempting the person and what can help you both inch closer to signing the deal. After all, they are coming to buy something because they need it. A lot of great salespeople have a stash of things they can offer, if required, to close a deal.

Remember the last time you bought a car – did you get free maintenance for a year?

Did you get free insurance?

These are all freebies the salesperson gave you because they preempted they would need something to convince you, above just the car. They gave without an expectation that you’ll buy, but they surely did excite you about making the purchase.

Tie challenges to their values

We briefly discussed this above, but as a tactic, needed to be discussed more in detail. If you want to use sales psychology here, you really need to dive deep into their challenges. Don’t just suffice at the surface level questions.

You could be saying things like “So you’re saying, if you do X, then Y happens…that’s where the problem occurs, right?” You will come off as a solution-seller and someone who cares, rather than just a salesperson. When people are offered solutions to their exact problems, they’re far more likely to purchase.

Talk about other success stories

When selling, trust, and proof are two of the most essential to establish. On a website, you most commonly see testimonials or logos of people a company has worked with.

If a sale is happening, in person, then you’ll notice them saying things such as ‘Last week we sold two of these.’

As humans, we like knowing what our community around us is doing. If, for example, something is very high in demand, it results in ‘FOMO’ or Fear Of Missing Out. That means if they have it, so should I. A smart salesperson will know how to bring about this feeling in a person.

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The use of psychological selling within sales is a fascinating topic, as it is almost like a game of chess!

It brings it all together in a package that your lead/customer can’t refuse.

Psychological selling is also a huge competitive advantage in 2020. It is hard to sell a pen to someone 20 times, but if you manage to, you’re winning. When you use these ideas/theories, you’re thinking faster and better than your prospect.

As iterated through the article, emotions are understood and remembered, not statistics and facts. When you use techniques like these, not only do you sound or act smarter, you also show a human side to yourself. Humans being like rapport, and psychological selling allows you to build that.

After all, sales is human. Isn’t it?