Training Articles

Psychological Selling Explained

Why do people queue up to buy iPhone when it sells for double the price of other phones and is one to two times the average monthly income of most people?  Why when internet companies launch free mobile apps people download them immediately but baulk when they are asked to pay for the apps? 

Welcome to the world of psychology, in this case, customer psychology. Human beings are highly complex creatures and most people don't even know themselves, let alone know what their customers think and want. Because of impermanence, un-satisfaction and focus on self, people are not only highly unpredictable but also highly eco-centric.

From years of training, consulting and coaching people in 15 countries from U.S.A. to China and Maldives, we at Asia Trainers have come up with the following 5 factors that make people think, decide and buy from you. Whether you are now selling to individuals or corporates, if you too want to get ahead of the pack and outsell your competitors, you need to understand customer psychology as follows:

1. Convenience and Exclusivity Rules the Day
People often say customers decide emotionally and justify their decisions with logic. So convenience and exclusivity are our top point that makes people buy.

In the mobile commerce world, if your app takes more than two seconds to download, people will close your app immediately. Taobao takes exclusivity to a high level when it launches 30 minutes special offer to the world and sold 100,000 units in 10 minutes!

If what you sell is not convenient to buy, and everyone can buy it easily, you need to sell at a low price or you will sell very slowly.

2. People Don't Think Like Computers But Think Like Children
We often think that customers are rational and will pick the better choice. Yet we often see the lousier choice sells more than the better ones (think of low-budget soap operas having more audience than dramas with higher budgets).

Because human beings think like children, they like to be coaxed. Children have short memory and are once bitten, twice shy. Apple has failed customers many times before yet people forget about Apple's problems but if iPhone 7's battery were to explode like Samsung Galaxy Note 7, people will stay away from Apple.

So we have to coax customers, please them and never fail them in a big way.

3. People are Naturally Suspicious and will Doubt You Initially
This is where most salespeople fail, especially those from big names like IBM and Xerox. The salesmen from these giants cannot take rejection, for they cannot understand how can anyone in this world doubt their big names? 

Truth be told, even big names are difficult to trust initially, especially their over-priced products. The solution is simple: win over people's trust by doing things for people.

4. Analysis Paralysis affects Everyone
If you give people 2 choices, they will choose quickly. Give them 3 choices, and the decision time gets doubled. If you give people 5 choices, they will take 10 times the time to choose as compared to 2 choices.

The more people analysed, the more they get confused, and in the end, they reach a state called Analysis Paralysis. Look at all the deadlocks in Parliaments and you'll know what I'm talking about.

The solution is to give people few but high-quality choices. Limit your choices to 3.

5. Losing is More Painful than Gaining
Professor Robert Cialdini did an experiment, where households were told that if they were to install a newly launched special offer $50 gadget in their house, they will save their electricity bills by $15 a month.  Few households take up this special offer.  When households were told that if they don't install this $50 gadget, they will lose $15 a month.  More households take up this 2nd offer when in reality these two offers are the same. 

Given a choice, people will do whatever it takes to avoid a loss than to make a gain. That's why governments usually impose a fine on people if they break traffic rules, but never give people merit points or money if they follow the rules.  

Written by Sales Coach Andy Ng, whose course Psychological Selling is now available in Asia on 22nd June 2017 Thursday 9 am to 5 pm.  Limited seats available, grab yours now at 37% discount ($199 instead of $298) at here.  Enquiries please e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text to 65-8201-4347 now.

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