Since psychology is about understanding what drives human behaviors, there is an opportunity for you to leverage the established principles to connect with your customers, build trust, and influence their decision-making.

But how to go about it? That is what we will talk about today. While we buy something when we feel the “need” for the product, you can create that “sense of need” in your prospects through a sales strategy focused on the principles of psychology.

Not only in the initiation phase of the sales funnel, but you can also impact their behaviors throughout the customer journey. However, remember that it’s not about some cheap tricks to drive consumer behavior; rather, it revolves around empathizing and establishing genuine relationships with the audience.

Let’s dig deeper and know more about the psychology of sales.

The Psychology of Sales: 7 Principles

Over the years, psychologists have conducted thousands of experiments on human behaviors to know more about our minds. What’s interesting is that the business world has been using the findings of these studies to create effective marketing strategies from day one. 

Here are the seven psychological principles that businesses often use to boost their sales.

1 Principle of Empathy

Did you ever wonder how a close friend of yours felt when he was under a trauma? If yes, you already know what empathy is.

Empathy is the human ability to understand and realize what others are experiencing and feeling. Business entities need to empathize with their consumers to understand their requirements so they can cater to them with better solutions.

You should learn how to empathize with your audience to know what they experience with your products or services. The only way to manufacture unbeatable products is to put yourself in the user’s shoes and realize what more you can do to make them loyal to your brand.

Customer empathy helps point out the pain points of your clients and allows you to resolve the issues for their benefits. 

2 Principle of Reciprocity

We naturally tend to return a favor to those who have been good to us. If a neighbor lends you a hand in repairing your fences, this may motivate you to water their plants when they are on vacation. This psychological pattern of behaving with others the way they behave with us is known as reciprocity.

You can use this psychological principle to create a sense of obligation in your target audience so they buy from you. An example can be companies distributing free samples of their new products.

Giving out complimentary samples can not only help you make necessary changes to upgrade your products but this is also a way to encourage people to think of you when they will consider buying in the near future.

You need to assess which act of charity may make prospective clients grateful to your business to leverage this principle. If a public park in a locality needs renovation, you can do that to create a sense of reciprocity among the potential buyers of that locality.

3 Principle of Authority

Have you ever noticed that the same words can weigh differently depending on who is speaking? It happens because we trust the words of an authoritative figure better. That means adding authoritative values is crucial for you to earn credibility in the long run.

Let’s say you manufacture beauty products for women and the sales result is not what you expected. Now if you can hire the current Miss World to promote your products, you will catch your prospects’ attention and most likely enjoy boosted sales.

This will happen when the audience will see that the leading experts or stars in the industry are saying good things about you. Another way to earn authority is to consistently publish high-value blogs, articles, tutorials, and infographics.

4 Principle of Social Proof

As social beings, we often do things that most people are doing without giving it a second thought. This happens because we have a natural tendency to seek validation for our acts from society.

This psychological pattern of seeking validation from others is known as social proof. Marketing experts frequently use this policy in formulating successful campaigns.

You may find many companies publicly bragging about being the largest manufacturer and sometimes they publicize the data on how fast their sales are increasing. By these, they use the social proof principle to woo their target clients by telling them how many people are happy with their offerings.

When you publish positive reviews and testimonials, you are using social proof to market your products. Another example is publicizing photos of a client with your products.

A Brightlocal study found that close to 80% of consumers read online reviews of local businesses before they make up their mind and in most cases, they choose the products with the best reviews.

5 Principle of Liking

How many times have your spouse or a friend compelled you to buy something? This is an example of the psychological principle of liking.

You may have noticed that companies often hire celebrities to use this psychological principle to their benefits. When a product enjoys a higher sales volume because of good word-of-mouth – that is also an example of the principle of liking.

A Nielsen research reported that 88% of buyers prioritize word of mouth. One way you can use this principle is by giving a special offer to a client who refers you to someone they know.

6 Principle of Scarcity

You must have seen many ads mentioning – “Limited Stock.” You need not believe all of them since this is a widely-used marketing tactic that employs the psychological principle of scarcity.

The scarcity principle induces the psychological phenomenon called Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) in us and silently pushes us to purchase something immediately whether we need it or not.

You can also earn more with this principle since the economic theory of supply and demand triggers us to spend more if a product is in short supply.

You can also leverage this psychological principle to promote sales by making time-bound discount offers.

7 Principle of Anchoring Effect

Who doesn’t love winning something? For a shopper, winning is to get a better price than they initially thought they would be spending on a product.

But are you sure that the so-called “original price” is not manipulated in the first place? You will be surprised to know how often companies engineer the initial pricing of a product.

Usually, our subconscious mind believes the first information we hear about anything, regardless of how accurate or inaccurate it is. That info stays in our mind like an anchor of a ship no matter what we know afterwards.

This tendency is referred to as the principle of anchoring effect in psychology. Nowadays, the anchoring effect has become a norm for many businesses to help maximize their ROI by fixing a higher initial price for their products or services. Later, they offer discounts to boost their sales.

6 Psychological Factors that Influence Sales

Every business owner should consider the following aspects of psychology of sales while planning and executing their marketing campaigns. 

1 Go With Popular Belief Systems

Don’t think about changing people’s beliefs – no matter how silly they sound – since going against popular beliefs will result in failure in most cases.

Always keep in mind that you are not supposed to bring changes in society by challenging common sentiments. Your marketing policy should always go hand in hand with what the society accepts as a norm.

2 Trigger Emotions with Colors

What is your favorite color and why do you adore it? I bet that color soothes your mind and brings about some positive energy in you.
In fact, the same color can trigger the same emotion in others as well. Color psychology is the segment of psychology that studies the effects of colors in our minds to understand how they change our behaviors and mood.

You need to study color psychology if you are going to design a product or market it. You should analyze the product’s characteristics, user preferences, and the underlying significance of colors before using them.

Blue sparks a feeling of calmness while red is associated with strong emotions like love, excitement, or anger. Some colors also carry significant cultural values in a region. 

Carefully finalize the color scheme of a product after thoroughly researching the gender, age, geolocation, and other psychological and cultural values of your prospects.

3 Practice Emotional Marketing

Emotions are what drive people to do what they do – the very reason “emotional intelligence” is necessary for entrepreneurs so their important business decisions are not impacted by their sentiments. However, you have to consider your consumers’ emotions if you want to understand how they make their purchasing decisions.

You can incorporate emotions into your marketing strategy by building social proof for your product, using powerful images, and personalizing client communication.

Using universal emotions like love for children, affection for mothers, or the excitement of the first date, increases your chances of making a real connection with the consumer.

Be careful not to use excessive emotions in your marketing policy since an exaggeration can confuse and irritate the consumers. 

4 Make Personal Connections

It gets easier to earn authority and credibility in your industry when you know how to make personal connections. 
An easy way to connect with your clients is by utilizing the customer relationship department. Both sales and after-sales service teams should have training to make meaningful engagements with the clients.

You may use different social media by creating online user forums, customer groups, and active company pages. Personalized emails are an effective way to address the buyer directly and personalize the relationship.

5 Adopt Fascinating Design Principles

The first thing that attracts you to something is its appearance. In the same way, your products can be attractive only when your audience finds the design appealing enough. 

All of your products should have a design of high aesthetic values to ensure a strong first impression. Remember that your clients may not be art critics but they do understand the difference between a good and a not-so-good design.

You should hire the best art designers according to your budget to ensure the most competitive designs since this is a worthy investment.

6 Consider Cognitive Biases of a Community

When a community collectively acts unreasonably on some issues for historical and cultural reasons, it is called cognitive bias. For example, citizens of a country may consider traveling by plane more dangerous after some recent big accidents. 

You can craft a marketing plan on a purely logical ground but it does not ensure success if you do not consider the cognitive biases of the community. 

Probability reasoning and plausibility studies can work fine for most people but they are ineffective for a particular group with cognitive bias. You have to think out of the box to include them in your marketing strategy.

4 Ethical Psychological Tricks to Convince Prospects

1 Use Natural Tone & Vocabularies

Nobody likes a salesperson who responds only with the scripted answers that the company has provided them with. Your clients will always prefer a conversation that is free from formal tones and predefined responses. 

You must train your sales and customer service teams to make their communications natural, be it in-person conversations, emails, or voice calls. They should know how to rephrase the official answers by adding human perspectives. 

2 Initiate and Lead the Conversation

No? That can also happen when you are having a conversation with your customer.
You can skip those embarrassing silences if you can master the techniques to initiate and lead any conversation. It can be the weather, any popular sports event, or anything you like. Start a conversation on anything and make it interesting enough.

A salesperson must have a strong oratory power to be a convincing figure to the clients. You should mix important sales information with your casual conversation delicately. 

3 Be Sensitive to Emotions

Your sales team should pay attention to the emotional state of the client and try to cheer them up without being nosy when they are in a bad mood. 

Remember that negative emotions like anger, sorrow, or depression can harm your reputation. People with a bad customer experience will rarely buy anything from you. So, you should not do or say anything that can trigger negative emotions.

4 Mention the Buyer’s Benefits

Our brain is programmed to react positively to powerful words. The words that help bring strong impressions, emotions, or convictions are called power words. You may use the power words to generate high value for your ads. 

Power words like premium, exclusive, or first can trigger motivations for purchase for some buyers, and others can start purchasing being influenced by words like free, save, cheap, etc. 

You need to choose the right power words for a specific marketing campaign depending on the nature of the product and the taste of the target consumer group.

10 Tips for Using Psychology of Sales to Boost Sales

1 Use Relatable Information

You need to communicate with your clients with information that helps them relate with many others like them, following the Social Proof principle of psychology discussed above.

consumer research led by Noah J. Goldstein tried different texts to make the same request to two groups of hotel guests for reusing the towels.

[This is the first notice that the hotel management used to encourage the guests to reuse their towels. ]
The first text said, “Help save the environment by reusing towels” and the second one said, “75% of the guests of this hotel reuse their towels”.

The first message did not have any significant impact on the guest behavior but the second one increased the reuse of towels by up to 15 percent. 

2 Start Slowly

It is always difficult to accept something new since we are generally conservative about different ideas or products. That is why you should think small at the beginning when you are introducing an unfamiliar product to people of a region. 

You need to target a small but influential group of buyers of a region and distribute a small quantity of the new product at the beginning. 
When some people become familiar with the new product, you should go for bulk production. The idea is to conquer the market slowly and gradually like a camel getting its head in a tent.

3 Reward the Buyers Randomly

Research by the prominent psychologist Burrhus Frederic Skinner shows that rewards can bring longer-lasting results if you supply them randomly. 

People find random rewards more welcoming since they tend to believe they are getting something they did not deserve at all. 

On the contrary, shoppers think they earned the rewards when they get a pre-announced prize and the sense of reward becomes minimal.

4 Use the Decoy Effect

It is natural for us to look for several options when we need to buy something. The opportunity to decide which model or design to buy helps us feel important.

Many enterprises use this behavioral pattern to boost their sales and profits by offering a fake option for the purchaser. 
Imagine a gym offering two packages for its clients, one for morning hours and the other for the whole day. Moreover, the second package includes steam baths. But the monthly price difference between these two packages is only $10. 

In that case, a customer will choose the second package without knowing the first option was only a decoy. The customer feels the freedom of choice when there is a decoy option.

5 Leverage the Power of Words

Our brain is programmed to react positively to powerful words. The words that help bring strong impressions, emotions, or convictions are called power words. You may use the power words to generate high value for your ads. 

Power words like premium, exclusive, or first can trigger motivations for purchase for some buyers, and others can start purchasing being influenced by words like free, save, cheap, etc. 

You need to choose the right power words for a specific marketing campaign depending on the nature of the product and the taste of the target consumer group.

6Emphasize on Visual Elements

A picture is worth a thousand words. A group study by researchers of the National Academy of Sciences shows that images help us to remember things more clearly.

All your sales promotion elements including flyers, ads, social media posts, blog posts, and emails must include strong visual elements to create a solid brand value for you.

You need to use customized typography for all the texts of your sales campaigns to make them visually attractive and emotion-provoking.

7 Capitalize Sound Effects

Do you realize how all the captivating commercial jingles of your childhood have become a part of your life? You can strengthen your brand by a jingle with a catchy tune and lyrics.

You should use more and more sound effects in your multimedia promotion content to grab more audience attention. 

8 Take Advanced Payments

Your business will always face intense competition from rivals and it may lose even the most loyal customers for some lucrative offers from other companies.

An efficient tactic to hold on to the clients is asking for an advanced payment from your customers. A decent way to ask for advanced payment is to formulate a long-term service package with a discounted price. Many clients will be willing to take the package since it will cost them less.

9 Make the Buyers Busy

psychological study by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign showed that humans remember information better if they process it themselves. When you make a potential customer busy choosing the logo for a product, he will remember the product and may develop a sense of ownership for it. 

A sure way to increase engagement and establish direct connections with the customers is by bringing up programs that require the active involvement of the consumer.

Even before launching a product, you can bring public attention to it by asking for innovative ideas from them for the name or logo of the product. Many will take part in those programs if there is a reward for them.

You can also make the clients busy by asking for their opinions about the quality of the service. 

10 Cultivate Curiosity

When you need to understand the market trends and other aspects of consumer behavior, an open mind can help you learn the most. You can keep your mind open by cultivating curiosity in it.
You must train your sales team to ensure they interact with clients with a curious mind and report the communication details. That is how your management will always receive fresh insights about the market.
You can boost sales of a particular product by triggering curiosity among the consumers before its official launch too. For that, you need to start advertising it without mentioning the name or type of a product. You may only reveal some fun facts about the product, like a promotional teaser.

Wrapping It Up

Sophisticated new technologies are influencing our minds to make them more complex. So, you must leverage all the principles of psychology of sales to understand the changing consumer behavior to ensure a good place in the market for your product. 

We hope this guide will help you accomplish that mission.


Psychology can play a crucial role in improving the customer service of any company. Studying psychology will make you understand better how clients think and how to influence their behavior for a better relationship. If a company trains its staff following the basic principles of psychology they will be more empathetic to the clients. As a result, they will communicate more effectively and bring more positive outcomes.

Companies use different psychological principles as the baseline of different advertisements. They also need help from psychology to understand the preferences and tendencies of the consumers.Empathy, reciprocity, authority, social proof, and scarcity are some of the psychological fundamentals that companies frequently use to make their advertisement goal-oriented.

Behavioral psychology can be a significantly powerful tool for a business if used to design a product and also while formulating promotional campaigns.Behavioral psychology studies and analyzes human behavior to sort out different patterns. It suggests that relevant environmental elements and events determine human behaviors.Depending on the behavioral patterns of a region a company can decide to produce and distribute the right kind of product for it. This approach minimizes the risk of loss for the company.