Consumer Psychology 101: 5 Ways to Maximize Sales Pitch Impact

“Consumer psychology is all about getting into that unconscious territory where people are being directed to make purchases for reasons they are not clear about.” – Michael Fishman

Consumer psychology is not an irrational guessing game - companies and businesses make conscious efforts to find the perfect strategy to use elements of consumer psychology to sell their products. Here are five tips your sales team can utilize to maximize the impact of their sales pitches and increase profits.

1. Attack buyer’s remorse

Remorse can be a game-changer for any business. While you want your customer to associate your product with happiness and satisfaction, they can also associate it with regret. Buyer’s remorse or post-purchase cognitive dissonance is a sense of regret felt when customers think they have wasted their well-saved money or limited budget on a product or service they really don’t need. Here are some measures your sales team can take before and after purchase to alleviate any customer doubts:

Pre-purchase:

  • Be sincere. If you think the product doesn’t match your customer’s needs, tell them and help them find what they need. Even if you lose a sale, you will build trust. They might also come back later or refer you to someone else.
  • Be relevant. Don’t simply list product features, but instead tell customers how those features can make their life easier.

Post-purchase:

  • Send customers stats or brief performance reports on the product they just purchased. This will give them some reassurance about their choice.
  • Share customer testimonials and reviews to reaffirm their decision.

2. Don’t ignore the power of selective perception

Selective perception is a crucial aspect to consider when tailoring your sales message. According to this psychological principle, people consciously or subconsciously select the messages they want to listen to. For instance, when a coffee-lover reads about coffee’s benefits and hazards, they will conveniently choose to ignore the hazards and only read the benefits. Tailor your sales pitch to bypass those filters. For example:

  • Examine customer complaints and queries and address them in your pitch to future prospects.
  • Get feedback from leads/prospects who became customers to better approach future leads.
  • Use market segmentation and understand the general psychology of each customer segment before framing your pitch.
  • Use data and analytics to observe and understand consumer behavior before you pitch to them.

3. Address the ‘Do I really need it?’ question

More often than not, we don’t buy things unless we feel an absolute need or a sense of urgency. For instance, one of your prospects is considering buying a home, but is also second guessing the need for it. He/she can easily continue to rent and wonders if they really need a new home. You must help them see the genuine need for such a significant purchase. This may entail helping them weigh the positives and negatives of home ownership in their specific circumstance. Consider this:

  • According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs the most crucial human needs are safety and security. So, try and trigger those needs in your sales pitch.
  • Focus on how your product can make the customer’s life easier/better, so they can understand their need for the product.

4. Eliminate choice paralysis

According to a Harvard Business Review study, when the number of items on a menu increases, customer satisfaction and consumption actually decrease. In short: customers get confused by too many options. Here are some ways you can make it easier on them:

  • Listen to your customers’ needs. Using those filters, eliminate all irrelevant choices, and provide two or three solid options. Less confusion = less paralysis.
  • If your product is just one of many choices in a crowded market, grab customer attention by calling out unique features and/or propositions.

5. Appeal to the customer’s self-concept

It’s important for customers to see themselves using your product. You often hear people saying things like “this watch is not me” or “this car doesn’t match my personality”. These are examples of not appealing to customer self-concepts. The challenge, then, is to portray your product in ways that align with the customer’s self-concept. For instance:

  • Understand the customer mindset: When a customer first contacts you, don’t throw everything you have at them. Pay attention to their behaviors. Are they focused on an immediate need? Have they had a bad experience with a competitor? Are they a first-time homebuyer? What are their concerns? Using this info, zero-in on a possible option and present it to them.
  • Understand market segmentation: A 60-year-old and 22-year-old will most likely have completely different home-buying expectations. So, train your sales team to understand the attributes and motivations of many different customer segments to better tailor their approach.


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