If you’re an online business owner, you know that generating sales is the #1 priority. So how do you get people to buy? What causes them to take that final step on your checkout form?
This article will explore the psychology behind getting a sale, discuss the motivations of today’s buying public, dig into why people say yes or no when they see an offer, and give practical tips for crafting dynamic marketing offers.
We’ll also mention some specific psychological insights for marketing products on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
But before we dive into the psychology, let’s start with the basics of marketing.
Marketing is a means for effectively communicating to target audiences about who you are, what you offer, and where you’re located.
It allows your customers to find out how great your products are without having to take that risk that they might end up dissatisfied or unhappy with your product(s).
Its goal is not only to help people make informed decisions about buying from you but also make them aware of how much better you are compared to other companies in your industry.
To do this successfully, marketing must be focused on several key aspects:
- Creating brands that people want to be associated with.
- Creating customer stories that build trust, establish your company as an authority in your industry, and enable people to feel safe purchasing your product(s).
- Providing targeted offers through email, social media, advertising, websites, etc.
- Communicating the same value to every customer in order to increase brand recognition and reduce the chance of customers becoming unsatisfied with their purchases (which leads us to the next point).
- Providing your customers with an experience that is unforgettable and one that they will talk about to everyone they know.
If you can effectively execute on these five steps, you’ll never need to worry about generating another sale again—because once someone buys from you, they’ll keep coming back for more!
So let’s dive deep into the psychology behind converting an online visitor into a customer.
- Understand the decision-making process of the buying public.
People tend to fall into one of three categories:
a. Decision-maker – This type of buyer has all the authority and power to make a purchase happen. They don’t require any further information and would like to spend no more time than necessary making a decision.
For this group, you need to provide key information that helps them decide right now and take action now.
b. Questions – The undecided customers have questions about your product(s) or business that need answers before they can proceed with a purchase.
If you can provide these answers in a way that builds trust, you’ll move them from the undecided category to the decision-maker category.
c. Info-seeker – This type of buyer is very similar to a questions buyer in that they need more information before making a purchase.
The difference is that instead of having questions about your product or business, they’re searching for additional information about your product(s) and how it might benefit them.
The key here is to be conscious of the potential barriers that your customer might have for purchasing from you.
So many companies spend a lot of time and focus on what they want to be communicated to the potential customer but end up losing a sale because they didn’t take into account what’s been going on in the buyer’s life leading up to this specific moment.
In other words, if you don’t pay attention to both sides—what you want to present and what the customer needs—you risk losing a sale regardless of how great your product is or how much marketing effort went into getting that visitor to your website or blog.
- Look at customers as people, not just customers.
Thorstein Veblen said it best: “In handicrafts and other kinds of production that yield chiefly tangible results, the distinction between employer and employee is not nearly so salient as it is in a business of [selling] services.”
In other words, when a person makes a purchase from you, they’re buying more than just a product or service. They’re also buying into your brand—your image—which makes them more than just a customer.
To better understand this concept, let’s take a look at some research conducted by NeuroFocus .
The study determined that the human decision-making process is broken into three main phases:
1) Idea generation,
2) Evaluation/Credibility, and
On average, these three phases take 22 seconds of our time—but since this is an individualized process it varies based on three factors:
1) industry (e.g., pharmaceutical v. consumer goods),
2) product type (e.g., high-consideration v. low-consideration), and
3) emotional state (e.g., no distractions v. distractions).
The first two phases are the primary consideration before buying a product, but the last decision phase happens after stepping through these first two.
This is where it’s important to keep in mind that not all potential customers are equal. The closer they are to making a purchase, the more important these final few seconds are.
For example, if you’re launching a new product that has less consideration or credibility then you’ll want to create an offer that resonates with them at this point.
But what if your product is highly credible? Then you need to focus even more on creating an offer that resonates with your customers during this final decision phase instead of leading them down your sales funnel.
- Appeal to the customer’s emotions.
Have you ever heard the quote, “I want to buy it but I don’t need it?”
That saying couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to cart abandonment. The reason shoppers leave their cart is because there was a disconnect between what they thought they needed and what they actually wanted.
But this uncertainty often leads back to potential buyers not feeling confident about making a purchase from you. Which leads us to our next point: the power of storytelling .
The power of storytelling comes from the idea that the more a person can connect with your product story, the more likely they are to buy from you.
In a study conducted at Accenture , researchers found that when “emotional messages” were sent to users of a popular social media platform, a much higher percentage of them showed increased engagement compared to when an “informational” message was sent.
In other words, simply telling users something doesn’t work when it comes to making them purchase from you. You need to use real-life connections and stories in your messages in order for them to resonate.