7 Psychological Triggers That Will Put Your Sales Goal in Reach

Ben Newman

Few things are more frustrating for a salesperson than an invisible wall. You can have a great track record, a way with words, a dapper appearance, and a charming personality — but that will only take you so far. The best, most well-rounded salespeople have mastered a non-physical, or relational, side of the game.

There’s a deep psychology to sales, and your success depends on your ability to understand the “how”and “why” of your clients’ decisions.

Activating the following psychological sales triggers will send you down the right path and enable you to quickly build deeper, more effective rapport with your current and prospective clients:

1. Personalize your story. You want your story to help clients connect their desire for a product to an emotion. Someone who feels something about a product is much more likely to purchase than someone who merely knows about it.

A good way to accomplish this is to add personal anecdotes to your pitch. For example, if your client works in the medical field, start your story with the phrase, “In commonly working with medical practitioners, this is what I’ve found.” In doing this, you’re creating a personal connection with your client and opening the door for an emotional response.

2. Tailor your reason. Every client has different reasons for wanting something. Displaying one overarching utility of your product is an insufficient tactic. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to effective sales.

To properly apply this trigger, you need to know the specific hobbies and interests of your clients. Are you speaking to someone who prioritizes family values or someone who loves work more than anything else? Leverage that knowledge to tailor the appeal of your product and kick-start each client’s motivation.

3. Spark curiosity. Once the client hears your story and begins to feel the need to acquire your product, you must give those positive feelings a viable destination. In other words, you need to ignite a spark of curiosity that causes him to visualize how he’ll apply your product to his life.

When cultivating this curiosity, it’s important to share the right amount of information. If you under-share, your client will leave the meeting with too vague of an idea and possibly lose interest. But don’t over-share because you’ll run out of things to talk about at the closing meeting. Finding the correct balance will lead your clients to leave the initial meeting feeling understood and eagerly awaiting the next one.

4. Be specific. Everyone who works in sales knows that most clients naturally distrust salespeople. That’s why it’s so important to provide clients with something concrete rather than a general sales pitch. By giving specifics, you step outside the salesperson box and become an educator — a much more trusted figure.

Again, this is why it’s vital to study your clients as individuals. Handing everyone an 800-page manual that covers all your products just won’t cut it. Add specific twists and turns to your pitch that cater directly to each client’s personality and interests.

5. Express expertise. Another way to build trust and depart from sales stereotypes is to present yourself as an expert in your field or as someone who has direct access to authority figures.

My former business partner Scott was a renowned expert in wealth management, while my expertise was in life insurance. When we were in business together, I made sure to connect my clients from the financial industry with Scott to use his knowledge as a selling point. I told my clients that I was excited to introduce them to Scott, and I was sure to tell them what qualified him as an expert in their field. By leveraging Scott’s authority, I was not only asserting myself as someone who could meet their needs, but I was also sparking curiosity by creating excitement around a meeting with him.

6. Emphasize scarcity. Scarcity is an age-old sales tactic. Consumers are commonly told to hurry up and buy something before it’s too late. But scarcity doesn’t always have to refer to quantity; it can also mean a limited-time offer or a temporary bonus. In suggesting that your product is scarce, you’re urging clients to move your offering to the top of their priority list and give it their full attention.
Scarcity is a powerful tool, but be careful how you use it. Yes, you want your client to feel a sense of urgency about buyingyour product, but don’t use this trigger to manipulate them into making decisions that aren’t right for them. When you use scarcity to mislead and fluster clients, you risk losing the ability to sell to them in the future.

7. Consider legacy. Getting your clients to think about legacy means helping them look at the big picture while maintaining attention on the current sale at hand.

How you focus on legacy depends on your audience. If your client is a business, communicate how your product will help it move toward its long-term goals and better express its core values. If your client is an individual, speak directly to his personal goals.

Don’t just be a general salesperson who delivers general sales pitches. Be a human who seeks personal connections while selling a product. These tailored connections are the key to the psychological side of sales. Becoming a reliable, relatable salesperson will help you knock down that pesky invisible wall.

Ben Newman is the owner and president of The Ben Newman Companies, a motivation and training provider. Ben is a bestselling author, an international speaker, and a highly regarded performance coach, whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, business executives, high-performing salespeople, and athletes in the NFL, PGA and NCAA.