Sales Psychology


Let’s say you’re marketing an e-commerce website, and are planting those virtual seeds in your audience to get them to convert. Or maybe you’re an advertiser trying to grab the attention of a potential customer who’s mulling on which brand or product to purchase. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably curious about what triggers or influence customers’ buying behaviors. Why does one person buy a product, but another person doesn’t even though both have the same information and needs? And what exactly are external and internal triggers anyway? Don’t feel bad if you’ve had similar questions in mind, as many people do.

This blog will help you understand what triggers a purchase and how to change the mindset of your prospect.

Curiosity as a Buying Behavior Trigger

Curiosity is a powerful psychological trigger that can compel people to buy. When you’re selling online, you have the opportunity to pique people’s interest by telling them what they don’t know.

Why Curiosity Works?

Curiosity is a strong buying behavior trigger because it’s often accompanied by FOMO (fear of missing out). It creates a desire to acquire more information or items because people don’t want to be excluded from an interesting conversation or cool club. For example, if everyone on your social media feeds posts photos with a popular brand-name drink, you might be curious about that drink. Or, if all of your friends rave about the latest must-have gadget, curiosity might lead you to buy it.

How You Can Use Curiosity for Sales

You can use curiosity as a buying behavior trigger in several ways:

  • Vaguely describe a product or service and its benefits to entice customers to find out more.

  • Mention an upcoming launch and ask customers if they’re excited about it as a way to generate interest in your products or services.

  • Create suspense and build anticipation before new product launches with countdown clocks or calendars on your eCommerce website. For example, you can launch a promotion with limited-time offers and secret coupon codes for the
  • first set of people.

Inspiration as a buying trigger

Some consumers seek inspiration from brands. They like brands that offer hope and ideas for the future.

Inspiration can be a trigger for consumers who feel disempowered or need some emotional uplifting. What does inspiration look like in your industry? Is there a way to deliver the message of inspiration in your products, services, and social media?

Let’s say you work at a tech company. You might inspire by showing images of people using your product and how it is changing their lives. Or you might show photos of your products being made because you are proud to do so. In this case, inspiration would make it clear that using your product is about more than just the latest features.

Influencer as a trigger

Influencer marketing is a popular strategy for businesses to use right now because social media platforms have made influencers more visible and accessible. Influencers have developed a large following of engaged followers based on their expertise on a specific topic or niche. Because of this, they’re able to directly influence their audience’s purchasing decisions.

People are more likely to buy a product if they see someone they trust using it. It’s the same with friends and family — we’re more likely to buy something that a friend has recommended than something we discover on our own.

When an influencer shares a post about your business or product, it can help convince your potential customers that you’re the best choice for them because their trusted opinion is essentially telling them so.

Price as a trigger

Price is an important factor for most buyers — whether consumers or other businesses — and one that marketers often spend too much time obsessing over. But the price isn’t always what it seems; it just acts as a trigger for something else the buyer wants. If your product is $100 more than a competitor’s but offers significantly better value, many customers will pay the higher price without question. Or if they do ask about price, they are really asking “How does this product make me feel? How influential is that feeling to me? And is it worth $100 more?”

The same is true for luxury brands like Ferrari or Rolex. The key question isn’t the price — it’s whether the brand makes the buyer feel proud and exclusive in a way that other products don’t. That feeling is worth more to some people than the actual price difference between their purchase and a less expensive product.

Guilt and regret as buying triggers

Guilt and regret are the emotional drivers of a lot of purchases. If a person feels guilty about not exercising, for example, buying a gym membership can be a way to ease that guilt. If someone reveals a desire to buy something, then doesn’t and feels regret afterward, it can lead them to buy it later.

Marketing and selling are all about finding ways to tap into these emotions. For example, if you’re selling gym memberships, you might want to focus your marketing efforts on people who made New Year’s resolutions they didn’t keep.

People don’t like to feel guilty, so they’ll go out of their way to make things right. Maybe you use this as a selling point for a charity or other cause, highlighting the good works it does and how much better the customer will feel if they contribute. Or maybe you use it when promoting a product. If someone comes back from vacation and sees how perfect their lawn looks, they might feel guilty about having been away for so long and decide to buy a new lawnmower, so they don’t have to rely on the neighbor again next time.

People buy to replace pain, not gain

The best salespeople know this simple fact: people buy to replace pain, not gain. People don’t buy running shoes because they want the joy of a new pair of shoes; they buy them because their old shoes hurt their feet.

People tend to respond more strongly to pain than pleasure. You’ve probably made purchases to get something you want — a new television set or laptop computer, for example — but how many purchases have you made in order to avoid something unpleasant?

The first step in understanding sales psychology is recognizing that it’s usually driven by pain or fear. This can apply to everything from cleaning supplies (replacing the pain of a dirty kitchen) to medical insurance (avoiding the pain of financial ruin if something goes wrong). It’s not always obvious, but you can typically find a way to frame just about any purchase as avoiding pain or adding pleasure into your life.


In truth, you only need to understand a few psychological triggers to skyrocket your sales. Understanding these triggers is essential for salespeople, advertisers, and anyone else who hopes to drive repeat business. People who sell on the internet often have a much harder time earning repeat business, but understanding the reasons behind their shopping habits can help a lot with generating repeat sales.


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