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Posted by Erik Larson - 18 January, 2019

Best 5 Ways to Use Cognitive Bias in Sales

A cognitive bias is like a captivating oasis to a thirsty traveller trudging through an arid, endless desert.

When his mind plays tricks on his eyes and understanding, making him believe in the fantasy that he wants to live in, but which isn’t the reality at all, he is said to be cognitively biased.

Did you know that you can use this very flaw in human judgment to your advantage while selling your product? Here are 5 cognitive biases which can help you sell more in less time.

 

1. Target the Emotions of the Customer

Most people are prone to make decisions based on their emotions. A negative emotion, no matter how alluring it may be, always falls behind the positive one, regardless of the price or quality of your product.

cognitive biasSource

Imagine that you’re selling a standard quality soap approved by the government, and another manufacturer has come up with a revolutionary cleanser which has the capacity to change the face of the industry. 

However, the competing campaign tag-line reads - Dump all the other soaps in the bin to make way for our avant-garde product. On the other hand, your brand emblem goes something like this - XXXX, a bathing soap that cleanses not only your outer body, but also your inner soul.

A bit cheesy, I agree, but would you rather purchase XXXX that clings to your emotions of morality than the revolutionary soap that praises its own qualities? This very cognitive bias leads us to our next one.

 

2. Framing your Marketing Copy Right

A glass half full is always better than a glass half empty. Mentioning a 30% benefit will definitely cover the loss of 70%.

The Kahneman and Tversky framing experiment effectively proves the validity of the argument, especially in sales objections. That experiment states its singular outcome in two ways, namely a certain number of people will be saved and a certain greater number of people will die.

Human instinct will always favor the first outcome if they aren’t made aware of the number of deaths.

David Anderson, an author at IHateWritingEssays, shares this experience on how writing services manipulate client’s decisions. He says, “Many companies focus on the positives of their product. You may make a passing mention of that product’s negatives in the Terms and Conditions section, especially, and only, if the negatives are basically harmless to the consumers.” It proves a vital point that I’m trying to convey.

Reframing ObjectionsSource

 

3. A Simple Gift Speaks Volumes about your Product

There is this inherent quality that many, if not all, humans possess - the need to give something back to the community for something received; the nagging characteristic to accept a gift and gift a present in return.

Marketing wizards have made effective use of this need for quite a few decades to sell their products; why shouldn't you! 

Whenever a potential customer enters your establishment, give him/her a small token of gratitude for taking out the time to explore your offerings.

It will trigger their sense of kindness, coercing them to visit your store again, only this time with the full intention to buy one of your products. 

 

4. Trigger the Instinct to Avoid a Loss

Suppose that a person needs to buy a satin gown for a graduation party. She visits different stores in her neighborhood only to find alluring pieces beyond her budget - of say $200.

And then you come in, show her equally attractive dresses for more or less the same price as at other stores. Sensing her disappointment, you make an offer for a woolen gown laced with silk and satin for $150, stating that she’d find nothing better for a graduation party, and that if she were to revisit those other stores, she’d get one for a price much higher than the one you’re offering.

The girl senses that she might be at a loss if she doesn’t take the woolen gown, triggering her instinct to avoid it as best she could. You’re giving her an opportunity to buy a few good accessories to go with the gown with the remaining part of her budget after all!

instabulb Source

5. Understand their Preferences to Manipulate their Choices 

Not every product offers the same range of profits.

So, how could you make a potential customer pick one that benefits you more? Consider that a customer needs to buy a smartphone, his primary preference being for gaming purposes. He might already have a couple or three choices in mind, thanks (or not) to Google.

However, once you’re able to comprehend his gaming preference, you can easily manipulate him into commending the advantages of your sales-preferred choice over his minor client-oriented one - the affordable gaming phone that provides a wide range of other features!

This is one of the simplest strategies of carefully shaping individual cognitive biases into a sculpture that agrees with your point-of-view.

Conclusion

A cognitive bias may be a negative aspect among humans psychologically, but it opens up a whole a new facet of alacrity when effectively used for boosting your business. The customer viewpoints change for the better, followed by their sense of efficient haggling with hardly any participation on your part as a seller!

Summary


How to use Cognitive Biases in Sales:

  1. Target the Emotions of the Customer
  2. Framing your Marketing Copy Right
  3. A Simple Gift Speaks Volumes about your Product
  4. Trigger the Instinct to Avoid a Loss
  5. Understand their Preferences to Manipulate their Choices 

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 Author’s Bio: Carol is very keen on teaching new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on marketing and education-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling. She takes immense pleasure of visiting new countries.

Topics: B2B Sales, Sales & Marketing, B2B eCommerce

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