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Psychology in Selling - By Jerrad Orr

Note from editor: The mindset of your client is incredibly important when deciding the best strategies to use when working with them. Not only will being mindful of this up your sales, but it will also help you to avoid misunderstanding, miscommunications, and will help your client become more satisfied and fulfilled by your product or service.

Psychology of Selling - By Jerrad Orr

The psychology of selling, or simply sales psychology, is the process of examining the psyche of your target market when advertising. This works by targeting your customers' wants and needs rather than simply trying to convince them to purchase your product or service.

Sales psychology is important because not all customers purchase for the same reasons.

Some only buy what they need when they need it. Others buy on impulse, purchasing whatever piques their interest in the moment. How can you make them want what you are selling? These is the question sales psychology seeks to answer.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, a world-renowned author and professor of psychology and marketing writes about sales psychology in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In his book, Cialdini outlines seven key principles of sales psychology, which include reciprocity, commitment, liking, authority, unity, social, and scarcity. Each of these principles delves into a potential customer’s psychological response to different sales tactics.

Reciprocity focuses on the emotional need to give back after receiving. Free samples are a great example of this principle. When someone is given a free sample of something, they are much more likely to purchase it, thereby reciprocating the gesture.  


For commitment, think about a person who is committed to achieving their goals. The idea is to market your product or service in a way that showcases how it will help your customers achieve those goals.

Liking involves a positive emotional response to the person selling a product or service. This is why salespeople are always taught to be cheerful and approachable, and why celebrities are often used in advertising.

Authority involves the use of individuals who are experts in their field. For example, an

advertisement for a new medication may claim nine out of ten doctors recommend their drug, or a sports drink advert might feature a professional athlete.

Marketing through unity focuses on the emotional need for community. For example, an advertisement might target students at a particular university, or members of a specific social group.

Social marketing involves tapping into our tendency to like the same things our peers like. For example, you may use referral discounts as a way to draw new customers by getting current customers to recommend your product or services to people they know.

Scarcity focuses on fear. The fear of the customer that they will miss out on a product with limited availability, or a sale that is only offered for a limited time.

Tapping into your customers emotional needs is one of the best sales tactics you can use. No one likes to feel as though they are being persuaded, but everyone likes to feel understood. No one likes to feel that a product or service is being pushed on them. Rather, they like to see it as fulfilling a need. Showing that you understand your target audience’s needs, and not just the value of their pocketbooks, has a much greater chance of creating a satisfying customer experience for your clients.

Today’s marketing landscape requires smart advertising.

Try using some of the principles of sales psychology to make yours even smarter.

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