Psychology of Sales and Marketing: When Persuasion is Personal

Psychology of Sales

There are several established principles when it comes to persuading someone to invest in your product or service. But not everyone responds equally to the same psychological sales and marketing tactics. These principles need to be balanced and applied differently depending on your audience.

Increase the effectiveness of your sales and marketing strategies by segmenting your audience by key psychographics such as personality types and preferred communication styles.

Read more to find out how.

The Psychology of Sales: 6 Key Principles

In 1984, Robert Cialdini published  “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” In this seminal work, he outlines six core principles that influence our decision making.

1.    Reciprocity.

“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Humans tend to value equality, so if they feel that someone has done them a favour, they’re likely to repay them in kind. Free trials, personal service, and other acts of perceived generosity are rewarded with customer loyalty.

2.    Scarcity.

The scarcity principle states that we want something more if it is in limited supply. “While stocks last” and “for a limited time only” are key scarcity phrases you’ll often see used in sales and marketing.

3.    Authority.

We’re more likely to trust someone who can demonstrate their expertise, knowledge, or experience. Even something as superficial as wearing a lab coat or a high-vis jacket can subconsciously convey authority and increase trust.

4.    Commitment and consistency.

People want to appear consistent in their stated principles and identities. For example, if someone identifies as an environmentalist, they are more likely to make purchasing decisions that are in line with their stated principles.

5.    Likeability.

We are more likely to trust and agree with people who a) we like and b) who are similar to us. This is no secret to marketing and advertising strategists that go to great pains to understand and appeal to a specific target audience.

6.    Social proof.

Finally, there’s social proof. We look to other consumers for their opinions on products and services before making our decision. With social media and Google reviews, social proof plays an even more significant role in our decision making than it did when Cialdini authored his book.

Cialdini’s six principles are still highly circulated and have become a handbook for salespeople the world over, but what his work doesn’t recognise is that individuals respond differently, and are more or less persuaded by each of the tactics listed above.

The Impact of Personality & Sales Psychology

Decision making is highly personal. And by that we mean it’s deeply affected by your personality.

For example, the scarcity principle is more likely to affect consumers who are more prone to fear of missing out (FoMO). Research has shown that neuroticism positively correlates with FoMO, while openness and agreeableness both negatively correlate with FoMO.

Likeability is also highly dependent on personality types. How salespeople portray themselves, or how marketers portray their brand, must align with their target audience to increase trust and likeability. For example, introverted personality types will not respond as well to messaging that appeals to extraverts.

Different personality types also respond different to the authority principle. Based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality model, people who prefer to use Sensing and Thinking (ST) functions may place more importance on demonstrations of authority than those to tend towards Intuition and Feeling (TF).

An individual’s personal psychological makeup influences how they receive sales and marketing messaging.

Identifying Personality Types With Symanto Psychology AI

Symanto Big Five and Symanto Psychographics apply two of the most widely recognised psychological trait theories to enable our clients to understand their customers like never before.

Symanto uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) technology to gain deep insights from text written by your consumers. How we use language reveals a surprising amount about how we process information and make our decisions. Symanto AI analyses all parts of speech (even punctuation) to signal individual differences more accurately.

Symanto Psychographics

Symanto Psychographics combines our Personality Trait API with our Communication Style API to give you a clear understanding of what motivates your customers.

Personality Trait: Are consumers more driven by social values and relationships, or are they more driven by facts and logic? Use this information to create sales and marketing messaging that resonated with your customers.

Communication Style: Appeal to your customers based on their communication style preferences. Are they fact-orientated, or do they prefer to share and read others’ experiences and opinions?

Symanto Big Five

Based on the widely used and accepted taxonomy of personality traits, Symanto Big Five analyses text to reveal how individuals score on:

     Openness to experience – High openness indicates creativity, an active imagination, ability to understand theoretical concepts.

     Conscientiousness – A highly conscientious person is organised, prepared, and pays attention to details.

     Extraversion – A highly extraverted person feels energized in the presence of company and finds it easy to make new friends.

     Agreeableness – Highly agreeable people feel empathetic towards others, and have a great interest in other people.

     Neuroticism – High neuroticism indicates a lack of resilience to stressful situations, and a tendency to experience dramatic shifts in mood.

With Symanto, you can segment you audience by personality type and send marketing and sales messaging that’s tailored to their psychology. Boost the effectiveness of your campaigns, and build customer loyalty by appealing to the person, not the demographic.

Get Started With Symanto

For more information on how Symanto technology can empower your marketing and sales strategies, get in touch, or book your free personalised demonstration.