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Number One Factor that Drives Sales

The first thing that you need to realize is that there is one main factor that determines whether a customer is going to buy from you or your competition. That one factor that will drive sales and brand awareness is how well you understand and utilize "human psychology " in your marketing efforts.

Its also important to understand that ALL sales are "an emotional experience". It doesn't matter if you're selling a candy bar or a house. The customer is emotional engaged in every buying decision.

Its when you realize with psychology that you can help control or create an emotional experience around your products that you will truly understand how and why your sales are good or bad.

Since buying is an emotional experience its also important to understand that a customer's perception is their reality. So it doesn't matter how great your business is in reality, if a customer has a bad experience the chances of them buying from you will be diminish.

By utilizing psychology you help create a positive perception with the customer, which leads to a positive experience, which leads to better sales. For example, you generally only get one chance to make a positive first impression with new customers as they walk through your door or go to your website, within a few seconds after they enter they're making buying decisions.

If you have a physical location for your business, when the customer comes into your store they will automatically judge it by the way it looks, smells, etc. When a customer visits your website, they will judge it by how it looks, its ease of use, etc.

Psychological Hot Buttons
There are four "Psychological Hot Buttons" that motivate people to buy, they are: Need, Want, Desire and Fear.  Below is a brief description of these hot buttons:

  • NEED: are things that you must have, such as food when hungry, medicine when you're sick, etc.
  • WANT: things that you would like have, but can live without them, such as tablet computer, a fast car, etc.
Note: Its important to mention that there are different advertising strategies required for marketing to a customer's needs vs. their wants.
  • DESIRE: These are things people hope for, such as romance, wealth, or happiness. Desires can be seldom achieved, but they're powerful motivators.
  • FEAR: things we never want to happen. Fears causes people to make decisions by considering negative possibilities.  A customer will generally balances their needs, wants and desires against fears when making a final buying decision.

Factors that Drive Sales
There are several factors that drive sales, but there are four main categories: trust, prices, selection, and service. People will not buy from a business that they don't trust. Most customers are looking for the best price, but its not always the most important buying factor. For some people they want to have an opportunity to select the best product that fits their needs.

For others, customer service is a critical factor. For example, when someone buys a car they are establishing a long-term relationship with that dealership because of maintenance and repair related issues that will happen in the future. These after-purchase service relationships will help determine if that customer buys from that business again.

One of the most common ways psychology is utilized in sales marketing is to created artificial scarcity by offering a limited time sale and quantity of an item at a specific price. I don't agree with this method, but I have seen sites that use countdown clocks that are based on JavaScript that reads the current time and makes it look like the sale is going to end in a few hours.

Little Things Matter
Like a romantic relationship, never forget the little things matter. If you have a store or website aesthetics are important, they automatically tell the customer that you're anything from a high-end retailer to a bargain-basement operation. For example, things like colors that you use to decorate to how you price an item all have psychological factors tied to them.

Some businesses go to different levels to enhance sales, such as using appropriate smells. For example a leather coat store needs to smell like leather, so they might use a product that enhances that smell. These products are used by several different businesses where smell can be a factor in the sale.

When my son was small I noticed how all the children's clothing stores looked playful and fun, but were not really designed for kids to play in it. Then I realized that they weren't designed to sell to kids, they were designed to create a feeling of childlike playfulness in adults to sell kids clothes.

For additional information, make sure to read the article: The Ultimate Marketing/Promotion Ideas Super List