It is all about fixed action patterns.
If you are wondering what they are then let us start with giving you an example that would help you to understand it in a better way.
Animals and birds have the tendency of attacking other male counterparts. And that is just an instinct.
Say suppose, you see a nest of robins. Just take a stick attached to flock of red feathers on one end and approach the nest. In seconds, you will see a male red-breasted robin approaching forwards and attacking the flock of red feathers attached to the end of your stick.
Yes, you will see the robin in a very tensed condition, flapping his wings, chirping insanely while he is attacking that mere flock of feathers. How tense a situation would have been for the robin, isn’t it?
But, think about how you would feel? Nothing, right? Or maybe a bit confused, trying to understand the reason behind the actions of that male robin.
Well, as we already mentioned, it is nothing but a fixed action pattern. Yes, male robins have a tendency to protect their nest, i.e., their territory from other males. And, as that particular male red-breasted robin saw a flock of red feathers, he mistook it as another male robin. And, that caused him to attack those feathers so fiercely.
Digging Deeper in Fixed Action Patterns
So, now as you already have a basic idea of how fixed action pattern works, let us tell amaze you with a fact.
A male robin would attack a flock of red feathers however, it would never really bat an eye having an actual figurine of male robin in front of it that does not have red-feathers on its breast. So weird, isn’t it?
Yes, that is because fixed action patterns get triggered by certain trigger points. Fixed action patterns are nothing but a behavioural-sequence that is very precise and predictable. And, not just in the case of animals or birds, but this is the same for humans too.
There is a study by a renowned social scientist and specialist Robert B. Cialdini. It is called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. Here, the expert of compliance psychology says, in human action, automatic and stereotyped behaviour is quite prevalent.
In case of humans, there also is an amazing experiment done by Ellen Langer, a social psychologist from Harvard University that was put up in Cialdini’s research.
Here, Langer walked up to several people waiting in a line to use a photocopy machine and said that he had five pages and wanted to use the photocopy machine. To this, around 60% of all gave an affirmative response.
However, in similar kind of circumstances, when he approached a group of other people and said that he had five pages and wanted to use the photocopy machine to make a few copies, a whopping 93% said “yes”.
How amazing is that?
So, What Caused Them to Say Yes?
It is nothing but, people just like to have reason to say yes. And, most likely they do that just avoid being naïve.
It helps them as a justification that catalyses their consequent action. So, in this case, when Langer gives them a mere reason of making some copies, the proportion of people saying “yes” increases. Although, there is no new information included as people use photocopy machines to make photocopies, that is just an obvious this. However, it just acted like a push or a “trigger” that helped persuading them to say “yes”.
So, once you get to know how this trigger works, you can easily make people comply or understand how their behaviour sequence will work, even through you do not provide any concrete information.
7 Sales-boosting Triggers
So, what do you want from your clients when it is about sales? A positive nod or an affirmative answer, right?
And, for that all you need is to know how such triggers might work for them in several selling circumstances.
To help you with that, we have listed 7 psychological triggers that can help you get your clients to comply with you.
1. Commitment and Consistency
People tend to remain consistent to their words, attitudes and mostly of all, actions.
So, when they make a commitment, no matter how small, they are more likely to adhere to that small commitment to make a stand as they will feel an urge to do the same just to remain consistent to their word.
So, when you already know how to get them to say a “yes”, all you need to go further with it, you have to get them to give you an initial word, a commitment, no matter how small, minute or innocent it seems.
Here, this small, innocent commitment can help you get them to comply with what you say, due to the principle of consistency. And, not just that but they can also be further pushed to comply with you in larger aspects.
How to do: All you can do is make a small request which they would not mind to commit on. This technique is called “foot in the door” by sales people. Yes, start with asking them for a small request which leads to a small commitment. It can be anything from making a tiny payment or filling up a questionnaire.
When you can persuade them to take this decision on your behalf, a mental stand gets created subconsciously in their minds, psychologically. And, depending on the same, you can get them to comply with you in not just further small commitments, but fulfilling larger requests easily.
People often think of themselves to be very reasonable and they claim to make unbiased decisions through right comparisons. But, in reality, things are a bit different. No matter how much they deny, they always to tend to say “yes” to those who they know and have a liking for.
People tend to fall for those who they find a similarity with and have grown good feelings for. And, that is why it is almost impossible to not keep a request made by your friend’s cute little toddler.
How to do: To use this psychological hack in your favour, all you have to do is be personal with your clientele and be likable. This is that one selling trick that most sales guys out there know pretty well, but often fail to bring it to action when the situation calls for it.
But there is a catch here. It is quite easy to make people like you and have a positive feeling for you when you can meet them in person. But, how can you do that when they haven’t met you yet and all you can do is write for them?
For this, what you have to do is reveal your true self. Show them your true feelings. Tell them a story that they can easily relate to and connect with. You can also flatter or praise them. And, most important mask your sales message in such a way that makes them feel about you as an ally who is trying to solve a similar concern, problem and achieve a similar goal, instead of a sales person trying to sell them a product or service.
Repaying debts. Yes, this is such a quality that makes us different from every other species living on the Earth, according to renowned paleontologist Richard Leaky. This deep-seated impulse works like a very strong urge that pushes us to do something good for someone who has helped us in a certain point in time.
And, that is why no person on Earth is capable of withstanding this reciprocity principle. So, if you can help them in any way or at least show them that you have done something for them, they will try to pay you back.
How to do: To use trick in your favour, you have to start by giving them something just for free. They will consider it as a favour, or maybe as a gift, and that will make them stay in debt to you, and whenever they will have a chance to pay it back, they will.
It can be anything, starting from whitepapers, PPTs, an eBook, a sample, catalogue, a statistical report, a free trial or anything that is free of cost.
This will definitely trigger an urge to reciprocate and there will be a much higher chance of their making a purchase.
Today the era that we live is all about technological advancement. And, as not everyone can match up with the same, they are more likely to respond to authority than ever before. This is why we consider some people as experts in their niche and tend to refer to then for any kind of suggestion or help to guide us to solve our queries.
To consider someone as an expert, we do not even need to have vital signal to convince us. All we need is a title that is convincing enough to believe in them. And, when someone of such authority asks us for something, we are more likely to say “yes” as we believe in them.
For example, haven’t you heard of that story when a person who felt like having some kind of a physical ailment went to visit the doctor. The doctor gave him a slip and asked him to take the medicine for a week. When the person visited the doctor after a week for follow up, he seemed pretty fine and said that he was fine just after having the medicine once. The doctor asked him what medicine did he take. To that he replied that he had eaten the slip that doctor gave him and he felt fine right after.
Yes, the person considered the slip to be the medicine and even felt good after having it. This is how effective authority can be.
How to do: For this, all you need to do is establish yourself as an expert of your niche with informative pillar content. Built the credibility of your brand by demonstrating lack of biasness. Showcase your awards and rankings and the books that you have written. Also, you can just associate yourself with people who have authority just to “borrow” it. That’s all it takes.
5. Social Proof
In today’s time most of us are always looking up to others in order to seek guidance, validation and whatnot. And, this happens even more when we are not sure about the thing that we are looking for. In such scenarios, we are always like, “Does anyone have gone through this? How did they deal with it? What do they have to say about this?” etc. and depending on the same, we decide our actions. All because of social proof.
How to do: For this, just showcase people using your services or buying your products and solving their pain points. All you have to do is put up customer testimonials, case studies, success stories, reviews etc.
You can also mention how people got converted from other services to yours. You can also create a gallery in your website where people can see photos of others using your products and services. These will picture you as a great source.
And, when your potential buyers find out that others are doing fine and are happy with what you offer, they are most likely to try them themselves.
People are more afraid of losing something than they are happy of winning the same thing. It is all about notion.
So, if you make your potential buyers feel like they are about to lose something great or just make them feel that they are about to let go of an offer that could have gained them a lot of benefit, people are more likely to say “yes” to your offer.
Yes, just by triggering that fixed action pattern by mentioning your product as a limited time offer, you can convince them to purchase your product or service.
How to do: Set up an offer with a countdown timer on your website along with your product making your potential buyers feel the urge of passing time. Yes, time limits work as great persuaders. You can also send emails and set the subject as “reply by (a certain time limit)”.
This will create a sense of urgency in their brain which will push them to make the purchase. You can also use a particular deadline to buy a product with a special discount offer. That too works pretty great.
Limited availability or scarcity of a particular product is another way of saying that a lot of other people are finding it great and hence stocks are getting emptied very fast. By using this technique, you can use both scarcity and social proof to get your potential buyers converted into customers.
7. Personal Touch
This maybe the last in our list but is certainly equally effective as the rest. Personal touch was a thing of the future but not anymore. Today, personalised shopping experience proves to be one of the most effective shopping experiences that is capable of converting a large number of potential buyers into customers.
It is just about picturising a potential buyer with the product before they own one. Yes, this makes a positive impact in their brains and is every effective in making them say “yes” to your offering. This also very effective in forming new relationships.
Hence, when you can convince a potential buyer through personal touch, they are more likely to stay loyal to your brand.
How to do: Address your potential buyers by their names in your emails and set up a website that is capable of tailoring their experience according to the user. You can do that just by crafting content that is personal. But it is better to not sound self-indulgent.
Also, prior to crafting guest posts or emails, do your homework before getting started with the same.
This is because you need to craft such an email that can direct its way to the minds of the potential buyers, instead of their digital trash.
Customers Are Now in Charge
Offer your potential buyers with something that they cannot get anywhere else.
Yes, this is because, there was a time when potential buyers used to get converted easily. But, now they are in the driver’s seat and have the power to compare offers before purchasing. Hence, giving a one-in-a-lifetime offer can help you get the deal.
Moreover, if your potential buyers feel pressured then they will just run away for your website and will never ever return. Hence, make them comfortable with your content and let them decide what to do instead of you throwing the product at their face.
Convince them to say “yes”, but also give them the freedom to say “no”. That’s all it takes.