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How To Persuade Your Customers To Say ‘Yes’ Without Letting Them Know

How To Persuade Your Customers To Say ‘Yes’ Without Letting Them Know

Persuading customers to say ‘Yes’ without letting them know – isn’t this what every seller wants? The secret to more sales, however, lies in understanding what the buyer wants. Simply put, to sell your products, you need to speak the language that your customer understands.

Marketers should do all the heavy lifting and leave the decision-making to their customers. For example, highlighting the benefits of your products, instead of highlighting its features. This way, you are communicating to your customers that the product is all about them, and not you.

Without much ado, let me familiarize you with 7 rigorously tested research in social psychology that persuade customers to say ‘Yes’ and thus, convert them ethically.

Help Customers Break Through ‘Action Paralysis’

Action paralysis happens when a person gets overwhelmed by the number of choices in front of him. When you tell him that he can pay anything for a donation, he has an umpteen number of choices to weigh against each other and most often, he ends up not donating anything.

Professor Robert Cialdini in many of his copywriting experiments demonstrated this. Take the following for example:

Sample 1: Donate whatever you want.

Sample 2: Donate whatever you want. Every penny counts.

Not much difference in what the copy tried to convey. But a considerable difference in how it attacked the psychology of the reader. He now has a number to begin with. This minute difference of adding a minimum to a request increased donations to the American Cancer Society by 78%! Can you believe that?!

Another example – Remind your customers about how easy it is to get started, like ‘No payments for the first 2 months,’ to help them break through action paralysis.

Embrace The Power Of Labels

In our normal lives, we don’t like being labeled. But let us say somebody labeled you as an Einstein or Google, how would you feel? Excited, right?

Researchers reveal that when people are labeled, they feel like a part of a bigger community and strive to conform to the rules of that community. In an experiment, a group of people was randomly labeled as ‘politically active’ and another was told nothing. The results showed that the labeled ones were 15% more likely to vote. Regardless of the fact that they were randomly chosen, the label ended up affecting their actions.

If you label your customers as a part of a superior group, then their actions will mirror those characteristics.

Another example – labeling your customers as ‘superior’ or ‘elite’ motivates them to spend more while those labeled as ‘regular’ remain unaffected.

Understand The Three Types Of Buyers

Neuro-economic experts define human spending patterns as ‘spending until it hurts’. The research suggests three types of buyers: Tightwads, Spendthrifts, and Average buyers.


The most difficult of these to convert are Tightwads; on tops, they comprise a quarter of the population. If you can convert these apprehensive souls somehow, then others will convert by themselves.

Strategy 1: Bundle products or services

Recall a car purchase, and how you agree to buy car covers, music system, mats, insurance and all other sweaty stuff together in a bundle. The idea is that every individual product gives the buyer another pain point, but clubbing them as one is just one pain point. That’s how all the supermarkets thrive!

Strategy 2: Re-frame the product value

Saying ‘pay $100/month’ instead of ‘pay $1200/year’ looks much more cost effective and handles conservative buyers easily.

Strategy 3: The devil is in the details

We are often told, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’, but it is the small changes in copy that make the biggest impacts. Instead of saying ‘at a price of $5’, saying ‘at a small price of $5’ instigates the smallness of the payment and thus, encourages people to spend that amount.

Highlight Your Strengths By Accepting Your Shortcomings

It is difficult to admit your shortcomings to clients and customers, let alone in public. But you’d be surprised to know that it may actually make you more trustworthy in the eyes of your clients and customers. Here’s the research conducted by social psychologist Fiona Lee on this:


In both of the above reports, reasons were listed that led to the failure of the project. But that’s not the conversion-kicking juice; that juice is admitting their mistakes and standing on a positive foot that they can do better.

So whenever such an issue arises, or you make an honest mistake in describing the product or its features, admit it and apologize sincerely while seeking to resolve the issue.

Make Their Brains Light Up ‘Instantly’

What do the Buddhists tell you? Do not give yourself up to instant gratification.

Isn’t instant gratification such a powerful force that merely standing up against it is considered a sign of absolute accomplishment? Clearly, not all of us can do that. Most succumb to its power. And that’s where we use it as a magic wand to sell.

Customers must feel instantly rewarded for doing business with you and that should be the job of your copy – to remind them the same at every turn. Use terms like ‘quick’, ‘instantly’, ‘free’, etc. to tap into this psychology.

Stand For Something

64% of the customers who have a strong relationship with a single brand say that it is because of the values they share with the company in question. A great example is Toms Shoes, a company that donates a pair of shoes to those in need for every pair of shoes sold.

Another example is Zappos which describes itself as not a shoe-selling company, but a customer service company that happens to sell shoes. People adore Toms Shoes for what they stand for and in the case of Zappos, with the way they convey their company’s policies, customers are assured that the service would be the best part of the whole buying and consumption process.

Play Your Own Devil’s Advocate

At times, customers are willing to buy the product but a twig of a doubt stops them right at the last step. Now here’s what you got to do to make them win their confidence back – play your own devil’s advocate!

Just like admitting your shortcomings can help you convert a customer, so can this. All you are doing is saying, “You might think the product is too complicated, but here is why it isn’t…” and voila! A sale just happens!

Research has shown that when groups of people had their ideas questioned by a devil’s advocate, they actually felt more confident with their original stance.

Your business can utilize this information by addressing customers’ concerns and dismiss them with well-researched information and objective examples.

Getting customers to buy your product or services involves convincing them and earning their ‘trust’. Sometimes, even after you have prepared a solid action plan, the results can still surprise you. Therefore, always be tactical, be approachable and be trustworthy.

Download an interesting research on what works (and what doesn’t) in email marketing for ecommerce by TargetingMantra.

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Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Saurabh is the Founder of TargetingMantra. An alumni of University of Illinois, he helped develop personalization systems at and its subsidiaries like IMDB, Lovefilm, Audible, Shopbop and Zappos. At TargetingMantra, he takes care of the Product and Technology.
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