Psychological Warfare IV: Showing Patience, Embracing Enmity & Providing Value

In the concluding part of this series that has looked at how to boost sales through the use of psychological triggers and techniques, I will discuss a few things that may surprise you. For example, everyone loves a ‘freebie’ right? Not necessarily as you are about to find out below. Additionally, I show you that having enemies can be a boost to your brand while the real key to long-term success and lifetime customer loyalty is patience.

Free Isn’t Always Best!

I have worked in the service industry and know for a fact that there are people who complain about paying for something when it is possible to get it for free (or paying 20 cents extra compared to what they would pay at a bar ‘down the road’). For example, if you are selling digital training products, critics and cynics will state that simple research on Google will get you much the same information. In this example, it is easy to get discouraged when selling a product but you need to remember that:

People pay for results and convenience more than they pay for software and information!

It is a GIANT pain in the butt to look through two dozen websites or books looking for the requisite information (as a university graduate I know this more than most!) Remember that you are not only selling information to customers, you are saving them a huge amount of time and stress that would otherwise be wasted attempting to collate data.

Also, people take a great deal of pride in their purchases as it gives them a sense of accomplishment. They have an ‘I did something good today’ mood about them. Having ownership of a product also makes them far less likely to complain about it since they attach a greater level of value to it.

You could worry about what your competitors are charging or focus on the fact that you’re all about results. While they are offering 10% off, you’re offering a product that’s 100% BETTER. In the end, if your product is proven to get results, people WILL pay more and I have seen this with my own eyes on many occasions. Creating a high quality product that does what it’s supposed to will lead to success, not least because people like to get what they pay for.

Why You Need Enemies!

It is a mystery to me why business owners lie in bed at night sweating because someone out there doesn’t like them! When you enter the world of online business and use social media marketing, having ‘haters’ is not just inevitable, it is necessary. Receiving hatemail is a sign of achievement and shows that your brand is out there and recognisable.

Rather than lament the fact that people don’t like you, use the anger you feel as a spur towards improving things for people that actually like your brand. If you have any online marketing experience, you will have heard of the ‘superfan’ phenomenon and understand the importance of having a few of them on your side. When you nurture and reward your customers, you will turn them into advocates of your company and they will tell everyone who listens that you are the best.

Stop diluting your message to cater to all-comers and focus on your target audience. In all honesty, no one else matters because in a marketplace of millions, all you need is a small fraction of your available target market. Work to please your biggest fans and they will develop a mindset that defends your business and keeps it on top of the pile.

One Step at a Time

In my opinion, the number one mistake made by online businesses is to jump too quickly from ‘Hello, we are xxx and sell yyy and our goals are...’ to ‘Click here to buy now’. Whoa! Not so fast there cowboy; at least buy me dinner first!

When dealing with customers, especially prospects who have never done business with you before, asking for large commitments is a foolhardy strategy and one that is doomed to failure. You must first win their trust and the way to do is by asking them to take incremental steps. It is essential that you lay out all the benefits of your products/services over a period of time and not go looking for the hard sell.

All it takes are slight tweaks to a message and the results can be astounding as was discovered by Dr. Robert Cialdini when he conducted a marketing experiment using the American Cancer Society. He analysed the door-to-door collection strategies of the group and measured the respective performances of teams that used two slightly altered versions of the same phrase:

Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?

Would you be willing to help by giving a donation? Every penny will help.

Believe it or not, the second phrase yielded 100% more donations! It was concluded that informing people of the importance of even a small donation made all the difference. With the first phrase, people did not make donations on the grounds that a small offering would be futile.

In advertising terms, your first step should be to encourage even the slightest course of action. You could offer a trial period for free, a special discount or else you can ask for their email address which is usually the best course of action. Getting prospects to act with the minimum of fuss represents a tremendous breakthrough. If you get an email address, you can begin slowly but surely showing the benefits of your products/services.


In the end, you need to realise that the key to marketing success is to understand human psychology and use what you find to get your message across in the most telling manner. Of course, the human mind is not something to be toyed with so you need to show an element of responsibility while following the above advice. Use psychology in a haphazard manner and you will be found out as a fraud and a charlatan and your reputation will greatly suffer. Utilise it in the correct manner however and you could enjoy sales that you scarcely believed possible.

Do you believe that using psychological triggers can help your business achieve success? Why not try it and find out?