The psychology of sales

Nov 3, 2021

When you understand the way your buyers think, it’s easier to get them in the right frame of mind to buy. Let’s find out more.

We recently had Michael Hanson from GrowthGenie as a guest speaker at the SaaSLeads Academy. One of the areas Michael spoke about was how being successful in sales is as much about making an emotional connection with your prospect as it is about presenting rational arguments. And that got us thinking – everything we do in sales is based around psychology on some level. But, of course, with great power comes great responsibility – you need to use sales psychology ethically, or you won’t last long in the industry.

In this article, we’ll look at five ways that sales and psychology intersect. How many of these do you put into action?


1 – Getting the prospect to like you

We know that buyers want to buy from people they know, like and trust. It’s why we spend time on sales calls building rapport, whether that’s talking about the weekend or the football, or showing empathy for your prospect’s pain. However, building rapport is all about psychology – tapping into your prospect’s inner needs.

People innately like to talk about themselves and know that they’re being heard. So, when a salesperson asks the prospect a question, listens to their answer without interrupting, then demonstrates understanding, it all makes the prospect feel warmly towards you. Even if they are not initially interested in what you’re selling, your relationship-building skills can help you win them round.


2 – Focusing on the customer

One of the first things you learn as a salesperson is to put the customer first, but what does that actually mean in practice? It means that while you may have the most fantastic product in the world, you’ll only make a sale if you can position it as something your prospect needs. You have to show that your product is the solution to a problem that keeps your prospect up at night – and that the impact of solving this problem will make their lives better.

When you sell in this way, rather than simply bragging about how great your product is, you tap into your prospect’s psychology. You help them see a better life on the horizon – and how your product can help them achieve it. It’s much like the ‘hero’s journey’ that forms the plot for so many movies, books, games and TV shows – and it’s extremely powerful.


3 – Creating value

Your customers see a price tag on your product, but do they understand its value? If you hear a lot of objections from your prospects over price, it’s likely that you haven’t shown them the value it brings. If you can create value, as long as your product price is within the realms of reality, your prospects should be happy to pay it. They know there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

There are several ways to create value around your product. Much of it happens at the product creation stage. It also happens marketing stage – selecting a target audience and crafting content that resonates with them. Great salespeople create value by positioning the price tag as an investment, demonstrating the return that will come if they invest with you. In SaaS, that’s usually the ability to more productively, so you can drive revenue or cut costs, boosting the bottom line.


4 – Being an expert in your industry

Customers feel better in their minds about buying if they trust the person they’re buying from. The most effective way for a salesperson to build trust with a prospect is to positing themselves as an industry expert – someone who knows what they’re talking about and can convey information with confidence and authority.

If you’re the type of salesperson that immerses themselves in their industry and can talk about the latest developments, if you share relevant content with your customers and can make introductions to other people that can help them, you build that all-important credibility in your prospect’s mind.


5 – Demonstrating social proof

One thing that reassures a customer that they’re making the right decision to buy your product is social proof – the knowledge that other people have bought from you and are thrilled that they did. When, as a salesperson, you talk about other companies that have gained benefits from your product, or you share testimonials or case studies, you’re harnessing the power of sales psychology.

Social proof can also tap into another part of your customer’s psychology, creating a fear of missing out, or the thought that if a competitor has your product, then they need it too.


Using psychology ethically

When you understand sales psychology, you can sell in a way that taps into the way prospects think, driving more deals. However, sometimes you can go too far with psychology. If you’re using any of these psychological tricks when you sell, you’re doing it wrong:

  • Reverse psychology – When what you say differs from what you actually want, you create confusion in a process that needs clarity. It may work with toddlers, but it has no place in sales!
  • Not letting the prospect walk away with pride – There are people that find it hard to say no to salespeople once they’ve entered the buying process. To them, they feel like it’s a loss of face. If a prospect wants to walk away, you can try to persuade them to stay, but not with psychological tricks
  • Creating false trust – Don’t invent facts in order to gain your prospect’s confidence. Always act with integrity

The best salespeople know the psychology of sales, but they always stay true to themselves and don’t resort to tricks. Instead, they treat customers how they would want to be treated. If you can do this, you’ll reap the rewards. 


Find out more from SaaSLeads

At, we recruit, develop and deliver SDRs to your organisation, ready to produce excellent results in your sales team. Our SDRs have an excellent grounding in the basics, ready to branch out into more advanced techniques.

Our extensive training programme teaches SDRs to generate excitement around the impact your product brings. First, they learn how to move your prospects through a structured sales process that leads to more won deals. Then, when they get to your company, they’re ready to produce unparalleled results. 

To find out more, contact us by filling out the form below.

Chris Ritson

Hey, I’m Chris, COO and Co-Founder of I joined this business because I deeply care about people and making a difference in their lives, that’s my purpose and simply put its where I get my kicks in life. I also deeply care about sales so the opportunity to build a business that combines both people and sales is a win:win for me. 
I truly believe all people in work need both training and support to make them successful. I also believe it takes longer than a 2 hour, 3 stage interview process to fall in love with a business and know you’ll be there for a long time. This is a challenge candidates and in turn companies face consistently and it hurts them both in different ways. 
Training and learning can change how people do their roles but support is what will get them through the ups and downs of a career so if you are ready to be better tomorrow than you are today, come onboard! 

You can find Chris on LinkedIn here

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