10 Simple Ways to Get More Customers Using Psychology

Once upon a time shop owners knew all of their customers by name. As businesses have grown and become digital, those days are now over. While in most cases it’s no longer possible to know each one of your customers, you can use consumer behavior research to learn more about your customers.

Once you understand your customers, it will be easier for you to resonate with them and get more new customers.

Here are 10 simple ways to get more customers using psychology:


1. Knowing the three types of buyers

Regardless of the industry, consumer behavior research shows us that there are fundamentally three types of buyers. Knowing which type of buyer you are dealing with can help you reduce purchasing pain and maximize potential sales.

The three types of buyers are:



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  • Spendthrifts (15%)
    • These people are able to spend the most money before reaching maximum purchasing pain.
  • Unconflicted (61%)
    • These are the average spenders.
  • Tightwads (24%)
    • These people spend less than average before reaching maximum purchasing pain.

Knowing how to sell the tightwads is critical because they can potentially make up a decent part of your customer base. Using the right words can help reduce their purchasing pain.


Minimizing purchasing pain for tightwads requires three strategies:

Focus on the small stuff: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that using a single word had an impact on conversion rates. They changed the phrase for an overnight shipping charge from “a $5 fee” to “a small $5 fee” and they were able to get a 20% higher response rate among tightwads.

Reframing perceived value: Using reframing can be effective for all buyer types. However, breaking down a product into a smaller daily value, decreases purchasing pain.

Saying the cost of your service is only one dollar per day (cheaper than most cups of coffee) is better than saying it is $30 per month.

Bundle your products/services: All consumers, but especially tightwads, like to have their purchases in one easy process rather than purchasing multiple times. By bundling your product, you can reduce purchase pain.


2. Getting past analysis paralysis

You’ve probably heard the term analysis paralysis where we spend too much time analyzing a situation so that no action is ever taken.

A professor of psychology at Arizona State University, Dr. Robert Cialdini, researched the American Cancer Society donation process and found that adding one short phrase can dramatically alter results.

When members of the American Cancer Society went door-to-door, researchers tested a small change in the wording of their donation request.

Group A asked, “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?”

Group B asked, “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation? Every penny will help.”

This subtle change in the question made twice as many people donate. 28% of the people in group A donated, versus 50% of the people in group B.

In the end, researchers concluded, “people are more likely to take action when minimal parameters are set.”

When some people are asked if they have $20 to donate, they may hesitate while they determine if they have $20. They may also ponder if they can afford to give away the money. By clarifying that even a penny makes a difference, it makes it clear that any amount, no matter how small, is really appreciated.

Using a small action or amount can make people more likely to make a move. When you clearly define the minimum, it can help people overcome analysis paralysis.


3. Label Your Customers

How many times have you used a preferred customer card at a drug store, grocery store, or other shop?

 It turns out labeling your customers is a powerful strategy. Research has shown that customers actually like being placed into groups.


When a group of researchers studied the patterns of 133 adults, the researchers told half of the participants they were more likely to vote because the researchers found them to be more politically active. The other half was not told this during the interview.

The so-called “politically active” group actually had a 15% higher voting turnout as a result of being told they were part of a special group.

The brain likes consistency so much that when we’re told that we are part of a group, we will be more receptive to that message. This is why the foot in the door technique works so well.

Labeling your customers is actually a good idea. One way is to create a gold status customer loyalty program. This will allow the group to feel like a superior consumer who spends more than the regular customers do.

People like being part of a superior group, especially when it meets their approval. People in that group will spend more because they feel like they belong to that exclusive group that spends more.


4. Using urgency to your advantage

Copywriters have been creating a sense of urgency for a long time and the reason is simple: it works. The key here is not to push people into making a purchase, but rather to use appropriate pressure to keep them from procrastinating.

By giving people a logical, well thought-out reason why they should make a purchase now, more people will.


5. Creating anticipation

Every time Apple launches a new product, people line up waiting in anticipation to get it.

[Tweet “Creating anticipation before your product release can be a powerful way to pique people’s interest”].

You can start with a press release and then use social media and your website to build interest.

By building a mailing list, you can keep people up-to-date and build anticipation before your product finally arrives. This can also be a great way to determine interest before new the product is released.


6. Restrict the number of choices

Giving consumers too many choices can be crippling.

When you are selecting between 2 to 3 pairs of sneakers, it’s easy to create a definitive opinion about which ones you should buy. However, when you’re faced with 20 different pairs of shoes, analysis paralysis can creep in. Giving your consumer too many choices may lead to negative emotions and confusion.

In order to resolve this issue, only show them one product at a time. The best number of overall choices is six. If you have to present more than six options, use a decision tree to help the consumer organize the information.


7. Give the user a trial

Consumers everywhere like to try goods before making a purchase. Whether you are sampling produce at your grocery store or trying on a pair of shoes before you buy them, a trial is a great way to get proof of quality. This is also true for consumers online. They want proof of quality that will give them the trust necessary to purchase a product or service from you.

If possible, try to give a free trial of your product or service to build trust. This free trial will allow them to test the quality of your product or service.


8. Use social proof to your advantage

If your potential customers believe that your product or service is well-liked by others, they are more likely to approve of them themselves. By building a list of product ratings, customer reviews, and social media metrics you can help build trust with your potential clients, which will ultimately help improve conversion rates


9. Show them what you stand for

[Tweet “64% of consumers stated they have a strong relationship with the brand because they shared values with the company.”]

Make sure you share with consumers your company’s values in a clear and concise way. While most of your customers will enjoy your products, the loyal customers will also resonate with what you stand for and how you can help them achieve their goals.


10. Focus on strengths and admit your deficiencies

According to social psychologist Fiona Lee, admitting your shortcomings is an opportunity to also show your strengths. By admitting your honest errors in judgment, you can help your customers appreciate your honesty and it shows you are in control of the situation. This is a much-preferred tactic than making excuses.



Using customer behavior research, you can get a better understanding of your customer.


Now let’s recap:


  • Knowing your buyer type will help you know the right strategies for each type.
  • Analysis paralysis will become a thing of the past when you establish a minimum commitment.
  • By putting your customers in an elite group, you can market to that group and increase their overall spending.
  • Creating anticipation will help people get excited about your new product or service.
  • Once it is ready, use urgency and a restricted number of options to get consumers to make a choice.
  • Build trust by giving consumers a free trial and providing social proof.
  • Share with your consumers what you really stand for. If you’ve made mistakes along the way, admit them and use it as an opportunity to show how strong your company really is.

By using these simple strategies, you can get more customers and increase sales. Why not start using them today?