Revenue operations Guide

5 Psychological Principles to Sell Better

Published , Updated 7 mn
Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel Lavergne

Co founder and chief editor

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies

Buying behaviours are generally quite consistent, and by tapping into what influences buying decisions directly in our brains, you can turn more leads into prospects and thus generate more sales. In this guide, we will teach you how to sell better using 5 important psychological principles. From using cognitive biases to becoming a referral, we’ll go through all of these principles.

#1 Use cognitive biases to your advantage

When you really believe that your product or service will solve your customers’ problems, using cognitive biases such as those described below will help them to believe in your solution.

  • Confirmation bias: we are all more likely to appreciate information that supports our beliefs. You need to take this into account in order to tailor your presentation to increase your sales.
  • Reciprocity: This technique is based on the concept that when someone gives us something, we usually feel obliged to give something in return. For example, bringing product samples can put potential customers in a more open mind.
  • Anchor bias: It is common to look for a benchmark or anchor point to assess the value of a potential purchase. To do this, we often look to the first product we review.
  • Social proof: humans are social beings. So we tend to lean towards things that others already like. Make sure you have plenty of relevant customer feedback and testimonials on hand when you call, email or meet with new prospects.
  • Functional fixity: Because we tend to associate specific objects with a single function, psychological selling is an opportunity to help prospects think outside the box. Showing how your product can help them in ways they may not have thought of will demonstrate your knowledge and enhance your credibility.
  • FOMO (Fear of missing out): the fear of “regret” is often what drives us to buy. A hesitant prospect will be less likely to turn down an opportunity if you can show them what they will miss out on if they say “no”. You can do this by providing examples of similar companies that are already taking advantage of your product and the progress they have made as a result.

There are many ways to use cognitive bias as a means of influence when overcoming a customer’s natural objections. Remember that convincing a buyer to continue with a purchase that does not meet their needs will result in a negative experience that could impact on the success of your next sales. You will soon notice that there is an art to effective sales processes.

#2 Make a good first impression

Effective sales communication is essential whatever your sales objective. This includes both verbal and non-verbal interactions. To make easy contact with new prospects, make first impressions count by refining the following elements:

  • Be careful what you say and how you say it,
  • Work on your attitude
  • Also work on the way you stand, physically.

What you say and how you say it. Conversational responsiveness is about using language to signal your interest in someone else’s point of view. Behavioural research suggests that not only will responsiveness in your sales conversations make you more persuasive, but your prospect will like you more and be even more interested in working with you. The key is to use positive language. You’ll build a stronger bond sooner and avoid the common mistakes of a sales conversation.

Your attitude. If you try too hard to be liked and come across as overconfident, this can be a turn-off for buyers. This does not mean that you should not try to be friendly. Avoid starting your calls or meetings by criticising the competition. Not only do people tend to attribute to us the negative traits we describe in others, but a positive attitude helps salespeople perform better. Psychologist Martin Seligman has shown that optimism plays a more important role in sales success than salesmanship itself.

The way you stand, physically. Because humans are so visual, non-verbal communication is extremely important in sales. According to Brian Tracy’s sales guide, your message is made up of about 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% of the words you choose. Many salespeople and coaches recommend testing your posture for several good reasons:

  • This encourages a more approachable posture which will show in the tone, pitch and rhythm of your voice,
  • This opens up your breathing and helps you to stay relaxed,
  • It allows for freedom of movement, promoting more expressive communication,

Our posture is linked to our mood. Sitting upright when you feel stressed can help to increase your positive mood.

#3 Build a link

There are many ways to use psychology to connect with potential customers. To get started, you should begin each new business relationship by :

  • Knowing the company, your contact and its market,
  • Always having product information and other sales material ready to use,
  • Being prepared to share exactly what your prospect can expect to achieve.

Keep in mind that it is easier to connect with ideas, products and people when they foster a sense of security or familiarity. Your prospects will feel more inclined to listen to you if you avoid technical jargon and stay focused on verifiable results.

Using social selling

Although you may need a definition and instructions on how to do social selling, it is very simple. When prospects connect with your brand on social networks, it’s a great way to build relationships. And since social proof tells us that people (including potential buyers) tend to prefer things that others already like, it’s especially important to get your audience to like your content. Here’s how to do it:

  • Determine who your audience is on social networks,
  • Publish shareable content that gets approval (such as how-to guides, quizzes or exclusive interviews),
  • Seek a positive emotional connection by finding or creating content that reflects, emphasises and honours the values of your prospects.

Don’t forget to ask people who have already liked your content to share it with their family, friends and colleagues. If this is not enough, don’t hesitate to use the best tools for social selling.

Giving value for free

As we have seen in the reciprocity bias, giving something to a potential customer will have a strong positive impact. It instils a sense of obligation to do something for you in return, such as trying or buying your product. This can also be called a “give and take“. In addition to handing out product samples, you might consider :

  • To offer a discount on first sales,
  • Offer a free gift with the first purchase,
  • Set up a free demo of your product or offer a free trial period.

By both introducing your product and allowing potential customers to try it without obligation, free samples can have an immediate and lasting effect on your sales. This tactic can be particularly effective with prospects who are cautious with their budgets, or during an economic downturn such as that caused by Covid-19.

#4 Offer several options

A very simple psychological technique for overcoming objections is to give your prospects several buying options. Many companies only offer prospects one option for their product. Even if they like the product, they are less likely to buy it without first considering similar alternatives. Here’s how to use this psychological skill:

  • 1. First, present your prospect with several basic products that you are sure will solve his or her problem.
  • 2. Next, state the main feature of your product.
  • 3. Finally, include a premium option.

Sales psychology says that you will achieve three key objectives:

  • Your prospect will feel less inclined to buy from a competitor,
  • They will be more likely to recognise the high value offered by your core product,
  • They may opt for the premium solution based on the quality and honesty of your sales proposal.

This is definitely a business proposition that works. But remember, if you give your prospect too many options, it will be harder for them to make a decision. You could end up missing the sale.

#5 Become a reference

Selling from your knowledge and expertise will help you to get the best out of sales psychology. We are more likely to say yes to someone if they prove their authority or have a higher level of knowledge and expertise than we do. Do you have a degree, awards or years of experience? Has your brand or product won any honours or been recognised by an industry expert? There are many ways you can demonstrate your knowledge and share your leadership:

  • In your sales pitch and in your newsletters,
  • On your social networks,
  • During cold calls, in your emails and directly face to face.

Providing quality information that facilitates a buying decision will build your prospects’ confidence in your knowledge and your ability to deliver on your promise. If you are just starting out in sales or if your sense of authority is somewhat in its infancy, make sure you always have key statistics about your product. These can include:

  • Details of any research that contributed to its creation,
  • Tests or studies demonstrating its advantages over similar products,
  • Before-and-after results obtained by your clients.

You will influence buying decisions if you convey credible information to your buyer.

Look for like-minded customers

Customers who think like you and your business are even more likely to invest in what you sell. So it’s worth taking the time to seek out and connect with prospects who share similar values or interests. Sharing your customers’ success stories, for example on your social networks, can be a powerful way to exert influence. In addition, storytelling not only humanises your business, but can also help you sell more products to like-minded people. Take an example: a Salesforce integrator who chooses to work solely on Salesforce, with customers who have already chosen Salesforce.

About the author

Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies