We make around 35,000 decisions daily, most without even realising it. In this automatic mode, our brains can handle a mind-boggling 11 million bits of information per second but only 40 bits using conscious awareness.
So, if you want to influence people's decision-making, targeting their subconscious minds is more effective than appealing to their logical, slow-thinking brains. Let's delve into some techniques you can use to achieve this.
Cognitive Biases. Our brains are prone to different cognitive biases. For instance, "herding" bias helps people to follow the actions or decisions of others, particularly when they perceive something as trendy. You can also utilise the "reciprocity principle" by offering something valuable upfront, creating a sense of obligation and reciprocity from customers.
Anchoring and Framing. The brain heavily relies on context when making choices. Presenting price points or product features in a specific context can influence the perceived value. For example, by showcasing a higher-priced item before introducing a slightly cheaper option, the brain fixates on the initial high price, making the subsequent option seem more affordable and appealing.
Social Proof. The brain relies on social validation to make decisions more efficiently. You can leverage this by presenting evidence of satisfied customers, positive testimonials, or influential endorsements. By showcasing social proof, potential buyers are more likely to trust the product or service, which eases decision-making.
Scarcity and Urgency. Creating a sense of limited availability or time-bound offers taps into the brain's inclination to prioritise immediate gains over long-term benefits. Limited edition products, flash sales, or time-limited discounts instil a feeling of urgency, motivating customers to make decisions more swiftly.
Simplify Choices. The conscious brain has a limited capacity for processing information, so bombarding customers with numerous options can lead to decision fatigue and a higher chance of indecision. You can facilitate easier decision-making by presenting a limited number of choices and guiding customers towards a few key options. Highlighting each option's unique selling points and benefits helps customers navigate their choices more effectively.
Emotional Appeal. Since most decisions happen subconsciously, tugging at customers' emotions can be potent. By tapping into their desires, aspirations, and pain points, you can forge an emotional connection that influences decision-making. This can be accomplished through storytelling, emphasising the benefits and outcomes, and evoking positive emotions associated with the product or service.
By employing these techniques, you can optimise your selling approach, capitalising on the brain's subconscious decision-making processes and cognitive biases.
You have two options: DIY and hiring professionals. You can easily learn more about the individual techniques and try them, but if you want to approach it more strategically, hire consumer or retail psychologists. The first focuses more on broader consumer behaviour, the second on retail setting and its impact on consumer decision-making. Either will help to propel your marketing to new heights. Give it a go!