How to Sell Change

Tis the season to shop! Are you a deal hunter or do you buy it regardless of cost? Do you read the reviews or ask your friends for recommendations?

I’m fascinated by the psychology of sales and what it means for leading change. Consider these tactics that marketers have been using forever, and still work:

  • Re-launch the same product, but call it “classic” or “retro.” (Coca-cola, ugly tracksuits)
  • Update the packaging with a new font or color. Call it “New.” (KFC)
  • Offer a better price if they buy multiples or in bulk.
  • Add a “limited time only” stamp. (Every internet offer; Thanks Marisol for this one!)
  • Offer a free gift with purchase (The Lego Store).
  • Highlight who else is using the product. (Matt Damon and crypto)
  • Declare that “space is limited” or “only 4 left in stock.” (Amazon)
  • State how many people purchased the item in the last xx minutes/days. (Expedia)
  • Earn a special reward for referrals or bringing a friend (Dentists)

All of these can be applied to help people adapt to change. For example, “Take your training early and beat the scheduling rush in December. Comes with 30 day access to our training environment so you can keep those skills fresh! Only 6 spots left on November 24th.” Or, applying Robert Cialdini’s scarcity concept: “We have only 50 slots open on our Supercharged Super User team. First come first serve! If you want the inside scoop on what’s happening before everyone else, apply now!”

How about these?:

  • Refer a friend for our software testing and you’ll both be entered into our giveaway draw!
  • The first 100 people to correctly complete the new form/process will receive…
  • Not sure whether to try it out? We asked our CEO to go first! Check out the pictures…
  • Wow! We want to recognize person a, b, and c for being the first to register for…
  • We want you to be confident! For those who complete the training course twice and pass two tests, we are giving you…

Sales psychology works. It leverages the basic principle of appealing to self-interest plus the power of peer pressure and FOMO (fear of missing out). 

Which have you used to help with your project? I’d love to hear from you!

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff Skipper

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