How Sales Uses Psychology to Drive Customer Engagement

By Danni White - Published on June 12, 2019
How Sales Uses Psychology to Drive Customer Engagement

Each decision your clients make consists of both conscious and subconscious emotions. Leveraging on the subconscious through engagement marketing has become an effective growth strategy. Although it is good to offer the best product or service, in some cases, the best product or service does not always win, especially if your competition has mastered the art of engagement marketing to nudge favorable customer habits.

Psychological Tactics Used by Salespeople to Drive Customer Engagement

Some of the psychological tactics used by salespeople to drive up sales include:

1. Brand authority

This was proven through the controversial Milgram Experiment, which was carried out after World War II. The experiment sought to establish whether an ‘ordinary’ person would hurt another person if ordered to do so by a highly ranked individual. As the order came from an authority figure, most participants were willing to do so. This explains the increased use of influencers and authority figures to market products and services. Content marketing and participating industry events are also effective ways of establishing your brand’s authority.

2. Personalized services

Personalization aims at tailoring your publicizing tactics to provide the most relevant goods, services, or experience to the right client at the right time. Ultimately, personalized customer management experience results in increased sales as research shows that 40% of clients spend more than they planned to due to being offered personalized service. Personalized services go beyond knowing a customer by name to recognizing and rewarding repeat clients.

3. Reciprocity

In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, psychologist Robert Cialdini suggests that you are more likely to do something for someone who has done something for you. In the principle of reciprocity, Robert points out to a case study in which diners tipped waiters 3% more when they were offered a mint. The tips increased by almost 20% when the diners were offered two mints.

4. Social media

Social media is an effective way of encouraging your clients to share their experiences and interact with you. When well executed, an online customer engagement fosters client loyalty and brand growth as it focuses on value creation rather than revenue generation. Social media engagement aims at providing great content, real-time support, or even telling your brand’s story, especially if it resonates with what you offer. This humanizes your brand, which makes it easy for clients to identify with you.

5. Accountability

More companies realize the need to be accountable for missteps, such as bad customer experience or creating seemingly insensitive ads. The instinct after such an event is to put the blame on somebody else, such as the customer or pretend that such a thing never happened. However, the public and more so your customer base prefers accountability. Although companies who choose this path might receive backlash from the public, they have a better chance of bouncing back and gaining trust with their clients than those who sweep it under the carpet or defer responsibility.

6. Restricting options

Although it appears counterproductive, reducing the number of options is a psychological way of nudging clients to make a buying decision. This is because the client is not paralyzed by the myriad of options. Option restriction is best explained by an experiment that was carried out by The New York Times in which 24 different jam flavors were displayed in a grocery store on one day and only 6 on the second day. Sales increased from only 6% on the first day to 30% on the second.

By providing more options, customers perceive that they will need more time and effort to choose. Clients will also tend to have extremely high expectations and anxiety if they are offered too many options. This results in regret and self-blame if what they chose does not live up to their expectations.

7. Creating scarcity and urgency

It is common knowledge that creating a sense of urgency or product scarcity is an effective way of driving up sales. While these tactics work, offering more instructions further improves these results. Clients are more likely to follow a sales pitch through if a set of clear instructions such as filling in their details or clicking on a certain button are given.

A psychological customer engagement model aims at subtly creating favorable customer habits as opposed for prompting the clients to act to gain some extrinsic reward. These are some of the customer engagement strategies you might want to consider if you are aiming to drive sales in the next several months.

Danni White

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at, a top B2B digital destination for C-Level executives, technologists, and marketers. Bython Media is also the parent company of,, List.Events, and

Danni White

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at, a top B2B digital destin...

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