6 Psychology Hacks to Win Clients
Updated: Sep 21
These proven psychology theories will have clients coming to you; no begging, no chasing, no cold calling.
We've all experience it, because we’re all humans; humans who buy things - It's the marketing psychology used on us daily.
We've all fallen for these psychology approaches used in marketing, and it's not a bad thing, it's just human behavior. It’s how we act, or react. As a business, when you understand this, you can position yourself in a way that makes people feel comfortable and safe, not pushed or coerced.
It’s why psychology is the root of all marketing - understanding human behavior and what makes people react, feel safe, and feel appreciated, can change your business for the better because no matter what business you are in you are in the business of people. In order to market effectively to those people, we need to understand them and how they operate, how we operate.. Knowing this allows us to present ourselves online in a way that is appealing to our prospects, creates an experience that puts them at ease, and provides a great first impression before they even book that first call.
Now, we don’t use psychology to manipulate people or take advantage. We use psychology to understand. To understand why we act the way we do, why humans expect the things they do, assume the things they do, and how you can use that knowledge to position yourself in a way that makes prospects feel more confident in choosing you and your services.
I want to talk about 6 psychological theories that work so well together, in sequence, and show you how you can use them to position yourself as the preferred choice of your ideal client.
1. Frequency Bias (or Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon):
Let’s say you are looking to buy a new car and you’re researching a specific make and model. The next day, you suddenly start to see that same car everywhere! You see it on the highway, you see it in commercials, and in parking lots. Now, these cars didn’t just suddenly materialize overnight - it’s your brain playing tricks on you.
This very thing happen to me when I was buying my car.
It’s called frequency bias or the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. This psychological theory states that once you are introduced to something for the first time, you are more likely to notice it each time it is presented to you after that. It’s a cognitive bias that causes our brains to give undue importance to things we've recently encountered or thought about. In the context of buying a car, once you're introduced to a certain make and model, your mind becomes hyper-aware of it. It's like learning a new word and suddenly hearing it everywhere.
Once something is introduced to us, it will now stay top of mind as long as it continues to be presented to us, or is simply put in front of us.
This is why once you introduce yourself, your business, or your offer, to an online audience, it is crucial to keep up that momentum. You need to continue to show up consistently so they can’t help but notice you!
2. The Mere-Exposure Effect
The more you stay in front of your ideal client, the more they are going to come to trust you, and actually prefer you over someone else.
It’s proven psychology. It’s the mere-exposure effect. This theory states that we come to preference things merely because we’ve been exposed to them over time and have become familiar with them; it happens with songs, products, food, and even people! It’s why the more you spend time with someone, the closer you become.
Another example is this...
Have you ever heard a song that everyone was raving about and you just didn’t get the hype? Then you hear it on the radio a few times and you think, 'oh it’s not that bad.' You then hear it again and it starts to grow on you. Before you know it, you are singing along to every word and maybe even go so far as to buy it. This is the mere-exposure effect at work; we come to preference things simply because we have become familiar with them.
If you stay in front of your online audience consistently, showing up frequently, and share your same message again and again, they will become familiar with you and begin to preference you.
You can see how this is naturally becomes the next step of frequency bias - you are introduced to something and then the more and more you see it, the more you come to prefer it.
3. The Endowment Effect
Once people have taken the time to get to know you and get familiar with your offer, they are less likely to look elsewhere for the same service. Why? They already feel attached to you. Plus, looking elsewhere entails more work for them. They already have begun to trust you, and know you, and feel attached to you and your offer - it’s become familiar.
It’s the same reason why you will go to your friend vs a stranger when you need something; you know them, you know what to expect, you can rely on them, you are comfortable with them, and trust them.
This is the endowment effect at work. This theory states that we preference things we already have an emotional attachment to or have already invested our time in.
If you continue to show your benefit and show you are that reliable resource, this will naturally happen for your audience.
You can see how this relates to the previous theory. Because the more you show up, the more they become familiar with you, and the more time they invest in getting to know you. This is when they become more likely to stick with you and not look elsewhere.
4. The Information Gap Theory
When someone has a gap in their knowledge about a topic they care about, they WILL take action to learn more.
This is known as the information gap theory. And this is where a free resource, a lead magnet, can benefit you as a business owner.
You can provide a free resource with information that you know your ideal client needs, and can benefit from. In order for them to gain access, you ask for their contact information, like an email address in. You now have a warm lead. If someone is willing to give you their email address for more information, you know you have a warm lead because they are interested in learning more.
But don't stop there!
You can build an email list (one of the most valuable assets any small business can own) and begin email marketing to provide even more information they may care about. And, a bonus here is that, email marketing has the highest ROI in marketing because, as I mentioned, those who accessed this free resource are likely already highly interested in your offer.
Which makes sense when you think about it, because people are selective with who they give out their contact information to, and people rarely change their email address. So ,if they give it to you, you can rest assured they are likely a highly-interested prospect and one step closer to booking your services.
Just make sure you don't disappear from their inboxes! Stay top on mind by sending weekly or monthly emails for the very reasons we already mentioned, like the mere exposure theory.
5. Reciprocity Marketing
Did you know it is innate human behavior to want to give back to those who have given to us?
Throughout history it was found that tribes of people who helped each other out had a better chance of survival, that if you could barter for certain goods or services you could ensure a healthy and strong society. And this innate behavior is engrained in each of us.
Just think about this. Have you ever received a gift from someone, but didn’t have a gift for them in return and immediately felt the need to return the favor?
A friend of mine recently shared with me that she went to a wine tasting. She explained how the server went above and beyond by sharing stories about each wine, taking the time to learn her preferences and adjusting the experience accordingly. She said she then felt the need to purchase something from the business as a thank you to this excellent service. She then went to a second wine tasting and the server simply brought the wine, set it on the table, and walked away. Nothing further was given. And my friend did not buy any wine at this second winery.
Reciprocity can work for you. Provide something to your prospects without obligation, like a helpful resource, a lead magnet. And simply be there! Be there to answer comments on social media, answer messages, emails, and questions, offer a free consultation. Giving first and the sales will follow.
6. Social Proof
Social proof is that last little nudge we often need in order to make a final purchase decision. We want to know that it has been tried and tested. And want to know what an unbiased third-party has to say.
How often have you read reviews before making a purchase? I read reviews on everything. I once even read reviews for ice cube trays. Ice cube trays.
Give your ideal client this benefit as well. And you can do this in more ways than just with reviews and testimonials.
Other forms of social proof you may not have thought about are case studies. Walk us through the process of how you took a clients from struggling to thriving using you services and finish it off with a testimonial from them as well.
Another form of social proof is building a community on social media of like-minded professionals. There is strength in numbers here. For example, how often do you hear things like “9 out of 10 dentists would recommend”?
No one is listening to that one lone dentist.
Building a community of like-minded professionals on social media can have this same effect.
They can engage with your content, leaving comments that back up your claims. Prospects can then feel more confident and trusting in you, because just like the dentist example, other professionals are also backing you up.
Building a community can take time but it is well worth the effort! It is extremely beneficial to any business who is marketing online and can be the deciding factor for those ideal clients who are watching.
Put Systems in Place to Win!
With the proper systems and digital strategy in place, in addition to applying these 6 theories to your marketing efforts, you can begin to win new clients online, no chasing, no begging, no cold pitching.
Want more on this topic?
Listen to episode 27 of my podcast Passion to Purpose: The Power of Digital Marketing featuring special guest Rebecca Scott where we talk more about it and how to use psychology to build a compelling lead magnet.