March 3, 2014

Interesting Psychology Articles for Sales and Marketing

A reader recently asked me about the most interesting psychology articles for sales and marketing. Below are some of my favorite resources, tips and tools to help you find interesting pscyhology articles.

Have you heard of Martin Lindstrom? He’s considered by many to be the world’s leading author in neuro-marketing. Frankly I have a content crush on him and you should too. Lindstrom is widely known for his $7-million dollar study that explores consumer sentiment, motivation and habits. His insight is a mash-up of extensive neurological knowledge, psychology in marketing and our use of technology.  He published his findings in his book entitled, Buy.ology. He also wrote Brandwashed which I haven’t read yet but is on my bucket-list of books to read while bopping up and down on the elliptical. Something about gasping for air and sweating helps me retain what I read. Go figure.

Interesting Psychology Article: The Nocebo Effect

I had a friend share a story about Lindstrom’s Nocebo Effect. A group of actors were hired to share a meal at a fine dining restaurant posing as a group of old friends. The table ordered soups all around. After a few minutes one of the actors pulled the waiter over and began an emotionally driven, loud complaint about the “scolding hot temperature of the soup”. Before dessert almost 30% of the restaurant’s real customers were complaining about the soup’s temperature, which all came from THE SAME POT.

Moral of this interesting psychology story?

Conviction, emotion and sentiment are contagious. If your audience is happy act quickly to leverage and reward their “happiness”. If they are dissatisfied, act quickly to keep the influence from spreading like wild fire! That’s a common theme in the most interesting psychology articles for sales and marketing.

I also highly recommend sifting through his other pscyhology articles here http://www.martinlindstrom.com/category/articles-library/

Persuasive Psychology Articles in Sales and Marketing:

I’m also a fan of Robert Caldini  (author of Influence:The Psychology of Persuasion). He doesn’t author blog posts as much as I’d like but one of his pupils produces some really illuminating content.

This article for example explores a consumer’s threshold of skepticism and measures the persuasive appeal of an ad showing 1, 2, 4, 5 or 6 claims of a product or service’s effectiveness. How many claims can be in an ad before a consumer begins to believe they are simply being “sold to”.

According to the article’s author, Steven Martin (not to be confused with this guy)
Steve Martin

The magic number is “3.” Martin states “Beyond three, further persuasion attempts increase skepticism which, in turn, can heighten resistance to the overall persuasion appeal.”

To quote Martin quoting Shu and Carlson ” 3 charms but 4 alarms”.
Read the article here.

Now if you’re not looking for studies to reference and truly want an excellent resource to become a better salesperson you should read Noah Rickun’s Blog. Don’t let the Ross Geller hair and youthful smile fool you.

Noah Rickun speaker and advocate of sales training aficionado is has an arsenal of time tested and brilliant tips on how to become a better salesperson. His advice is critical for consumption but easy to digest.

I learned early in my career that one of the greatest challenges to outbound sales is getting past the receptionist, gatekeeper etc. Noah does a stand up job in this article where he lists the commandments for getting through to the decision maker.

Check it out here.

You can read more articles on his blog.

Tom Hopkins is a known sales trainer. I don’t get the impression a lot of his content is based on conclusive studies but I do know it comes from conclusive experience. While his verbal execution is a little outdated for my taste his approach and reasoning has merit and should be considered.

Here’s an article on why asking for the business is key and how helping someone realize that “thinking about it” isn’t going to get them what they want, now.”

More about sales and marketing psychology: There are PEOPLE YOU REALLY SHOULD know about

  • Brian Tracy
  • Zig Ziglar
  • Jeffrey Gitomer
  • Robert Caldini
  • Joe Polish
  • Dean Jackson
  • Gary Vanerchuck

There’s also this video of a talk by Nir Eyal about habit forming technologies.

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Diana Santaguida

Diana is a persuasion architect who works directly with marketing decision makers to advance strategic alignment between sales and marketing through creative ideation, emerging technologies, copy-writing and conversion-oriented UX design.
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