Marketing Psychology for Small Businesses: 3 Strategies to Boost Sales


It can be difficult to cut through the noise of the marketplace. Not only are you competing for your customers’ attention, but you also have to entice them to take action. To seal the deal, it may take a little help from marketing psychology, which taps into human behavior and emotion as strategies to boost sales.

Consider these three powerful tactics:

1. Scarcity

Customers tend to flock to a business after it announces its impending closure. Where were all these customers before the closure announcement? Limited-time-only sales can have similar results — that’s the principle of scarcity at work.

Scarcity is a successful sales strategy because consumers are driven to buy something before it runs out. To achieve this marketing psychology tactic, attach time or sales limits to your offers. You could hold a flash sale, for example, and use a countdown timer on your website to create a sense of urgency. If you offer free consultations, tell potential customers you only have two spots left; you’re more likely to get them to commit.

2. Social Proof

The fear of missing out comes into play with the principle of social proof. Consumers instantly give a higher perceived value to products or services that are recommended by others. If you’ve chosen a product online because it has hundreds of five-star reviews, you’ve been persuaded by social proof. Or if you visited a new restaurant because you noticed long lines, that’s social proof, too.

This concept is where strong digital marketing tactics come into play. If you own a bar or restaurant, make sure you’re on sites like Yelp, and encourage your regulars to leave reviews. Or if you run a construction business, ask your past customers to give you a testimonial to post on your website. In fact, a Podium study found that online reviews impact purchase decisions for 93% of consumers.

Mechanic uses marketing psychology strategy to boost sales with customer


3. Reciprocity

If a friend buys you coffee, chances are you’ll want to repay the favor. This concept is considered reciprocity, and it can be used as a marketing psychology tactic to boost business.

If you own a construction company, for example, you can offer free insulation or roof inspections. Or if you own an auto repair shop, offer free air for tires. If the customer does need a repair someday, they’ll be more likely to come to you since you provided them with a free service.

Bottom Line

The best way to use these strategies to boost sales is to be authentic. For example, give away a gift or service without expectations because you truly want to help others. Then when you do get a customer’s business, you get a bonus. When you’re genuine, customers can sense that. But if you’re only after the sale, they’ll sense that, too. Marketing psychology isn’t about trickery; it’s about understanding human behavior as a way to tap into your customers’ minds and hearts.

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