I first came across these psychological tricks while browsing LifeHacker but then tracked them to the source, Samantha Lee, and Shana Lebowitz on BI. The title is 11 Psychological Tricks To Get People To Do What You Want and it’s little more than a list of what companies can do to get people to buy more of their products or services, and to think of the company in a positive way.
Once you look through the list you’ll see right away that these are common components of marketing and advertising, employed by companies to do just one thing. Get you to part with your money.
11 – Focus on what your bargaining partner is gaining, not losing.
It’s all about what they gain. “I’ll give you my car for $1,000” works better than “I want $1,000 for the car.” The iPhone Upgrade Program gives you a new iPhone every year.
10 – Scare people to get them to give you what you need.
Think anxiety and relief, but the marketer creates both. There’s danger if you don’t upgrade, or add malware controls, or get the latest version.
9 – Use nouns instead of verbs. Or, adjectives.
Being part of the Apple (Microsoft, Google, Android, et al) ecosystem has benefits. Apple uses more adjectives to describe their products than other companies.
8 – Display an image of eyes to get people to behave ethically.
Think Big Brother is watching, but I view this as visuals of happy customers using the latest product from Apple, Microsoft, or Google. If they’re happy using the product, you should be, too.
7 – Ask people for favors when they’re tired.
This is as tried and true as it gets, and both Apple and Microsoft have become more direct with their promotions and advertisements in the past year or two; wearing us down. Apple uses a constant barrage of emotion while Microsoft uses illicit comparisons.
6 – Confuse people to get them to comply with your request.
Apple does this less than others, but Microsoft, Google, and especially Samsung are very effective at distorting the truth when comparing products and features. ‘This CPU has eight cores so it must be better.’
5 – Speak quickly to get an argument opponent to agree with you.
- Or, put another way, marketers don’t give anyone a chance to respond with questions. They prefer a one-way street.
4 – Mimic people’s body language to get them to like you.
I’ve seen this done at Best Buy, Microsoft Stores, and Apple Stores. Google doesn’t like to talk to customers.
3 – Help advance someone’s goals.
Put another way, ask customers to recommend you or your product to a friend or family member.
2 – Tweak the environment to get people to act less selfish.
This one gets used often but in a variety of ways. Apple’s product introductions often are in a larger venue than the company’s campus. But with a twist, Genius B ars are visible in each store to help put pressure on disgruntled customers so they don’t make a scene.
1 – Use a ‘decoy’ option to get people to buy your product.
Used another way, this option shows up in product pricing migration and few companies are as effective at migrating a customer from the entry-level product to more expensive versions than Apple.
These are the kinds of psychological tricks that sales people use one-to-one to get a customer to buy a product, but marketers and advertisers use them, too, and Apple, Microsoft, Google and others use more than their share of such psychology to influence their customer base and potentially new customers.