3 Ideas To Help You Sell Things

Tips on pricing, persuasion, and incentives.

The following ideas were previously featured in my weekly 10 Ideas Worth Sharing newsletter. To get next week’s ideas, subscribe here.


1. Use short-term rewards instead of long-term rewards as incentives.

“If you’re offering rewards for a specific action from your customer, do you reward them sooner, or later? The answer is almost always going to be sooner.”

The Goal Gradient Hypothesis is the idea that the closer you place rewards to an action, the more likely people are to take that action.

Any incentives you incorporate into your sales pitch should keep in mind that far-away rewards are less motivating than near-term ones — even if the long-term reward would ultimately be better for the customer.

For example, customers will be more interested in a smaller monthly incentive than they will a larger annual one.

2. Use “pre-suasion” to persuade people.

“Optimal persuasion is achieved through optimal pre-suasion: the practice of arranging for people to agree with a message before they know what’s in it.”

It’s not only what you do that influences people, what you do right before the thing you do is just as important.

Pre-suasion is the process of focusing people’s attention on a selected concept which then leads them to overvalue related opportunities that immediately follow.

To incorporate it into your sales approach, look for ways to focus your customer’s attention on the qualities you want them to value before pitching them that value.

For example, one study found when a sofa store showed customers images of clouds, those customers were more likely to buy a soft sofa.

3. Use pricing strategies.

“People love physically small numbers. Studies have shown that placing your price in the bottom of the page rather than the top makes people perceive it as lower. Even crazier, the physical size of your font can influence peoples’ understanding and feelings about it. Smaller fonts seem smaller in price.”

There are several pricing strategies you can employ to help drive sales.

To change a customer’s perception of a product’s price, you can implement price anchoring and offer a similar product at a more expensive price, This shifts the customer’s perception of the original product’s price and value and makes them more likely to purchase.

Another pricing technique is to reference the exact price as opposed to an estimate ($362,978 vs. $350,000) of a high-priced product. Studies show listing a specific price makes customers willing to pay more because the specific number feels lower than the estimate.

Incorporate pre-payment when possible because it reduces pain for customers. For example, a pre-paid Uber feels less painful than sitting in a traditional taxi and watching the price continue to rise as you ride.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get 10 helpful ideas each week.