Have you ever had the experience of spending money on things you don’t need?
I’m sure most of us can relate to that experience, can’t we?
And it certainly isn’t a pleasant feeling to know that we don’t have enough self-control and discipline to control our emotions and spending habits.
But before you start blaming your lack of self-control and discipline, perhaps there’s another culprit in the room.
Advertisers are known to employ a wide range of tactics to get you to buy their products (even when you don’t need it). It’s their job after all.
You need to know what these tactics are if you want to protect yourself against them.
When you know exactly how those advertisers are subconsciously persuading you to buy more than you really need, you’ll naturally be less vulnerable to them.
And here are three secret psychological tactics that many advertisers use to influence you.
Presenting a High-Priced Item with a Lower-Priced Item
Research has shown than when the salesperson presents you with the more pricy option first before falling back on the more affordable alternative, you’ll be more likely to buy the second option.
Let’s say that under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t buy the $1,000 package because it’s too expensive for you.
But if the salesperson presents you with the $10,000 package first before retracting to the $1,000 option, suddenly, the second option appears to be cheaper in comparison, doesn’t it?
The $10,000 package establishes the value of the product. You would think that it’s the “real deal” just because of the high price point.
And after falling back to the $1,000 package, this normally expensive option would now seem like a steal, and you’d me more willing to buy it.
This tactic is powerful because when combined with the other tactics it might even influence you to take up debt (credit cards, installment plans, etc.) just to buy it.
Having Lots of Testimonials
What does weight loss centres, beauty clinics, and even tuition centres have in common?
All of them feature their customers’ testimonials very heavily in an attempt to persuade you to take up their service.
In fact, it’ll be quite a rare sight to see a weight loss centre not displaying any customer testimonial, celebrity endorsement, or a “before and after” photo these days.
And they do it for one reason – it works.
Testimonials are a really powerful marketing tool because they can influence just about any customer – and it does so consciously and unconsciously.
We are social beings, and it has been proven than we’re more likely to do something if other people are also doing the same thing.
By featuring a lot of testimonials, advertisers are tapping into our innate desire to conform to the rest of society.
Testimonials also remove all doubt and fear that the product will not work.
After all, if it has worked for hundreds of other people, it’ll surely work for me. And if so many other people are using it, it must be good, right?
Giving the Impression of Scarcity and Urgency
It never fails to amuse me how people rush (and sometimes even scuffle with other people) just to take advantage of a SALE.
You can see this in nationwide-sale campaigns, PC shows, and just about any event where “limited edition goods” or “limited quantity goods” are sold.
Our brains are hardwired to place more emphasis on things that are rare.
Think about why diamonds are diamonds so expensive. It (in jewellery form) serves almost no purpose other than to look good on your finger.
And the reason why they are so expensive is because diamonds are such a rare commodity.
We can’t survive two days without water.
In terms of value, diamonds provide almost no value to us. But water is such an essential ingredient to life, and the value it provides is immense.
And yet, water is so cheap.
Researchers once did an experiment on children during Halloween.
They placed two bowls containing chocolate A (superior) and chocolate B (inferior). Since chocolate A is better than chocolate B, most of the kids ended up taking chocolate A.
However, when the experimenters put a bowl full of chocolate A, and another bowl of just a few pieces of chocolate B, suddenly the kids were more drawn to the inferior chocolate.
The rarer something is, the more we desire for it.
Next time, when salespeople try to entice you with something just because it’s the “last one left” or because it’s “on sale”, stop and think if you really need it before buying.
Chances are, the next big sale is coming round the corner, and the shop keeper will soon replenish the stock anyway.
How to Protect Yourself Against These Sneaky Tactics
Being aware of the existence of such strategies is bar none the most effective way to defend yourself against it.
The next time you’re out shopping, ask yourself if what you’re intending to buy is worth it or not.
Your decision to buy (or not to buy) should be based purely on the benefits you’ll get and how much you’re willing to spend to obtain those benefits.
And it should not be because of the sneaky tactics that advertise use to entice you to buy their products.