The Psychology of Selling

By: Brian Tracy



Brian Tracy didn’t graduate from high school, and in his early twenties was living in his car working minimum wage jobs just trying to survive.

One day, as he was sitting in his car, exhausted from another long day at work, he asked himself a simple question:

Why is it that some people are more successful than others?

He realised that there were a lot of people around him that seemed to be making more money and living in fancy homes, but they didn’t seem to be much smarter or more talented than him.

After he asked that question, he started to find the answers. Now here’s the important part. The next thing he did, was that he applied the lessons he was learning from those successful people.

That’s it.

And from the backseat of a car, he started a journey that has seen him consult for more than 1,000 companies, given more than 5,000 speeches and seminars around the world, and written over 45 books - many of which were international best-sellers.

It’s fair to say that Brian knows a thing or two about how to sell.

Here’s my challenge for you today. You are about to learn the 11 customer needs that you can appeal to in order to become a better sales person. Learning these things alone will not get you from where you are today to where you want to be. But consciously applying them to your life and business, will.

So choose just one of the customer needs that you are about to learn, and figure out how you can better sell your products or services right now by tapping into that need. Don’t wait until tomorrow - find a way to apply it today.

Let’s get started.

Need #1: Money

Everybody wants more money. They may attach different meanings to that money - for some it might mean freedom, for others it might mean a better home - but everybody wants more. It’s shocking how few products or services attach themselves back to this basic need.

Need #2: Security

Feeling secure in life is something that everybody wants. Finding ways to make your prospects and customers feel more secure in their job, their relationships, or their finances is something that everybody is willing to pay for.

Think about this - when was the last time you heard somebody complain that they felt too secure in any of those areas? Or ask yourself another question - how can our product or service act like an insurance policy for our customers?

Need #3: Being Liked

Almost everybody on the planet wants to be liked by others - even the people who will tell you that they don’t care about what other people think. Trust me, they do.

If your product or service can help your customers gain admiration from their friends, neighbours and family members, you won’t find any trouble getting them to part with their hard earned cash.

Need #4: Status and Prestige

A related need to being liked is status and prestige. I know, I know, you aren’t interested in this, but other people are. For instance, why are some people willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a watch?

It’s not so they can tell the time better. It’s so they can be seen wearing that expensive watch, which lets other people know how successful they are without having to tell them directly.

But you know this already. The question is, how is your product or service helping your customers increase their status and prestige?

Need #5: Health and Fitness

When was the last time you heard somebody tell you that they feel too good or look too good? Never.

This another one of those needs where there is an insatiable desire that your product or service can fulfil. Maybe you’ve never thought about your product or service this way, but maybe doing so will unlock some fresh new ideas for you.

Need #6: Praise and Recognition

People love compliments and being recognised for the things they do. Think about the last time you knew that somebody was giving you a compliment, even if you knew that they had ulterior motives. How did it make you feel? Pretty good, if you are anything like me.

So how can your product or service help your customers gain more praise and recognition?

Need #7: Power, Influence, and Popularity

If you can demonstrate to your customers that your product or service will help them generate more power, influence, or popularity, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with demand.

This is especially useful when you are selling to a B2B client, where power, influence and popularity are as good as gold to your customers’ career.

Need #8: Leading the Field

Admit it. You want to be known as a market leader or trend-setter. If not in your career or job, then certainly in another part of your life.

There are people out there right now who would buy your product or service if you could demonstrate to them that it would help them solidify their reputation for finding the “next big thing”.

So what are you doing to make your customers and prospects feel like they are leading the pack by doing business with you?

Need #9: Love and Companionship

Ah, love and companionship. For most of you this will be a tough one. And you might not ever get away with linking your product or service to helping your customers find their next mate.

But maybe it’s not as far fetched as you think.

In 2014, Inc. magazine published and article with the following title: 6 Reasons Why LinkedIn Is The New Online Dating Site.

I bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Need #10: Personal Growth

The personal growth industry is absolutely enormous. You are reading this right now because you have a desire for additional knowledge and skill.

This need is all about helping your customers get all of the other needs that they desire, faster. The faster, the better, and the higher the price they are willing to pay.

You know what’s better than 8-minute abs? 7-minute abs.

If you can show you customer the shortest path possible to becoming the person they want to be, it will be the easiest sale you’ve ever closed.

Need #11: Personal Transformation

If personal growth is showing your customers how to become the person they want to be, personal transformation is showing your customers how to become something bigger than they’ve ever thought possible.

If you are able to demonstrate how your product or service can change the trajectory of your customer’s life, you are bringing a gun to a knife fight.

So I was wrong a minute ago - this will be the easiest sale you’ve ever closed.

What are you going to do about it?

I know 3 things for sure right now.

First, I know that nothing I’ve shared with you today is rocket science. You’ve heard this all before.

Second, I know for a fact that you are not applying all of these needs in your quest to become a better sales person or entrepreneur.

Third, I guarantee you that the more you apply these needs to your sales process, the better your results will be.

Who knows - it might even lead to a personal transformation.

It starts today by picking one need that you haven’t been focussing on, and start tweaking your sales pitch to include it.

Onwards and upwards.