Use of Psychology in Business: How to Influence Anyone to Say Yes

Social Proof

Unfortunately, as much as prospective customers and readers might like you, they might still not trust you. According to Whitman, the fear of loss is often very much present when it comes time to decide whether to make a purchase.

That’s why, according to Edwards, “We look at others to see how they are responding, searching for clues as to how we should respond.”

Whitman called this psychological trigger a godsend. “Because if I can successfully convey the message that my product is the one that a certain group should choose, then my sales could snowball simply from creating this mindset.”

It’s time to share testimonials and case studies from satisfied customers. Time to show off how many people follow you on social media or subscribe to your newsletter.

This is how Samantha Stone, founder of the Marketing Advisory Network, presents social proof on her website:

If you want to step up your psychology business game, and really take advantage of the use of psychology in business, you’ll take Whitman’s advice. Show social proof both from groups that your ideal customers would like to belong to (say, industry leaders or celebrities), and from groups that your audience already belongs to (say, fellow small business owners, fellow single moms, or people who share their values).

But remember to avoid showcasing social proof from groups your audience doesn’t want to belong to. For example, if your audience is women, a testimonial on your home page from a known chauvinist probably won’t help your conversion rates.


Your audience likes you. You’ve proven that others like you too. Now, you establish yourself as an authority in your field.

“People are hard-wired to obey authority – or even the mere appearance of authority. This is why credibility, celebrity endorsements, and symbols of authority (white lab coats, police uniforms, and the cleric’s collar) evoke such strong emotional responses from us,” Edwards wrote.

See how quickly life coach Rhonda Britten establishes herself as an authority in her field?

A visitor would immediately see she’s written 4 bestselling books, has starred on 3 hit TV shows, and, oh yeah – won an Emmy for her work as a life coach.

You immediately trust her.

But what if you don’t have Britten’s credentials?

To step up your application of psychology in business, you need to start building your authority.


It’ll be different for every business, but you can start by

  • guest posting on popular blogs,
  • building a social media following,
  • doing pro bono work for a major nonprofit (or one that collaborates with big brands),
  • landing interviews on podcasts and local media.

With time, you’ll be able to go up the ranks and you, too, will be recognized as an industry leader.


You’ve done the groundwork and have gotten your audience to know, like, and trust you. It’s time to make sure they take the action you want them to take.

Often, fear, logistics, and many other reasons will keep prospective customers from making a decision. But we don’t want that. “We don’t want them to wait, or think about it, or put off the decision until the ‘later’ that never comes. You want them to whip out their credit cards and order now,” emphasized Whitman.

To maximize the use of psychology in business, you need to emphasize scarcity and urgency.

Edwards notes, ”People are more motivated by feeling they’re about to miss out on something than they are by the thought of [how] that same something might benefit them. In other words, tell people they can’t have it, and they want it even more. Time limited prices, restricted quantities, and qualification requirements all work to create a feeling of scarcity and prompt people to buy.”

As a marketer, you’re in the psychology business. What’s your favorite way to influence your audience? Which strategy from this article are you most excited to try? Share it with us in the comments, so we can cheer you on as you increase your conversions.

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Written by Ayelet Weisz

Ayelet Weisz is a copywriter who starts every day by dancing, before going on to help companies from four continents increase ROI and make a difference with content.