6 Psychological Persuasion Tools For Empowering Your B2B Lead Generation and Marketing

Credit: Forbidden Planet 1956


Reading Time: 8 minutes

In a complex world with complex sales, psychographics are going to matter more than demographics for B2B marketing and lead generation. Here are psychological tools you can use today to guide people toward your products and services.

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“I don’t look that way.”

 

Have you ever found yourself saying that to the mirror while looking at–yourself?!

 

I was getting my first tattoo and I was charged with the task of checking the mirror to make sure the design was sitting the way I wanted. The studio lights were bright and the reflective surfaces abundant.

 

And it wasn’t until I saw myself under that much focus, I noticed I was kinda fat.

 

For this to mean anything to you, you have to know where I came from. I had been the fat kid since I could remember and would spend my Saturdays, from 8, bench pressing watermelons on my older sister’s bed (because she had the TV) while weight loss informercials played in the background.

 

These ridiculously happy people were yanking on over-sized parachute pants, pointing at their new lean figures, daring me to follow in their footsteps, upgrade, change, and charge it on the credit card I did not have.

 

Before and afters glittered the screen. I knew I looked like a before and I was tired of it; hence the watermelon bench pressing. 

 

This delusion, that I could strike the figure of Arnold Schwarzenegger within minutes was fine for an 8 year old, not for a guy in his 30s. Somehow, through the years of teasing, and working out, and fasting, and drugging, and cutting portions, and bench presses; I had learned to see myself as fitter than I was.

 

I was absolutely nonplussed. I mean, I owned a freakin’ mirror!

 

In my mind, I had been Hercules yet what I saw in the mirror was Heathcliff.

From that day, I made the decision to do something I’d apparently ignored over the past decades, to set my mind to start with reality and begin from there. 

 

And it worked!

 

Yet, think about it: had you been a well-meaning marketer trying to sell me a new health product and you looked at my demographics: 

 

  • Age 
  • Sex 
  • Location 
  • Occupation

 

And as a well-meaning marketer who knows their buyer personas, bundled me into a group of people ‘like’ me and shipped a marketing campaign based on this understanding…you would have failed. 

 

I didn’t think of myself as an unfit person. I ran and completed resistance exercise programs regularly. You would have had to appeal to my psychographics

 

Here are the differences laid out, courtesy of research firm Discida

Demographics, defining prospective customers by observable characteristics, have been the soup du jour for marketing forever. That means there are billions of dollars behind this strategy, however, as effective as they might have been in the past , there are possible threats to their dominance.

 

Note: It is common knowledge among experienced marketers that buyer personas, avatars, or whatever you call them are semi-fictional accounts of a perfect future customer. Yet, as fictional as they are (and as we acknowledge them to be), why do we continue to cling to this method for grouping future customers for further communication and outreach?

 

As Discida astutely points out in “Why Psychographics Matter More Than Demographics,”

 

“The power of psychometrics can be most easily shown through the controversy of Cambridge Analytica and the use of personality data through the sale of Facebook personality profiles.

 

…Cambridge Analytica was able to reverse engineer personality profiles for the Facebook friends of an original set of 270,000 users to gain around 50 million profiles for political micro-targeting of advertisement. 

 

They did this by tracking activity such as likes and post keywords. In essence, they used a big data approach to do an unauthorized psychographic marketing campaign to millions of unsuspecting people. Despite the ethical questions and possibly legal consequences, this campaign was extremely effective.”

 

And as several popular news stories, videos, and documentaries explain in vivid detail (and with much more accuracy — and why I won’t rehash the issue too much here), the American Democractic and Political systems were hacked using the powerful tools of psychographics and psychology.

 

Again, psychological manipulation and ethics aside, here is how you might use related principles for your B2B lead generation.

 

Psychological Persuasion Tools For Empowering Your B2B Lead Generation and  Marketing

 

Marketers such as Jeff Walker, creator of the Product Launch Formula and author of Launch swear by psychological persuasion and create multimillion dollar product launches in the process. But it’s not for everyone.

There are business owners out there that refuse to consider any marketing concept outside of,

“Here’s what I got. Buy it!”

These techniques are certainly not for them nor those unwilling to seriously consider the power of consumer psychology. However, since you’ve made it this far, I’m going to take it on good faith I am amongst friends.

So let’s get on with it.

Your ideal customer is not a completely rational creature—and neither are we. Outside of proof provided by the groundbreaking work of Nobel Prize Winner in Economic Sciences, Daniel Kahneman we need only consider some of the characters around us to notice people are often reacting to emotional triggers in their environment

Thanks to Robert Cialdini, author of the marketing classic Influence, we understand the biggest triggers to be:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Friendship & Liking
  4. Authority
  5. Consensus
  6. Commitment & Consistency

Reciprocity

This is triggered when you give first, think of a free birthday meal at your local restaurant. We’re generally conditioned to give to those who give to us. 

Another example: a realtor gives a free housing report in return for a lead’s contact information.

Scarcity

Ever notice the rush you feel watched late night or Saturday morning infomercials with the limited offer and the big countdown clock, ticking down until the exclusive price offer expires? That’s scarcity—and it works. People want what is less accessible. 

An example: a limited edition book signed by the author.

Friendship and Liking

We like to help out people that we like and respect. That’s why few marketing activities are more useful than relationship-building. But you knew that, didn’t you friend?

Authority

This trigger goes off when we choose to be associated with something or someone trusted. The effect makes the person using it the de facto expert.  

An example: a business person will place logos of trusted companies they’ve worked with alongside their headshot. Authority results from the connection.

Consensus

There’s a story commonly shared about researchers who placed one university test subject in a rigged experiment with actors posing as his peers. 

The task: count how many lines were presented at the front of the exam room. 

There were four lines although all the plants reported seeing five. Researchers were perhaps amused or surprised to find the subject going with the crowd seven times out of ten, regardless of what they clearly saw.

Consensus is that urge we have to do what the cool kids are doing. An example: a membership site brags about the millions of members who’ve joined their site on the front page. The implication here: you should join too.

Commitment and Consistency

If you can show someone they are almost done with a task they’d previously committed to, you’re harnessing the powerful triggers of commitment and consistency. Often times, people will go against their better judgment just to look consistent with their proclaimed beliefs. 

An example: internet forms with a progress bar at the top showing you’re 50% completed with the process.