Don’t SELL – Influence!

What makes people buy on the Web?

An award winning web site? Top listings on search engines? Cheap stuff? Nope. None of that actually makes the visitor BUY. You can have 10,000 visitors coming to your cool web site and no buyers. It happens more than you think. I know because I work with some of those companies. Here’s the bottom line: People Buy Because They Are Influenced To Buy. As you read this, you will think: “I know this,” but here’s what you should be thinking of: “Why does it still work?” Well, it does and it doesn’t look like people will ever catch on. Look around you at the advertising we are being bombarded with every day. Once you learn how to recognize these things, you will also be able to resist them.

What’s the definition of influence you ask… INFLUENCE IS THE ACT OF GETTING COMPLIANCE WITHOUT EXERTING FORCE. Imagine that! What if you could make people buy on your web page without hitting them over the head with a big stick? Or giving away the store? Read on…….

There are about a dozen subconscious influence principles that affect everyone. The key issue here is the automatic reactions to these principles. People don’t even think about them. They just react. These rules are mental shortcuts by lazy thinkers. Their reaction is automatic and immediate. So how does that relate to web sites? If you include one or many of these principles in your site verbiage you will increase your chances for a sale many-fold.

Here are the four top ones:


Scarcity is a shortcut to compliance widely used to create value. You know this of course, but have you ever stopped and thought about why this works? It really doesn’t make any sense. Why is something better or more expensive just because it is in limited quantities? Or why do you just have to have it because tomorrow it might be gone?? “Limited time offer…..???” The variant of this is often used: “The Secret”. How often do you see: ”I’ll let you in on a secret”? It is very hard to resist.


How many times a day are you offered a free gift of some kind. Often you say to yourself – it’s only a sales gimmick. Yes, it certainly is. It’s a calculated gift as well. Sales goes up by a healthy margin if a free gift is included. It works very well. Think about it. Some free gifts you do throw away, but I bet you that others have prompted you to buy something you might not have bought if it didn’t have the free gift offer. In our society there is an obligation to GIVE, and obligation to RECEIVE and an obligation to REPAY. ALL great site giveaway something.


This is another one of the deep-rooted mental short cut to compliance. This principle is so obvious and overused I’m amazed that people fall for it over and over. But, the fact is that as part of the social influence group of rules it’s so deeply rooted that no one even thinks twice about using it as justification to comply. It’s automatic. This works even better if the references are PEOPLE LIKE US! So, if you see on a web site that a person you respect like the product, you don’t even think about it, your trusted brain just automatically decides “It’s OK to buy this.” That’s why testimonials are so important to include on any web site.


“She’s such a nice person, let’s buy from her.”

Yes, humble web masters, liking also is a deep-rooted excuse to comply. We all know that if we like someone, it’s easier to do what the person wants. Good web sites do what they can to make you like them. Creative graphics is common, but there is a difference between WOW and ‘I like this site’. If a visitor doesn’t like the site, he or she just ain’t gonna buy. You have to be warm and fuzzy. One way to make them like the site is to deal with their interests and needs before you start in on your company services. The very first thing your home page should say is something that is important to the visitor. Or, if you are selling personal services, you have to make them like YOU.

Use these strategies with tact and finesse and you will turn more visitors into customers.

People buy for emotional reasons and justify it with logic.

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