6 Psychological Lessons to Unlock Your Inner Sales Superstar

Posted by Elizabeth Johnson in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights

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There is a lot that goes into perfecting a sales process, but in our experience there are 6 key lessons every salesperson or entrepreneur must address to give themselves the best opportunity to close their leads. Read more below about how we implement these 6 lessons in our sales process.

We’re all about leads. We need them in order to keep things running in our businesses. But let’s be honest...

If we can’t close them… what’s the point in generating a lead in the first place.

If you’ve ever struggled with closing a sale, you need to first understand buyer psychology.

Here are a few tips that will help you unlock your inner sales superstar (Bonus: they help with life outside of business too!)

Lesson #1: Buyers use emotion AND logic.

Did you know that 95% of our purchase decisions take place unconsciously? That’s according to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltma.

It’s often said that people buy on emotion and justify with logic, but it’s more complex than that. Michael Harris, CEO of Insight Demand, put it very eloquently…


The decision to buy is made subconsciously, and these subconscious decisions are based on a deeply empirical mental processing system that follows a logic of its own.

Our subconscious/intuitive decision to buy is then communicated to the conscious mind via an emotion. The conscious mind then searches for rational reasons, and that’s how we complete the circle: We justify our emotional signals to buy with logical reasons.”

~ Harvard Business Review article, When to Sell with Facts and Figures, and When to Appeal to Emotions


What that really means for every salesperson is that you need to sell to both emotion AND logic, even when speaking to more sophisticated buyers or even corporations.

Here’s how:

You can appeal to emotions by making a case for your product or service through the lens of client-centric stories. Case studies are perfect for this. They make your offering feel more real to your prospects by allowing your prospect to see themselves using and benefitting from your product, making abstract benefits and results tangible.

On the other hand, if you only focus on a more product-centered story, relying on facts and features, you run the risk of creating analysis paralysis for the prospect, especially when we overload them with too much information at once.

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Lesson #2: Your prospects want to know “WIIFM".


“What’s in it for me?” is THE primary question in your prospect’s mind, whether or not they consciously think about it. It’s also one of the objections you need to overcome. Our own Ben Kniffen, LinkedSelling’s Co-Founder and President, Ben Kniffen, explains it this way…


“Another thing to remember here is that most objections are brought about by the lack of belief in the ROI of what you pitched. If a prospect is certain and convinced, they will buy with almost no hesitation. If a prospect is uncertain and not convinced, it could mean that you did not demonstrate enough value in your pitch.”

In other words, if you want to help them answer the “WIIFM?” question then you need to ensure you sell the true value of what you’re offering.

In order to sell the value, you first need to understand what your prospects value. Their motivations could include - “What will the boss say?”, “How will this help me in my job?”, “How will this benefit the company?” and others.

Think of the end result for your clients and the benefits of the results you provide.

What would your prospect most value after seeing the difference your solution provides? For example, a marketing manager might value having all their data in one place so they don’t have to jump from platform to platform to collect and analyze the data. This results in saved time and improved processes for quickly analyzing and making decisions going forward.


You could stop there, but that would be a mistake. By improving their processes, these marketing managers are not only more productive, they also get better results, they make better use of their team’s time, and they are able to better communicate with the people they report to. This positions them as more of a key player in the company, potentially improving their chances for promotions and even greater responsibility.

Helpful Tip

What would your prospect most value after seeing the difference your solution provides? For example, a marketing manager might value having all their data in one place so they don’t have to jump from platform to platform to collect and analyze the data. This results in saved time and improved processes for quickly analyzing and making decisions going forward.

Lesson #3: Create a proven, repeatable process.


This is another lesson from Ben Kniffen, and probably the key to consistently securing sales: Create a proven, repeatable sales process.

Too many entrepreneurs and business owners we come across shoot from the hip each time they sell. This is wrong! They think that following a sales process (like a script for example) will come off as overly salesy, so they avoid creating one.

Remember the wisdom of notable sales trainer Jack Daly,


“Do what works. When you go to Phantom of the Opera you do not want them to decide that night they are ‘trying a new method’. The practiced, proven play is always best. No one grew a multi-million dollar company by letting every person sell differently. There are not 500 best ways to sell a product. Find the best methods, then duplicate and repeat them.”


Figure out what works and do it over and over and over again. Don’t stray from it.

Lesson #4: People trust their friends and peers.


Two words: Social proof (or possibly, peer pressure). The power of this is unbelievable. Just take a look at these stats:

1. 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. (
Ogilvy/Google/TNS)

2. 90% of people trust product or service recommendations from people they know, while only 33% trust messages from a brand. (
Source)

3. 76% of business decision makers say they use online sources to learn about professional service providers. (
Kredible Research)

4. 74% of decision makers say they prefer to work with professional service providers who also know their colleagues, friends, or acquaintances. (
Kredible Research)

As a person with a mission to sell, you need to use this to full advantage. Any time you can throw in testimonials, stories, and again, case studies, where a third party can speak on your behalf, the better off you are.

Another point here is that no one really wants to be “the first.” No one wants to be your guinea pig, so to speak.

With that said, we all have to start somewhere. If you are brand-new and trying to make your first sale. Lean on industry success stories where possible. When we were first getting started at LinkedSelling we used some famous stories and examples of companies using LinkedIn to generate business to prove our point that it was THE social media platform to generate B2B leads.

Lesson #5: People are more likely to move forward when it is their idea vs. when they are told to do something.


Works great for kids too!

This might sound like a Jedi mind trick, but it works.

When you can get your prospect to explain why they’re interested in you at this particular time, why they reached out now, why they asked the questions they did, or why they are speaking with you as opposed to someone else, you’ll get them to sell themselves.

The beauty of this is that, it takes the pushiness out of sales. You’ve gotten them to explain their problem and just by listening and asking the right questions, you’ve shown understanding. (hint: people like that.)

From there, if you can get them to visualize the solution in their own words, asking something like “What would happen if…?” Or “What would it mean to you if that were to happen?” “How would it make a difference in your day to day, or in your company as a whole?”

Re-frame the sales conversation to position yourself as the advisor only, not the pushy salesman.

Lesson #6: You’re There to Solve A Problem, Not to Sell.


Here’s the deal, if you’re not sold on your product or service yourself, how can you sell anyone else on it? If you have a product or service that truly helps, that truly solves a problem, you have to get it in the hands of as many people as possible. Remember, your goal is to solve a problem, not to sell just for the sake of selling.

It’s a major mindset shift.


“Too many people think that their ultimate goal is to get the sale. The problem with this line of thinking, besides the prospect smelling the commission breath on you from a mile away, is that you become misaligned with your prospects and shortsighted in your vision. Sales wrangled in with a “do whatever it takes mentality” creates problems for both sides.” 

~ Ben Kniffen


Your prospect knows when you’re desperate. Instead, your number one goal should be solving a problem. When you can solve a problem for someone they will throw their business at you. If there was one underlying lesson in all this, remember this last point above all - that sales is about providing a solution.


When you approach any conversation as if you’re there to solve a problem instead of being there to close the sale, you’ll naturally find out what the problem your prospect truly has, and be in a position to help them envision a future without that problem.

Put It Into Practice


​Ready to unlock your inner sales superstar? Understanding what your prospect needs to hear before they can close the deal is a key factor in whether or not you’ll be successful. You need to know what motivates them, what questions they have, and what will eventually move them to sign on the dotted line as well as how to approach them, listen to them and understand. All come into play when you want to close the deal, especially if you take the time to create a sales process.

Want to learn how to fill your pipeline with quality leads to fuel your sales? Find out how we keep our sales superstars filled with quality appointments in our workshop below.

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