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Secrets Of Psychology 2: Rejection then Retreat

Story about some chocolate bars

A young Boy Scout approached and asked if i would like to buy a ticket to an evening with the Boy Scouts. I declined not thinking of much worse than spending my precious Saturday nights with some teenagers. The Boy Scout then asked if I would like to buy some chocolate bars. I accepted his offer.

How come i had just bought some very over priced chocolate bars when i a) don't like chocolate b.) like pounds and c.) had never met the young man before? The answer is the rule of rejection then retreat.

Why does it work?

It works as similar to the rule of reciprocity they are giving something to you. A concession, they are backing down from a deal and giving what seems like an reward to you. Not wanting to disappoint the seller further and looking to give back in something which they first they have given, we concede and comply to their second less valuable offer.

True sales story about Snooker tables

Mike was selling Snooker tables and always thought of showing the lowest priced table first (£200) then trying up selling to the more expensive tables. (£2000).This method took in an average of £400 sales.

He then tried showing all customers the most expensive snooker tables at £2000 first then showing the other less expensive tables. This method increased his average sales to £850. All because of the rejection then retreat technique, also known as the door in the face technique.

How does that apply to web design and e-commerce sales on the Internet?

  • Put your more expensive items first and certainly don't hide them away in their own section. Mix deluxe items with standard items. This will give the viewer a feeling you are making a concession to them by offering a less expensive offer on the other products. It will also showcase the products and give more eye balls to the products in which you or the client will make the biggest margin on
  • Order by default most expensive first. Always allow however the lesser items to searched for with different parameters – such as lowest price. Give them this option and make it apparent they can search for in this way
Snooker table listings
  • Don’t just sell a single product and one option
  • Even if they don’t want to buy your £999 product then have another option, even if that is just exchanging an email address
  • Many sales and business teams think of the 1 big sale, right now, where a more long term plan with a succession of contacts with them through email, learning more about the product or giving away great free information may be a lot more profitable. Its very easy for someone in sales and in the business to go after these big sales. They are all looking to increase profits. Having a prominent second offer or even just am enticing email offer may however be a lot more effective long term
  • An average e-commerce conversion rate is close to 1%, you want to think about doing something with the other 99%
  • Even a tiny sale, or email address invokes the commitment and consistency rule which i will cover in a future video

The most important thing to do here is test. Whilst these techniques are more effective in a real world scenario they do hold ground in the online space. Testing these theories is the only way to really know if they are going to be effective. Putting your more expensive items first then having your less expensive ones may just provide you with a healthy bit of profit. It's always a good idea to collect email addresses, they means you have an effective means of contacting the potential or current customer when you desire.

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