Join us in Boston for the best tactical B2B marketing conference on the planet. Get your ticket by August 31 to save $$$

You’d think it would make sense, wouldn’t you? Here you are surfing the Internet. And this Web site is giving you an $86 discount compared with another site—a whole 30% difference. Yet you end up buying the product from the site with the higher price. Now why on earth would you do something as irrational as that?

You sure wanted to save the $86. Yet something about the second site sucked you in. What was that something?

Once you learn this nifty psychological marketing factor, you will feel naked without it. And then you’ll use it to your advantage in all your marketing—and get higher prices, too. Interested? Of course you are. Stand back and watch this marketing mystery unfold.

Remember That Game You Played as a Child?

You know the one, where you spot the six differences between two pictures. This is somewhat similar—except that there really aren’t six differences, just one.

And, no, it’s not the design. And as I told you, it’s certainly not the price. But let me not prompt you. Let’s see what you can come up with.

Here’s the link to the first site:

Looks straightforward, doesn’t it? It’s got all the information you need to buy. It’s got the model number, the price and the availability of the product. Yes, it’s all there. Believe me, I checked. Clickity-clack and you’re on your way to buying the product, right? Maybe. But then look at the second page before you decide.

Here’s site number two—same product, different price:

The same product on the sales page of this site costs $86 more than on the previous site. So what makes me so hesitant? Why do I feel compelled to buy from here instead of the earlier site?

Welcome to the dilemma of most of your customers. The difference is the “full story.” The second site gives me the whole enchilada. The first site simply sells me the basic specifications, and so doubt grows in my mind.

Sure, I know the model is the same. But what if the one above doesn’t have Dragon Naturally Speaking as part of it? Mmm... I really want it as part of the features.

And does the earlier one have a headphone and external microphone? Or would I have to go out and buy some additional accessories? Grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter, think, think, chug, chug. Ooh, this is such a pain.

The first price looks awfully inviting, but the second one… ah, I can see the picture! I know that’s exactly what I want. Then I can see every itty-bitty specification. Check, check, I go down the line. Yes, it’s exactly what I want.

Watch as My Blood Pressure Rises

You can’t see it now, but my pupils are expanding. My heartbeat has gotten a little quicker. The more I see, the more I am convinced. The more I read, the closer my credit card is itching to be zapped. Site number two has really got me excited. I can see it, touch it and feel the product. I want it now. Where’s that credit card gone off to now?

Other than the great price, site no. 1 puts me into dopeyland. I know that’s the cheapest I can get, but I’m way too reluctant. Who knows who these guys are? What if they don’t deliver? What if it doesn’t have the same specifications? The thoughts race around in my head like a go-kart gone nuts. And then it stops in its tracks.

Sure, I could contact site number one’s support, but I’m kind of an impulse buyer. I want the instant gratification now. Faced with an impasse, I choose the seemingly more painful decision. I part with $80 more than I should. And I curse the first site.


Risk Is Always at the Top of Your Customer’s Mind

By giving your customer less than complete information, you’re increasing the trust risk factor. You’re telling her to trust you when she doesn’t even know you. And why should she do something as silly as that? She’d rather be sillier and end up paying more than end up with egg on her face.

If you don’t tell the customer the full story, you’re not just missing out on the sale; you’re missing out on your future sales as well. You’re missing out on that house on the hill, that Caribbean holiday and your spanking-new Mercedes.

Because when a customer comes into a store and buys a product, it’s almost never a one-time sale. If you’ve got snappy delivery and a bright smiley service, she will most certainly come back to buy more. If she is a customer who buys $300 worth of product, it’s also likely she will buy at least 10 times over the next 10 years. Even if the average remains just $300, $3,000 is a lot of money to give up.

But you know... it’s never just $3,000.

It’s always more. So are you missing out on all those Tequila vacations simply because you were too lazy to put some simple graphics? And some text that would explain things in greater detail?

Because that $3,000 has the potential to balloon into a whopping $15,000 or more.

You see, we don’t live on an island (though we actually do here in New Zealand). This customer will bring her girlfriend, husband, business partner, accountant and God knows who else to the site. By bypassing her, you’ve bypassed the whole whanau.*

Your Aspirin Is Called the ‘Full Story’

Does your Web site tell the full story? Does your sales pitch do the same? What about your newsletter? Or your brochure?

It’s time you went back to the drawing board and audited your communication. When you give them the full story, you’ll find customers coming to you in droves.

Best of all, when you tell the full story, you invariably reduce risk and increase anticipation of ownership. Which causes customers to buy from you even when you charge higher prices.

And that’s the kind of story we all like. The kind with happy endings.

* Whanau is the Maori word for extended family

Sign up for free to read the full article. Enter your email address to keep reading ...


Sean D'Souza uses age-old psychology, marrying it to modern technology, on his Web site, Can "psychological tactics" make a difference? Go there and find out.