There are five primary impulses that affect our purchasing decisions. Understand how they naturally work and allow them to work for you on sales calls.

Sense of Urgency

Limited time offers apply the right kind of pressure to provoke a decision to be made as a priority. We think faster and make decisions faster when we need to.

Jones Effect

Seeing what others have has always been a powerful motivator. Look at children who are 2 years old and watch how powerful Jones Effect is. If one child has something and another child wants the same thing – the whole world can melt down if they don’t get it.

Jones Effect is most powerful though at increasing trust. We trust products more when we know that others have bought them. We look for referrals on products and look to see what products people ‘like us’ have purchased when they were looking for something in the same category.

When you go to youtube to watch a video on a subject, does the number of views indicate a sense of value to you? Thats Jones Effect. Jones is powerful in creating confidence.

Scarcity/Fear of Loss/ Limited Quantity Offers Vs Desire:

When we feel we may lose out on getting something if we don’t decide to take it quickly enough, we do a different kind of negotiation in our minds.

We measure the risk of disappointment and regret of not buying now against the price and cost of securing our desire. We imagine how we will feel in both scenarios and the most powerful feeling usually wins.

Often, if we really think we want something then we make the decision to ensure we get it, and can always return it/ exchange it/ sell it to someone else in the future. If we choose not to take the offer now, its because we’ve determined that the cost of that loss is acceptable. We are not sold on the value/need or the product’s ability to satisfy our desire for the cost yet.


We all love to purchase things we want, but do not like being sold to. The way we feel more secure in making a purchasing decision is when we know that the desire to purchase is genuinely coming from ourselves.

Indifference is something that we can properly assess in someone else, and when there is genuine indifference on behalf of a sales rep, we increase our own level of desire to double check how much we want the item(s) being considered.

As a sales rep, to be indifferent, you genuinely have to be indifferent. Saying things like “its your choice, it doesn’t matter to me” in a not genuine way will come off as not genuine. People never like or appreciate tactics so don’t use them.

You can generate genuine indifference through confidence. Genuine confidence that your entire system of success practices will allow you to achieve your sales goals regardless of which customers say yes is an attractive quality of a sales rep. It will permit you to simply talk with people and play the law of averages until you find the customers who find value in your offer.

Mistakes you can make with impulses:

Using the impulses to place an inappropriate level of pressure on a potential customer will result in a poor decision being made. Whether the customer takes the deal or not – they will later regret it if the decision was not genuinely theirs in the first place.

Faking the impulses or using them as tools instead of actually allowing the honesty of them to have influence will have customers retreating. People can tell when you are acting so don’t act.

Think about the movies, the best ones are the best ones because the characters on the screen are actually genuinely characters, they are not people that you can tell are acting.

The proper way to use the impulses is to simply understand the psychology of why we make decisions with them and how they have influence. Then to work in a way that allows them to just be honest on their own.

Groupon does an incredible job of combining them.

They have limited time offers (sense of urgency) that have a limited number available for purchase (fear of loss/scarcity), showing how many others have been purchased (jones effect) and confidently know they will sell out (indifference).

They simply place offers in front of us and we do the rest. They win because they focus on the most important part of sales – the value proposition.






An excerpt taken from the book – Lead the Field in Direct Sales.