Colours have an impact on people. Most of the meaning we give to colour is due to culture and experience.

For instance, most people learn from a young age that traffic lights have two important colours: red for stop and green for go.

Fire is red which can explain why the colours is often perceived a meaning danger or urgency.

Water and sky are blue, which may create a sense of calm.

Here is a chart created by

Where do you fit on the colour chart? Does it reflect your brand?

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman “It is the consistency of the information that matters for a good story, not its completeness”. The more information you add, the more you risk of having information that does not fit the initial “story”.

So when selling to a customer, make sure you explain everything they need to know but try avoiding going too far as you risk making the decision more difficult to make.

There are big differences in the way men and women shop.

One of them is that men usually have an idea as to what they want. They come to the shop like someone on a mission, grab the stuff and then leave.

However men usually struggle when they buy for someone else (say a present for a significant other or children). In that case they will need recommendations and suggestions and this is when you can really do your sales job.

You have items sitting on your shelves and in your storeroom which have been there for years. This is dead stock. Please note even the best run companies have about 20 to 30% of their inventory as dead stock.

It is easy to dismiss those items as just filling space (which can be useful sometimes) but they cost a lot more than you think:

  • warehousing. If you are large enough to have a warehouse, you know the value of each square meter of space. If it is filled with stock you do not sell, you are wasting money.
  • cost of money. You have paid for this stock and you may have had to borrow to buy other stock. Which means this dead stock comes with interest…
  • shelf space. Your dead stock is taking the shelf space of items which could sell a lot faster. Maybe your dead stock is in prime space in your shop.
  • insurance. Your dead stock is still valued and as such you are paying more insurance because of it.
  • discount. You may have to discount the stock to get rid of it, which usually means selling it at below cost price.
  • admin cost. The more dead stock you have, the more time you spend counting it, moving it, inventoring it, etc… All this equates to a lot of time for no end result.




Customers are proud of what they build themselves. This goes for essentials such as a flat-packed bed or bookcase and is also true for non-essentials such as plastic model kits.

Having to put some effort to get a finished item adds to the perceived value for the person who built it.

You can benefit from this bias by offering items which have to be put together by the customer. Everytime they look at or use the item, they will value it more than if they had not build it themselves.

More and more research are proving what we always thought: negative experiences are more easily remembered than positive ones. They are also usually more vivid memories.

This comes from a primal instinct: remember how bad your encounter with a tiger was so that you can live longer.

You need to keep it in mind and put the emphasis on positive benefits of what you are selling. There should be enough of them to overcome any negativity towards it.

Please note this is likely to require more convincing than you think!

Offer two options to a customer, say product A and product B. The customer will buy one.

Tell the next customer who is interested in something similar what the first customer bought. It is very likely they will buy the same.

This is basically the herd behaviour: once a sheep goes somewhere, the whole herd follows.

You can use this to influence customers. Simply tell them how many people bought the option you want them to buy.

Our brains are hard-wired to believe the size of the item represents its value.

It means it cannot easily distinguish between visual size and numerical size.

So, if you display your prices in smaller font size, they will be perceived as being smaller in value.

Another way to achieve the same effect is to position large texts and other elements next to the price. The price will look smaller visually in comparison which will translate in them being understood as being smaller in value.

The human brain tends to rely heavily on the first number they encounter. This is called anchoring.

In layman’s terms, this is the fact you will use the first number as a reference point.

When selling you can use this to your advantage: simply start with your most expensive bundle. Then offer alternatives with less items and hence cheaper.

All prices will be compared to the first price in the customer’s brain and as such will appear to be bargains.

You can consider this to be upselling in reverse: sell more by selling less!


Our brains are wired to interact. When we hear a question, we feel the need to answer it. So we stop and think about the question for a split second (or more).

This is why it is a lot more powerful to ask a question than stating a fact if you want people to do something.

For instance, a statement like “please swipe your loyalty card” will provide less returns than “have you swiped your loyalty card?”

Ask questions, get results!