The Psychological Triggers Behind The World’s Greatest Offer

October 15, 2018

Have you ever been asked to make a donation at the end of a purchase in a retail store?

Yes, you know, this perfectly scripted short pitch that sounds something like:  “Would you like to donate 1$ to the Children’s Hospital in support of kids in need?” or, “Would you like to round that $4.55 up to $5.00 and make a donation to National’ Diabetes Research?”

So, did you give a donation?

Was it a positive or negative experience?

A recent study by CBS reported that nearly 90% of the population has a negative opinion about those checkout charities.

So if nobody likes them, how come are they working so well for retail stores and charities?

Checkout charities go even further than the theory of constraint (mafia offer) which is to construct an offer that’s simply impossible for the market to refuse.

The Psychological Triggers of The Mafia Offer You Can Use to Sell More Boats

Now, let’s reverse engineer the process by looking at the 8 psychological triggers in this offer and why they work so well.

“Would you like to donate $1 to the Children’s Hospital in support of kids in need?”

Let’s review them all:

1) The “Helpers High”:

Did you notice that the offer is about giving a donation to charity? They leverage the Helper’s high because they know that you want to feel good about giving rather than feeling guilty.

2) Anchoring Effect #1:

Notice how they always ask you for your $1 AFTER telling you the total billing amount. When you compare the $1.00 to your large bill you’re so much more likely to give! You think about it, you compare and you say yes.

3) Anchoring Effect #2:

They skillfully ask you for a small donation of $1.00. Even if you don’t compare it to your groceries bill, it’s a still small amount. So what they actually do is trick you by purposefully choosing a very small amount. So you think, Okay it’s only $1!

4) Authority: 

Do you notice the assertive way in which they ask you for a donation? They don’t ask if you would like to donate to charity. They decide FOR YOU how much you should give. They took control over you by choosing the amount. This feeling of authority has a big influence on your decision to accept the donation.

5) Peer Pressure #1:

The cashier looks at you and you know they are likely judging you. You feel so uncomfortable and you don’t want to be judged for being cheap. So you say yes!

6) Peer Pressure #2:

You’re not talking over the phone or in the comfort of your own home. You are in a public place, with plenty of people in front, behind, left and right. You wonder, what will they think about me if I say no?

7) The Surprise Effect:

You’re taken by complete surprise. Everything happened so fast. No time to say: “Can I call my wife and discuss it with her?” or “Let me think about it and I will get back to you next week.” You have to make a decision right now.

8) Time Pressure:

You’re in a very fast paced environment. You hear the rapid ‘beep’, ‘beep’ of all the items being scanned. You rush to make sure the person behind you can checkout faster. The cashier rushes because that is what they have been taught to do at all time. You have to make a decision. Quickly!

Eight psychological triggers combined into one little offer!

I call this genius.

I’ve absolutely no idea who invented this technique but I would put them in the same category as Claude C. Hopkins.

Claude Hopkins on the Hidden Psychological Triggers of Boat Sales

Claude is the grandfather of modern marketing and advertising.

And if you’re into marketing, you should definitely read his book: Scientific Advertising.

He perfectly understood human psychology and had the genius and talent to figure out how consumers think and what would motivate them to buy.  He is also the legend that made toothpaste famous by creating a habit of checking the grainy film on your teeth (cue) and using toothpaste to get a feeling of a clean mouth (reward).

The methods and medium of advertising have changed since then but the principles and foundations are still the same.

You might wonder why I am talking about toothpaste or a $1 donation charity in a blog about boat sales. Well, simply because it represents one of the most important elements of your business: the offer. 

And if you’d like to get more leads, most listings, and sell more boats and yachts, you need to make better offers.

However, this is easier said than done.

Because as you can see from the example above, it takes at least 8 psychological triggers to persuade people to donate a few dollars. And, when it comes to selling boats, we’re not talking about a few dollars.

We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even millions. Sometimes multi-millions.

And for that reason alone…

It’s best that you prepare yourself with as many psychological triggers as possible.

As for myself, I have and use 63.

Sixty-three techniques I’ve tailored to marine sales. Sixty-three “psychological triggers” I select from and use during any boat negotiation.

And I’ve successfully used them to sell yacht after yacht.

And you can use them to do the same thing too.

I cover each and ever one of the 63 techniques and how to apply them in my 6-Week Sales Masterclass course.

If you’d like to discover what they are, learn how to use them, and watch your boat sales soar, all you’ve got to do is enroll in the Sales Masterclass.

You can learn more about it here:


— Vincent Finetti
Founder & Instructor

P.S. Try a listing strategy from my FREE Listing ebook here.

P.P.S. I’m doing an exclusive virtual Listings & Sales Workshop with a small group next month to go deep in applying my best strategies to your brokerage business.

Would you like to join us? If so, go here and enter your name and email for more details!

P.P.P.S Check out my client results here.

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