10 Cognitive Biases That Can Affect Your Sales:

Marketers are beginning to realize just how important Neuroscience and Neuropsychology are to their client attraction strategies. The questions businesses need to ask are: “how do people make decisions and what affects their buying behaviors?” Knowing how the mind works is the key in how to influence consumer behavior and have more predictability in lead generation and sales conversion rates.

What causes people to buy or not to buy? That is real question at hand. There are over 100 cognitive biases that have been identified. These biases are complicating the decision making process as stumping even the most seasoned marketing professionals.

Traditional marketing focuses on logic and Neuromarketing focuses on the customer experience, emotions, feelings and thoughts.  Even the big monsters like Coca-Cola have recently made the switch to Neuromarketing, after they lost over $200 MM, with the introduction of New Coke.  But you’ll have to wait to hear that story.



Today’s consumer is getting more and more savvy, yet they tend to make “mistakes in reasoning” when it comes to making purchases which are called “cognitive biases.”  People use their past experiences, social and environmental factors and put more value on their preconceptions than on reality. Most of the time, these are unconscious biases that the consumer isn’t even aware of. So, how can you market to your ideal clients/customers if their interest might change at any time?

To Neuromarketers, the answer is simple. When you understand the various cognitive biases your consumer may have, you can adjust your marketing campaigns to your ideal audience, but first, you need to answer these questions:

  • Who is your ideal target audience?
  • What are their thoughts, feelings and emotions about your product or services?
  • What are their fears, inspirations, wants and needs?
  • What is their challenge and what solution do you have for them?


There are a plethora of Neuromarketing strategies and tools to use to “get into the minds” of your perfect prospects. Although many Neuromarketers focus on three or four biases, we believe that you need to understand the top ten most important biases that can affect the buying decisions of your prospects. The more you understand the “brain on your brand”  and “how consumers’ make decisions” the better experience you will be able to offer. The better the experience for the consumer equals more leads and higher sales conversions.


  1. Bandwagon Bias- The ‘bandwagon bias,’ also known as the ‘contagion effect’ is a phenomenon or bias in which the rate at which the spread of behaviors, trends and ideas. When we “jump on the bandwagon” we are following a trend without actually making our own rational decision or evaluation of the behavior or idea itself. This is the success of the trend that leads to further success.  Group-thinking and peer pressure are two factors that play into the bandwagon bias.

Some examples of this are:  Joining Facebook groups, listening to the same music and voting for the person they believe is most likely to win.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Giving consumers a certain number of choices to help them maneuver through your funnel.
  • Short quizzes that determine the best service or product for each buyer.


  1. Availability Cascade – This is the premise that “when you hear something over and over again, it must be true.” As you collect more and more information and see its repetition, you have a self-reinforcing thought that it must be true.

News stations use this to implant news in people’s minds. They typically exaggerate the facts and plant unnecessary details in the viewers mind.

Tony Robbins is a great example of using this cognitive bias. As a leader in the personal development industry, Tony shares information that plays on the thoughts, emotions and feelings of his ideal client. He preaches how you can “Unleash Your Power” and creates this self-reinforcing cycle to position his company as reliable, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a Master’s degree or Ph.D. behind his name.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Retargeting and remarketing campaigns.
  • Repetition of key points on your website and sales funnels.



  1. FOMO- Fear of Missing Out – In today’s digital world, people have the need and desire to always stay connected. FOMO is fear of mission out on a rewarding experience.  Due to the multiple social media platforms, people are having overwhelm and irrational distress if they aren’t able to keep up-to-date on all the news and juicy gossip out there. When they disconnect, they perpetually think about reconnecting. An example is checking your news feed on Facebook, seeing if you have any messages on LinkedIn, several times a day.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Creating quantity and time scarcity
  • Displaying low stock available
  • Sharing buying behavior of other visitors (22 people just purchased this program)


  1. Herd Mentality- People simply like to follow what other people are doing. Think of a herd of cows. When one cow starts walking towards the other side of the field, all the other cows follow. People are highly influenced by their emotions, feelings and thoughts, rather than by using their own logical independent analysis.

Black Friday is a prime example of this bias. When consumers see others purchasing “great deals,” they make the purchase themselves. (sometimes, even if they don’t need it.) Having large crowds around can turn a bad experience into a more pleasant shopping experience.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Case studies and testimonials on your website, ads and funnels.
  • Numbers matter – showing numbers of people who bought from you.
  • Using reviews to amplify your brand, product and services.
  • Using referral programs.


  1. Anchoring Bias - When people are trying to make a decision, they often use an anchor or focal point as a reference or starting point. Psychologists have found that people have a tendency to rely too heavily on the very first piece of information they learn, which can have a serious impact on the decision they end up making.  In psychology, this type of cognitive bias is known as the anchoring bias or anchoring effect.

Businesses display original prices and then show the discounted prices to help boost sales. By offering the right number of products and showing the most expensive item first, this can change the mental anchors that are already embedded in your consumers mind.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • User higher pricing with the purpose of discounting
  • Have promotions and sales


  1. Zeigarnik effect – people have a tendency to remember interrupted or incomplete tasks better than completed ones. It’s the desire to finish the product that allows the person to remember what it is. Once they have finished the product, they tend to forget it, easier.

Facebook is a great example of this bias since they are always reminding users to complete their profiles.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Using Remarketing emails to remind clients about their services or products.
  • Using discount or promo codes that can be used at a later date.
  • Building a loyalty program


  1. Authority bias – Celebrities are asked to be spokespeople, because people are influenced and persuaded to believe that the opinion of the superstar has greater accuracy. Celebrity-endorsed commercials and products are well received by consumers. However, with knowledge, time and practice, they bias can be overcome.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Use testimonials from public figures/experts or other customers.
  • Let people know the number of satisfied customers
  • Positive rankings from existing customers
  1. Loss Aversion - Let’s get straight to the point: Losses are intimidating. They trigger negative, unpleasant emotions of fear, pain, and regret. No one will tell you that they actually like the feeling of losing! It seems that those who are risk takers weight the outcomes – as gains or loses – based on their reference point and how much they have at stake. (Save 50% If You Buy Now! Is more powerful than saying “Get 50% off..)


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Use countdown timers showing that an offer will expire.
  • Use persuasive verbiage to persuade a CTA (call to action)


  1. Hyperbolic discounting bias – People prefer to have a quick payoff, rather than a later payoff.

Having layaway programs and “buy now - pay later” options like PayPal Credit, will increase the possibility of having someone join your program. People like to buy right away, especially when they can receive immediate access to your program.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Give the option to pay over time.
  • Give your clients immediate access to experience your services (program).
  • Let your customers test drive your products before they commit to buy.


  1. Reciprocity bias-  is based on the “tit for tat” philosophy. When someone helps you, you want to help them back.

In the service industry this works great if you are willing to give your prospects valuable information, like I am going right now. We you care enough o give your customers a positive experience and creating a memorable brand, you will increase your know-like-trust factor, which leads to long-lasting relationships and repeat buyers. When you give your customers a free trial for 30 days, like NETFLIX does, it’s hard to cancel your subscription, especially when you are gaining a positive benefit from using the service.


How to use this cognitive bias in the digital space:

  • Associate the order with a donation to a cause (like Tony Robbins does)
  • Be authentic and act real on social media.


Neuromarketing and Neuro Sales offer a plethora of techniques that can increase your sales by 10, 20, 50 times or more. By using Neuromarketing strategies that focus on the buyers decision making process will increase your power of persuasion. When you apply just one technique at a time, you miss out on the congruency  and consistency of online client attraction and sales generation.


Neurolicity offers you Neuromarketing and Neuro Sales techniques with an integrated approach.  As marketing and neuroscience experts, we understand the subtle and powerful impact Neuromarketing can have on your business. Don’t miss out on growing your business and outperforming your

competition with cutting-edge, competition-busting Neuromarketing Strategies. Hurry before your competition reads this!  Don’t miss out on your opportunity to turbocharge your sales, without wasting money on outdated marketing strategies.  (see, I used a FOMO technique to help you take action.)