To run a profitable business, you need leads. But, all the leads in the world are worthless if you can’t get them to buy. You need to know how to turn a prospect into a lead, and a lead into a customer. Then it is a simple matter of understanding your customer acquisition cost, and your profit per customer, to run a profitable business. The following 7 psychological triggers have been proven to consistently convert leads into customers.

1. Avoiding pain

Psychologists and great salesmen will tell you this is the largest motivator of all human behavior. Explain how your product or service helps your leads avoid pain in their life in some way. Then your chances of turning those leads into customers improves drastically.

2. Pursuit of pleasure

What is the second most efficient motivation for getting someone to do something? Help them gain pleasure. Some say that either pain avoidance or pleasure attainment is at the core of every human decision. Make it clear how your product or service addresses the pleasure side of the equation and you’ll sell more.

3. The power of “new”

When you hear about a new product or service, doesn’t it create some interest in your mind? On a physiological level, novelty boosts the release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and one of its functions is to stimulate your belief that a reward is just around the corner. Make your offering new and novel and your conversion rates will rise.

4. The need to know why

Psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a psychology experiment. To people using a photocopier, she asked, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” A full 60% of the people she asked allowed her to cut in line in front of them. Then she began asking, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine BECAUSE I’m in a rush?” Compliance shot up to an incredible 94%. Explain to your leads exactly why they should become a customer, make sure you use the incredible power of the word because, and you will fulfill the psychological need in your prospects’ minds to know why they should do something.

5. Social proof

Testimonials, referrals and case studies from satisfied customers prove to your leads that they will benefit from your offer. We tend to trust recommendations from friends, yes, but we also tend to like things just because others like them.

6. The desire to belong

Most human beings have an innate desire to be part of something that is bigger than themselves. Online project management provider Basecamp harnesses this desire effectively. In different marketing campaigns, online and off, they inform prospects how many companies have “… signed up for Basecamp to manage their projects. Today it’s your turn.” This appeals to our desire to belong.

7. The fear of missing out

Give your leads a time limitation to become a customer. No one likes to think they missed out on a good thing. You can compound the effectiveness of this psychological sales trigger by limiting the quantity of products or offers you have available. Be careful using this scarcity tactic too much, though, and especially in the wrong context. Can you really pull off “only 3 copies left” of an ebook? If you want to limit a digital download, you’ll want to give a reason other than quantity available or you risk making your buyer think you think they’re dumb. And I hope it goes without saying that making your buyer feel dumb is not a good way to increase sales.

Remember, buying is an emotional decision for most people. Logic comes into play after the fact to rationalize or justify the purchase. Use these triggers responsibly.