Top of page.

Psychology of Sales Masterclass #1 – Operant conditioning

Here at the Borg and Overström, we are all about providing you with the tools to ensure you are the best possible salesperson you can be. We will be bringing you a series of articles sharing insights, hints, and tips from the world of psychology to boost your sales. This week, we will be discussing how to use the psychological concept, operant conditioning to improve your bottom line.

The concept of operant conditioning is simple, if a behaviour is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. If the results of a behaviour are negative, it’s less likely to be repeated. So how can we use this knowledge to help us in sales?

Putting operant conditioning into practice

There are a few simple, yet effective, methods to enhance your sales with rewards. The most basic one is probably the most effective, how many times have you purchased an extra item due to the promise of a free gift? Reward your customers with an add on benefit, whether this is a gift, discount, or additional service. If they feel they’ve benefited from working with you, they are likelier to do so in the future.

When individuals understand the relationship between their behaviour and their reward, the association is longer lasting and runs deeper. When you reward a customer for working with you, explain why you have done so; no, this does not mean you need to explain the principles of operant conditioning to them! Just be sure to accompany the benefit with a short passage explaining how you reward your loyal customers because of their importance to you. They will feel valued, and thus rewarded further.

Of course, operant conditioning doesn’t just work on a reward basis. We should also consider how negative consequences affect people. If a customer purchases a product, only to find it is not what they want, they’ll be less likely to engage with you in future. Make sure your product and service description is clear to avoid this disappointment, with easy to use instructions and manuals to ensure that the client has every tool required to be satisfied.

We hope you have found this insight into rewarding your customers useful, catch up with us next week where we’ll bring you further hints and tips to boost your sales.


You’re reading an article from the Borg & Overström Academy programme.

Borg & Overström are a manufacturer and trade-only supplier of top quality, beautiful water systems.

We take pride in working with our clients to help them to develop their businesses, giving them tailored sales, marketing and technical training and advice.

For information on face-to-face training sessions for your team, sales tips, articles and videos, visit the Academy home page:

Visit the Borg and Overstrom Academy homepage

Our drinking water dispensers are available through selected partners