Door-In-The-Face Technique

🤔 Did you know…

Apple is worth ~$2,500,000,000,000 (AKA “trillion” with a giant “T”).

And when they release a new iPhone, it’s not just one…

They roll out *multiple versions* of the SAME iPHONE.

Like the iPhone 15 Pro Max with all the bells and whistles (and storage) for $1,599…

And the standard iPhone 15 for $799.

Why? Because they’re smart.

Keep reading to learn more…

This post is sponsored by Northbeam ❤️

Imagine this…

You’re going back to the gym after a 4-month hiatus.

But not just any ol’ gym

The new 3-story gym your friends have been raving about. 🤩

You swear you’re gonna stick to it *for real* this time. So you plan on grabbing a membership to stay accountable.

Once you stroll into the wellness wonderland and see all the Pelotons and Arnold Schwarzenegger look-alikes…

You make a beeline for the receptionist’s desk.

He first offers you their premium package: 24/7 gym access, 4 sessions with a personal trainer each month, and access to their sauna room.

Wow, that sounds great!

Then he tells you the price…

$325 a month.

What Meme Shocked Face GIF | GIFDB.com

After you pick your jaw up off the floor, you politely decline and turn to walk away…

But then he offers you their basic membership: 24/7 gym access for just $75 a month.

Compared to $325, this feels like a deal.

So you whip out your credit card and sign up for the basic membership.

$75 a month is still pricey, but now it feels manageable. Why?

In today’s edition of Why We Buy 🧠 we’ll explore the Door-In-The-Face Technique—why we agree to a smaller request after a large one is made.

Let’s get into it.

The Psychology of Door-In-The-Face Technique 🧠

Robert Cialdini saw the effectiveness of the Foot-In-The-Door Technique.

So in 1975, he decided to test the opposite of it.

Research assistants asked college students if they’d volunteer 2 hours a week for 2+ years as *unpaid* counsellors at a juvenile detention center.

Everyone said “hell no” to the extreme request.

Then they were asked if they’d serve as unpaid chaperones for the detention center kids during a 2-hour zoo trip.

Half said yes to the smaller-in-comparison request.

Cialdini calls this change of heart Reciprocal Concession.

We believe the person making the request has compromised by coming down to a “smaller” one.

So we feel the need to reciprocate that compromise by accepting the request.

While this technique is ultra-effective…

Be careful.

Using this technique more than once with the same customers can backfire and cause them to view you as manipulative and untrustworthy

But there *are* ways to use it ethically and repeatedly so you make more sales… Let’s dive in.

How To Apply This 🤑

Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?

Pricing strategy

Present your highest-price package first to hot leads

If you’ve ever bought a new car, you’ve likely experienced the door-in-the-face technique firsthand.

The dealership lures you into the showroom by promoting a low daily price on your car of choice. But when you’re ready to buy, they present the fully-loaded model and spring a much higher price on you. Suddenly, the base model feels like a bargain.

When presenting pricing to an interested prospect, show your high-priced offer first. This anchors their expectations and makes the package you want them to buy feel like a steal.


Make the affordable alternative easily accessible

A lot of companies offer jumbo-sized versions of their products.

And while some consumers may view that as a fantastic value…

Maybe you don’t want a pricy, mammoth-sized shampoo bottle in your shower.

That’s why Ulta displays the smaller-sized (and price) option on the same page as the jumbo-sized.

They know if you find $64 for a bottle of shampoo outrageous, you’ll likely try it out for $33.

Especially since it’s a convenient click away.


Offer customers a free trial

Evernote knows a lot of people aren’t rushing to spend $129.99 a year for another app.

So when you decline their paid plan, they know you’ll view the free trial as a steal—because it is.

And after you try the free trial, you’re more likely to sign up for their paid plan thanks to the Endowment Effect.

Evernote is DOUBLING the persuasion power here.

Doesn’t get much smarter than that, folks.

The Short of It 💥

The good news: Having your customers reject your *super high-ticket offer* makes them more likely to say “Yes” to your next lower-ticket offer. Y’know, instead of ghosting you.

The bad news: Using this technique more than once can backfire.

So use caution and apply the Door-In-The-Face Technique ethically.

That way you can use it repeatedly and make more sales—not less.

Until next time, happy selling.

🐦 Your Brainy Tweetable

Why do companies mention a product comes in a *smaller* size?

Doesn’t that mean LESS 💰?


It means they use the Door-In-The-Face Technique.

If you say “no” to an extreme request, you’re more likely to say “yes” to their next (smaller) one.

Smart, huh?

Tweet this now >



Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?

When you’re ready, there are a few ways we can help:

Written By Katelyn

Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO of Customer Camp, a 4X founder, and a cheese lover. She lives by a simple mantra: whoever gets closer to the customer wins.

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