We only buy products from people or companies we trust. In today’s over-marketed-to society, people have an immediate primal anxiety and fear about being sold. Gain someone’s trust, and you’ll be able to sell the proverbial “ice to an Eskimo.” Lose someone’s trust, and you can’t sell water to a thirsty man in the desert. However, we often underestimate the task at hand. Consumers have all been burned before by empty promises and defective products. Due to their past experiences, it’s an uphill battle to gain their trust. We can shortcut the path to trust and sell more products by leveraging certain behavioral psychology principles called cognitive biases and heuristics. Cognitive biases and heuristics are mental models (sometimes irrational or flawed) used to reduce the time or energy for a task when making judgments. While there are over 100 cognitive biases and heuristics, I want to focus specifically on ones that give your product instant trust in the eyes of the consumer. Hence trust hacking.

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