The psychology of money: How to help your clients change their beliefsArticle added by Dr. Jack Singer on March 27, 2013
Dr. Jack Singer

Dr. Jack Singer

Dana Point, CA

Joined: September 30, 2010

​When we talk about money, we don’t usually put it in the same sentence as “psychology,” but amassing and spending money certainly involves much in the way of our personal psychology. Money, sometimes referred to as the “root of all evil,” is one of the main motives in crimes, one of the top three reasons why marriages fail and is certainly a key player in depression and anxiety.

Aside from not earning enough money, one of the biggest problems, psychologically, is overspending.

Here are some core beliefs that can make people vulnerable to overspending:
  • People who ignore their basic need to save enough money to feel secure often focus more on their lack of self esteem and status; thus, they seek cars, homes, clothing, etc. to satisfy that need.

  • People who go to great lengths to please others, because of their fear that not pleasing them will lead to being disliked or rejected; so, they overspend in order to live up to some magical standard they have invented in their head.

  • People who believe that when others disapprove of them, it means they must be bad or wrong; so, they do anything to avoid that disapproval, including giving them gifts which they can’t afford.

  • People who become addicted to overspending because of their belief that it will improve their lives. An addiction is a behavior that impairs healthy accomplishments in a critical part of your life, including your work, marriage, or health, and you simply cannot stop the addictive behavior. Spending addiction is an attempt to try to buy happiness, to feel admired, accepted and empowered at the expense of everything you hold dear. This should be a giant neon warning sight that there are deep-rooted feelings or fears that they avoid facing and they are indulging in this overspending to either avoid those feelings or to numb themselves to them.
Here is how they can change their core beliefs and therefore, change their lives:
  • Examine their internal dialogue, their self talk, and catch themselves overreacting, such as assuming that they won’t fit in with people if they don’t buy expensive things, join their fancy clubs, or worry that by not doing so they’ll never be happy.

  • Ask themselves what proof they have that if they don’t go to great lengths to please people, that they will actually be rejected. Understand that if they learn to say no, they may actually gain their respect, rather than their rejection.

  • Recognize the damage that overspending is doing to them and the people they love, and look for the toxic triggers that provoke them to continue to overspend.

  • Once they discover those triggers, they can learn to engage in alternative behaviors when they are provoked, such as asserting themselves and behaving differently than they have in the past, not worrying about pleasing people who make unfair demands.
The key here is for people to take charge of their lives and stop making assumptions that if they don’t do the “right thing” then they will be seen as a failure and not be liked. It’s time to cure their “disease to please.”

So, how can producers use this information in order to sell products to clients? Show clients that your products will give them and their families the peace of mind to know that their security will be there regardless of unforeseen deaths, for example.

Of course, you want to be sure that the client can afford your product, and then by showing the value of the product and pointing out how your wealthiest clients have the same product, you will actually be tapping into their self-esteem needs. They want to feel like wealthy clients, and purchasing your products will enable them to feel that way.

Always use a true story about a client of yours or his/her family, praising you for suggesting and selling them the product. The new client will identify with the existing client and be much more likely to want to join the family of clients purchasing this product.
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