Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Developing Sales Resistance 101: Introduction

In college I took a course in persuasion, taught by Dr. John Seiter. In it, we covered all sides of persuasion, both positive and negative, wholesome and slimy. One of the lessons I took away from this class was that many things influence how we behave-- rules of politeness, a need for our actions to match our beliefs about ourselves, fear, ego, guilt, and a sense of generosity. People looking to sell us things know these well, and they have an arsenal of strategies to get us to buy.

The key to sales resistance is to get to know some of these strategies so we can counter them. With these "Sales Resistance 101" posts, I am going to write about a few of them.

Sales technique #1 Make it urgent.

We all know the infomercials that tell us to "call within the next five minutes and we'll throw in a...." Department stores use this strategy too. Sales are usually limited to a couple of days, and sometimes even a few hours. Come in before noon and you can buy these sweaters for only $12, and those pants for only $29. Suddenly we find ourselves thinking, I need sweaters. It's such a great deal. I better get in there while it lasts.

How to resist? Take a deep breath. Think about it. There is always a sale going on somewhere. Even on a regular day you can find all sorts of things marked down. If the item you want isn't on sale, it probably will be soon. So, the real question is, do you actually need the new sweater? Is it really worth the price? What kind of difference will it make in your life/wardrobe? If you are unsure, just leave the sweater there. There will always be clothes to buy and great deals to be had. That is one of life's constants.

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