Sales Techniques that Trick You Into Spending Too Much
The Psychology of Selling
There are so many books, e-books, marketing material, and classes and seminars that focus on one aspect of selling in particular- Psychology. During a recession, sellers will be working extra hard and even more strategically to get your money.
Large corporations have entire departments that research and apply tactics concerning the psychology of buying and selling. Many of us are aware of grocery store items thoughtfully placed so we buy more, and even the store muzak/music has it's role in how much we purchase. When you break it down, the odds are against us and we don't stand a chance to spend less no matter how basic our purchase may be.
Industries that are known for utilizing the psychology of selling are; fitness clubs, grocery stores, retail stores, real estate, restaurant, toy stores, technology sales, and auto dealers. I maintain that consumers can stand a fair chance if they are more aware of selling techniques before purchasing. The psychological factors most involved are being accepted as part of a group, satisfying a self-image/ego need, and emotions. Also sellers will give incentives and since they know people are looking for coupons now more than ever, they'll will be hitting hard in that area as well.
Fighting Chance For Consumers
We've all had the experience of spending way more than we intended to, probably on a daily basis. Sometimes we even ask ourselves how it happened- one minute you were in a clear state of mind and knew exactly what you wanted to buy, the next minute you are walking out of the store in a daze with a large chunk out of your wallet. It's almost as if it happened to you subconsciously. Often times it does.
Fitness clubs often use a good-guy bad-guy technique. One salesperson will greet you and take you on a tour of the gym and it's amenities, chat with you, and seems like an instant friend. If you don't fall hook, line and sinker with that guy, then they bring in another guy, usually a manager, for respect, importance, and intimidation factors. This guy or gal will be less friendly to you, a little more blunt and intimidating. They may leave briefly so that the first guy can talk to you again and you feel relieved and glad to have him be nice to you. Most people fall for this easily.
Counteract this approach by; After you take the gym tour, leave the gym- don't sit down or spend a lengthy time chatting with the salesperson. Immediately upon leaving the gym, write down on a notepad what you liked and disliked about the place. When you keep your visit short and the less salespeople you talk with, the more realistic your decision whether to join or not will be.
Grocery stores and retail stores are notorious for subliminal and subconscious sales. First, the sales are in bright or bold signs that state tempting announcements such as buy one,get one free or 50% off. These items are usually placed where there is the most traffic- up front, end of isles, and eye level. Your children are the number one target, they are naturally impulsive and sellers are counting on that.
Counteract these approaches by;It gives you an excuse to be a healthy eater. Try to see how many non-packaged foods you can buy. In fact, you can easily do this by a visual glance into your shopping cart- there shouldn't be many non-natural colors, just basic colors of fruits and veggies and nature, no screaming neon green fruit twists in a box, etc. A healthy eater shops the perimeters of the grocery store and you will encounter less of these sales tactics. The number one isle that is given the most attention to by grocery stores is the cereal isle- so approach cautiously. Never give into your child's- this is such a bad habit to get into. Teach them good money values and don't contribute to their debt someday by teaching them to impulse shop. Be aware on all levels- stores bombard you on a psychological, visual, and audio level. So really stick to a plan and a list.
Retail stores rely on an image- if you shop or buy a certain brand, then you are worthy. Sales people in department stores often wear the store's clothing for a reason. They are portraying an image. Never buy a piece of clothing that you don't absolutely love- not on the sales person, but on yourself and your body type. If you have to get an opinion, then don't buy it. Sales people will always tell you what you want to hear anyway.
Stores will also try to push store credit cards on you- these are a fast way to accumulate debt. You may save 20% on your purchase today, by applying for a store card, but that 20% will be added back on in the form of interest.
Store email list:Most stores will entice you to give them your email address or sign up their promotion/members card. This is probably the trickiest sales approach because you really have to decide whether you use or need the store's offers or are just buying the product because you have an email offer or coupon. For instance, if you regularly purchase books why not have offers and promotions sent to you, but if you sign up for a store you don't visit often, then you're falling into their trap of enticing you to the store or sending you emails to remind you that you might want something from their store.
The Big Guns
Big purchasesoften involve our emotions, such as buying a first house or a computer or car for your kid. Sales people are relying on this factor; playing on your emotions. They try to assist you imagining yourself in your new car or how you can arrange your furniture in your new house. Psychologically speaking, anything that involves strong images, involves your emotions and will deplete much of your conscious decision making.
Counteract this approach by; doing as much of your research online as possible (auto, real estate, tech items). Read several consumer/customer reviews. Always decide when you are just looking/browsing before you go shopping for your big purchase. Bring someone impartial with you- a friend or relative who is not directly involved or benefiting in the purchase or outcome of the purchase.
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