“This offer is available TODAY only; you’d better hurry while it lasts!”
“Normally I would charge much higher than this, but for you only, I’m making you a special offer that you can’t refuse.”
“You would be stupid to turn down such a good deal.”
Do these slogans sound familiar to you? If so, then you might have been the victim of high-pressure marketing tactics.
In my post about expected value, I talked about how it’s important to have strong emotions for those goals which are important to you; getting emotional about them imprints them on your brain, and drives you toward achieving your goals. When you direct your emotions under your own control, they can help serve you very effectively.
On the other hand, our emotions are also susceptible to influence by others. We are influenced all the time by the events that happen around us, by our family, our friends, and by our work. We can also be influenced by salespersons and brokers. These people are often quite skilled in developing trust and confidence in the people they deal with, and they use several skills to achieve this, such as manipulating your sense of fear & greed, establishing a position of authority, and using eye contact and touch to further manipulate your behavior.
The usual suspects:
- Car salesmen
- Real estate agents
- Mortgage brokers
- Timeshare brokers
- Financial planners
As usual, the wise approach is to look at the fundamentals, so keep the following things in mind when dealing with these people:
- What kind of reaction are they trying to elicit in me?
- What kind of benefit will they receive?
- Are their interests aligned with my own?
Remember to take your time and look at the fundamentals before committing to any big decisions. If the deal really is that great, then why would the salesperson have to try so hard to sell it? In the end, examine the fundamentals, look at the numbers, and, just like with women in the bedroom, make sure the salesperson understands that no means no.
Even when it’s April Fool’s Day, remember the above guidelines, and don’t be afraid to say no if it doesn’t feel right.
Originally published on April 1, 2010.