High-Pressure Sales and Secret Psychology
"Scarcity is like crack cocaine to your tiny defenseless gray cells."
High-Pressure Sales Tactics - BEWARE Jedi Mind Tricks
This column is long overdue. It’s a fantastic example of you can’t see the forest for the trees. I’ve made the awful assumption all these years that you know as much about the topic as I do. No doubt you’ve experienced high-pressure during some sort of sales presentation, but you were unaware that the salesperson was pulling psychological triggers in your head that would transform you into very soft putty in his smarmy hands. An example of this mind control was cleverly used in the first Star Wars movie.
The inspiration for this column came from Les. He recently reached out to me via my AsktheBuilder.com website and said,
“After many years of going up on my roof to blow out 260 ft of gutters lots of times during the fall months, I'm finally going to take your advice on Gutter Guards. I had Leaf Filter come out and give me their inclusive pitch which ended with an $18K quote ... Very laughable ...”
I knew what Les meant by inclusive. At that point, the light-bulb went off in my head, and I decided to reach out to my newsletter subscribers to see if they’d share their gutter guard sales-pitch stories as well as the quotes they received. I have a giant spreadsheet of this data on my website. Just go to Gutter Guard Costs.
I was astonished at the tsunami of responses. As I suspected, there were tales of woe and borderline thievery. I don’t know what other word to use when a person is charged $90 per linear foot for a product that costs probably less than $2 to make and 100 feet of it can be installed probably in an hour. Yes, you did the math right. $9,000.00 for 100 feet of gutter guard. The thought of that happening to you is hateful to me.
Allow me to share some knowledge I obtained as part of a very exclusive mastermind group I helped start in 1999. Very powerful psychology is used to influence your decisions on an almost daily basis. Fear is also a major component of this fiendish brew. You see, fear automatically shuts down that part of your brain that does critical and clear thinking. This is why panic is can be deadly.
The military, police, and many businesses use this psychology to control behavior. In fact, you’ve probably used it yourself without even realizing it. It works because these psychological triggers are inside every human’s brain.
Reciprocity - The Simplest Psychological Trigger
Let’s discuss the most basic trigger of all, reciprocity. You fall victim to this if you accept a gift from someone. Think of those pieces of cheese on a toothpick in the grocery store. In the case of the high-pressure salesman, he offers you a discount on the price of the item. If your eyes light up and you accept the lower price, your brain whispers to you, “Okay, now you must give him something back.” All the salesman wants is your signature on the contract.
Authority - Most Succumb To This Trigger
Authority is a very clever psychological trigger. You see this in everyday life. It’s why police wear uniforms, priests wear special garments, and shamans wear unique headdresses and other jewelry. The salesman sitting in your living room might squeeze this trigger in your head when he places the call to his manager to authorize another special price or discount. After all, how can you ignore this higher power? If the salesman starts to pull out his phone, be sure to ask him to put it on speakerphone so you can hear what the manager says.
Social Proof - STOP Following the Crowd!
One of the most powerful psychological ploys that’s put upon you in the sales presentation is social proof. You see this all the time in TV commercials where four or five strangers tell you how the product took away pain, how it cleans so well, or how it allowed them to lose weight. After the last one, your brain screams at you, “Well by gosh if it’s good enough for them, I need it. Take my money!” Social proof is as intoxicating as that delicious aroma of your favorite food you smell when you come in from the garage. You’re drawn to the kitchen like a lamb being led to slaughter.
Scarcity - BEWARE of this Ploy
The most powerful psychological trigger of all is scarcity. Only the strongest and battle-hardened consumers can resist this. Scarcity is used to make POWs sing like canaries. Make oxygen scarce, and you start to discover all sorts of information. You see scarcity in play each day in your life when you see and ad or read an email that says, “The sale ends in hours.” The business is making the savings scarce. My guess is you’ve bought something you really didn’t need when you saw this message.
That salesman in your home uses scarcity when he says the final lowest price is only good until such time as his taillights leave your driveway or some other short period of time. You’re forced to make a decision or else lose thousands of dollars. Scarcity is like crack cocaine to your tiny defenseless gray cells.
How can you steel yourself to prevent being taken advantage of? I suggest you get a copy of the easy-to-read book I read where I discovered all of this powerful magic. It’s:
Once you read the numerous case studies in this book, you’ll train your brain to resist the Jedi mind tricks the salespeople are trying to use on you. In fact, you’ll be able to use the same psychology on the salesman to get him to do what you want! Now that’s a big win if you ask me!