Chapter 2 Topics

2-L: Sneaky Sales Tactics

Sneaky Sales Tactics

Mrs. Vendor, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?

We humans are emotional creatures, and social science studies prove that our spending is more influenced by our feelings than we realize.   

I’m ongoingly surprised at how often we lose clients to competitors who have less to offer with worse pricing than we do, but have more aesthetically pleasing facilities, and professional salespersons.  All sales training programs will tell you that appealing to people’s logic doesn’t work nearly as well as appealing to their senses. 

The most lucrative retail companies are masters at physically designing their places of business to increase sales and encourage overspending.  The floor layout, shelving arrangement, visual displays, product placement, colour schemes and other things can be surprisingly effective in unconsciously manipulating emotions in a way that makes shoppers more likely to spend their money.  

Retail stores sometimes hire experts in the field of consumer psychology to advise them on how to implement those strategies.  They display visual and tactile promotional materials, including glossy pamphlets, colour samples, alluring posters, etc. to touch and see that get you to physically and emotionally engage with the product. 

Then of course, there’s the carefully-crafted sales pitch, “today only deals” and well-rehearsed “closing lines” that appear to be sensible, natural and spontaneous when applied by a skilled vendor.  Commission salespeople certainly have a silver tongue and are often hard to resist when they create a sense of urgency and FOMO.  That doesn’t make them “evil” – they’re just doing their job.  But make no mistake – no matter how casual and non-threatening they come across on the surface, they’re aiming for you as a target, not helping you as a friend.

The bottom line is that we are more easily seduced into buying than we think.  Buying a hot tub is a fun and thrilling venture, and it’s OK to get excited – but do your best to keep your feelings in check as you visit retail stores.  Important long-term decisions should be based on rational thought, not emotions, so don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.