Do you have any idea how much companies and salespeople are conspiring to find ways for us to spend more money?
In most industries the sales staff is trained to use a variety of techniques to separate you from your cash. On the surface we know this is happening when we purchase a car. However, not all are aware that it is happening in virtually every industry. At McDonalds they “upsell” you with a desert or offer to big size your meal. At Best Buy they offer you an extended warranty. Even the gutter cleaner is trying to “save” you money by committing to a contract. More amazing is the variety of ways that companies use.
Sales techniques are the most common. Sales people are taught a long list of different tactics including:
- The “either/or” close – “Would you like the white one or the blue one?” This is designed to trigger a positive answer for one of them. They don’t really care which you buy as long as you buy.
- The Franklin close – This approach guides a customer to list all the positive reasons to buy and all the negative reasons to buy. Of course the sales person stacks the deck feeding positives then cuts you short of time when it comes to thinking about negatives.
- The Price Reduction Close – “On the surface this ____ seems expensive for $5,000 but since it will last you for 20 years the monthly cost is only about $20 a day or less than a dollar each day. That is a great price!”
- The assumptive close – “Sign here and I will get it wrapped up for you”
Sales closing techniques are likely the most transparent tactics a company will use. Well, at least transparent once you learn to spot them. But marketers and companies do not stop there.
Many companies employ a variety of subliminal techniques to get you to spend.
Scentair – A company that specializes in aroma marketing has created smells like fresh apple pie to help sell houses for D.R. Horton, the smell of baby powder in the infant section of Bloomindales to trigger the motherly instincts of women and the smell of waffle cones to lure tourists to the ice cream stand at Hard Rock Hotel.
A study released by Cornel University earlier this year found that when menu prices were presented without the $dollar sign in front, consumers tend to spend more.
Caltech researcher Anonio Rangle found that simply telling someone that the price was greater on a bottle of wine influenced how a person may perceive its quality.
Scientist’s have worked out your propensity to buy to the penny. Ever wonder why items end with .99? It’s probably another effort to get you to buy or buy more. A study conducted in 1992 found that when items were priced ending in .99 they sold better then when they ended in .00 or .88.
The only way to fight back is to follow the old adage, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Learn and understand the tactics of companies and sales people. Become aware of their ways and improve your ability to resist the sale.
When all else fails, just say no.