Jimmy was driving down the road in his new convertible, happy as could be, the wind blowing though his hair. He was among the first in town to drive a new iSport. What a sweet car this was with 18-inch chrome wheels and a sexy pinstripe down the side.
He had just turned off the highway on his way home as he began to consider how excited his wife was going to be when she saw the converti…. ooops! Wait just a minute, how is his wife going to feel about this new car?
When he left for the dealership he had assured his wife he wasn’t actually going to pull the trigger on the purchase. Suddenly Jimmy was trying to figure out how a quick trip to just look at wagons ended up with him behind the wheel of a totally impractical red sports car.
Enter The Power Of Suggestion
Unfortunately, this morning Jimmy did not take the time to consider the fact that he was entering the enemy’s territory and prepare a strategy. We all know that home field always has the advantage.
When the conversation began with the salesman it was innocent enough. Jimmy quickly complied with requests for name, rank and serial number. This easy compliance was a signal to the salesman that Jimmy was open to suggestion and ready to be played like a Stradivarius.
Johnny, the salesman, made a point of asking several questions to get an idea of what Jimmy’s values and desires are. Johnny learned that Jimmy is a white collar employee working hard to get noticed and move up the corporate ladder. He also inquired about Jimmy’s past vehicles and learned that most were mid-sized sport cars and coupes, and always silver.
In the course of the conversation Johnny found opportunities to comment to Jimmy that “being young and professional, Jimmy, you have picked the right brand. Your colleagues will be impressed when you arrive at the office in your new ride.”
As the conversation continued, Johnny made several other comments like “successful people drive successful cars”, “smart money buys smart cars, the cars with high resell values” and “all the executives I sell cars to want two-door coupes and convertibles.”
The Suggestions Have Been Planted
Eventually came time to go out and look at the cars on the lot beginning with the wagons. Johnny wants to give Jimmy lots of time for the suggestions to sink in. They look at the wagons for awhile before Johnny steers Jimmy over to the trucks and SUV’s. Johnny knows that Jimmy doesn’t want these but he does want Jimmy’s mind off of the low profit wagons. Once they spend a few minutes with the trucks Johnny steers Jimmy over to the newly introduced, high margin iSport model.
Jimmy, we know already, has an affinity for sports cars. His eyes open up with dreams of the old days when he was single and the joy of driving a car with a tight suspension and good handling.
Johnny seizes the opportunity and goes in for the kill sell, among the statements he makes he includes:
- “Jimmy, this is the newest car on the market and it is H-O-T hot, you said you wanted a car that reflects success and this one is it!”
- “When you pull this new car into the parking lot at the office, you know everyone will be so impressed.”
- “Jimmy, you wanted to make a smart purchase. You are right, these automobiles have the highest resell value on the market today”
- “This car is it, all the executives are lining up to buy this car.”
- “The convertible is the most prized of them all, just imagine how envious your coworkers and neighbors will be when you drive up in your new iSport. You will be the talk of the town. “
The last statement seals the deal, “Jimmy today is your lucky day, there are very few of these available but just before you walked in I learned we obtained one extra unit from the factory, a silver iSport convertible.
To prevent falling for the Power of Suggestion Close the best defense is a good offense. You must walk in with the understanding that you are competing with a salesman. With this technique knowledge provides the power.
In the early stages of the sales process many salespeople are trained to get key information to “qualify” you as a legitimate customer. It is a desired process but it is not a law. They don’t need any personal information to provide you with the features, benefits and pricing of any product.
What you want to hear from a salesperson is factual information. What is the cut, color, clarity and karat weight of the diamond; how long will the aluminum siding last or what does the warranty cover.
What you don’t want to hear is how good you will look or feel with their product or how the perceptions of your neighbors or co-workers will improve your life. If this is what you get, you are being set up.
Use The Power Of Suggestion To Your Advantage
Inform the salesperson how their time will be rewarded if you are treated fairly and your needs are met. Let the salesperson know early that when you are taken care of you become a loyal customer. Advise them that you like providing referrals when you know that your friends will get competitive pricing.
After you have negotiated everything you can, unleash the power of suggestion. Tell them; “This is a really good deal and I am tempted but this doesn’t quite meet my needs, can you shave 2% off or give me _______?” Express your willingness to commit to a long-term relationship if they can show you how committed they are. Show the salesperson your phone list of hundreds of friends and suggest how much more business they may get.
Readers: Have you ever arrived home with a purchase you never intended on making? Where else in life could you use the Power of Suggestion technique to your advantage?
photo by The Car Spy