True story –
Our neighborhood is packed with trees. They are mostly pine, but there are a number of maple and oak trees as well as a smattering of ornamental plantings. You can imagine the work load each fall. Last year we had over 30 bags of leaves hauled off on two separate occasions.
One of the few luxuries I afford myself is gutter cleaning. Two guys climb your roof with a leaf blower. While tied together, one supports the other while they dispatch the leaves in about 7 minutes!
This is a simple chore I have historically performed, but our current house has a very steep pitch on the roof. Then to make it even tougher for a person with a mild case of acrophobia, a third of the house exposed to the basement level making the roof line 3 stories tall! (Note: buy only ranch style homes!)
Last month during our nightly 30 minute call while I was traveling, my wife informs me she made a purchase decision that I wasn’t going to like. Of course when presented in that manner (I need to teach the wife to sell) I couldn’t help be be prepared, even predisposed to disliking what I was going to hear next.
She paid $100 to have “some kind of boot replaced on the roof.” “What are gutter cleaners doing with boots on my roof?” I asked.
Around the base of vents through your roof there is usually some kind of flashing (boot) to prevent water leaks. On some roofs you will have a sheet metal, maybe even copper flange or you may have roof cement slopped around the base of the vent.
Our highly trained leaf blowers it turns out also happen to be crossed trained as roof technicians and were so kind as to advise my wife that our ventilation boots have deteriorated. In such a condition, the risk of water leaks is significantly higher. Leaks in roofs are not only very expensive to fix but the subsequent mold growth was hazardous to our children’s health and potentially required specialized remediation.
This real life event highlights one of the most (but not the worst) underhanded selling techniques. The Fear Close.
We cannot fight back against the Fear Close unless we understand what is making us scared. With the exception of the decision to have emergency surgery or maybe if the roof is already leaking, few things must be decided in the moment. Waiting 24 hours, a week or even a month in most situations will make little difference in pricing and provide you time to explore your options.
In our case, delaying the purchase decision would have provided time to determine if the boots really needed replacing, where they were located and if we could have done it ourselves.
Use the Fear Close to your advantage
Saying no to an aggressive sales person is like keeping a cat away from catnip. This is one portion of our population that does not realize a no means no!
If your sales person is trying such a manipulative approach; fight back with a little scare tactic of your own. Call them out on their poor salesmanship and put them on notice that you don’t appreciate their behavior. Request their supervisors name if they continue their approach. Do not buy, walk away.
In sales speak, taking such a hard approach puts you in control. Unless you are up against a hardened professional, this sales person will not be pestering you with a follow-up call. However, If you do want their product, you now have your sales person ready to eat out of your hand. This just might be the best deal you have ever made.
photo by DolfinDans
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