Antidotes for salespeople / best techniques for selling

When's the last time you heard a TV commercial to drink more water?
How about a radio ad to eat more fruit. Have you ever seen a pop-up banner telling you to turn the computer off and spend more time with the family?

As we march into the future, messages that are put in front of everyday folk are increasingly commercial and increasing personal. If you are watching a TV show, product placements are put in to give you a certain association with cool people. If you are using any website, your entire surfing history is mined to find the banner ads you are most likely to convert on. As we spend ever more time with "media", the media is being supported by more advertising, and the sales people are getting smarter and have access to more data.

Luckily consumers have responded in kind, now able to easily ignore large classes of advertisements and misinformation. To stay alive in this world today without succumbing to diabetes from bullshit beverages, debt from buying too much crap you don't need, or a broken home from ignoring loved ones you need to apply a healthy dose of skepticism to a the majority of things that force themselves onto your attention.


In celebration of critical thinking, and to keep your skills sharp I take enjoyment in identifying and deconstructing the tactics that salespeople use. If you would like to participate, just go on the internet and find a place that does salesperson training then signup for their newsletter with sales tips. If you are playing along at home be sure to also identify the human cognitive flaw in each case that is being exploited in order to make a sale.

Case one:
Of course the correct answer from the buyer is that they need to shop around maybe the competition has something they didn't even know they needed... because of the unknown unknowns. The human flaw exploited is hubris, that the buyer knows exactly what it is that they want. Probably also lack of mental breadth, that they started talking about other options and the salesperson brought up so many things that they forgot what they were originally talking about.

Case two:
This person on the phone is not earning their salary. They have agreed to all sales demands, shown all their cards and not represented their employer's interests... this is worse than a secretary or having the boss call the sales person directly. If this person has limited authority and can't negotiate then a better line 3 would be: "I'm not sure of (decision makers)'s evaluation of your product versus the competition, but I have been asked if this is your best price." One human flaw is hubris, this person is not a decision maker but they are pretending that they know the decision factors.

Feel free to share your own favorite sales tactics!


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