If you’ve had the pleasant experience of visiting a car lot, or furniture store, then you know what a high pressure sales situation feels like. Read about another one of my recent personal experiences with pushy sales people when my wife and I went to a furniture store.
A few weeks ago, I received my first ever high pressure sales call. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had people try to sell to me before over the phone, but it doesn’t happen often, and when it does, they don’t tend to use such slick tactics.
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High Pressure Phone Sales
A company that I’ve done business with previously gave me a call the other day, but this time, they were using very heavy sales tactics. The call started out as they normally do: How’s the weather? After a while of weather chit-chat, the gentleman then moved onto talking about different landmarks nearby. This was obviously to establish a rapport.
He discussed how he had been through my area of town before, and how his dad used to work nearby. He reminisced about the area, and how he would love to move back someday if he had the chance. If anyone else had heard this conversation, they would have thought that I was talking to an old friend. Obviously, I wasn’t taken in by the conversation, as I knew why he was on the phone.
With each question, and memory, we inched closer to his sales pitch.
High Pressure Sales Pitch
Finally, he said the magical words that mean “no more niceties, let’s do business.” He said: “Well, anyways.” That is when he began with my prior purchase history which was a single purchase about 2 years ago of heavily discounted Silver Eagle coins (they most likely lost money to get this sales lead).
Yes, I did dabble a bit in the metals market, I did pretty well, but I also liquidated my positions once the market went insane. I have not taken a new position since, and don’t really plan to. Precious metals are at all time highs and much of it is panic buying. This isn’t to say there isn’t money to be made, but I’m just not trying. There are a number of times I don’t purchase investments, and they are often because too many people are buying in on emotion. This is why I have my reasons to not purchase Facebook stock.
After reading me my short history, he then launched into the next part of his pitch: educating me. He then went on to explain that they’ve come across a small quantity of 1994 Silver Eagle coins which are the second rarest of all Silver Eagle coins. I know this to be fact, but I also let on a bit more when I informed him that I was aware of them and had possessed the 1996 Eagles which happen to be the most rare. The word “small” is important to his sales pitch.
After that, he let me know how great of a condition they were in (MS 69 for you coin geeks out there) and just how rare it made these. I continued to sound uninterested as I knew exactly what was coming. This guy was a pro, and he used specific wording to build the case for emotional purchasing.
The salesman continued to create scarcity into his sales pitch. Scarcity is important because it makes people buy on emotion. Emotional purchases tend to be irrational, and he wanted me to be irrational. He emphasized the rarity of the coin itself, he emphasized the quality condition of the coin, and he emphasized how few they have and how hard they are to come across. All of this is designed to enforce the scarcity reaction.
This is often used in car sales. Based on the features and colors you want, sales people will try to build a scarcity (oh, you want blue AND power windows? Let me see if we have any). The other trick is to try and get you to fall in love with one particular car. If they can get you attached to a single car, that’s the best kind of scarcity!
Slick, Slimy, Sales Speak
Then he hit me with the hair slicked back, cheap suit, heavy cologne, cheesy smile close attempt: “Can you move on all 20 of these right now, or should I only put you down for 10?” Hoping for an emotional response, or someone who is too shy to say no, he awaited my response. I’m not too shy to say no, so I let him know how I work. I informed him that I’m not in the market, I haven’t been for about a year and a half, and I’m also not concerned with rarity.
I’m not a coin collector, I was a precious metal investor. I bought it, and sold it without emotion or attachment. I informed him that I only buy below or at spot. This is exactly what sales people don’t want to hear. Sales people like making money, and people like me don’t let that happen for the most part. I made my philosophies known in hopes that they would realize that I’m a waste of a call, but we’ll see what happens. That was my high pressure sales experience.