Tag Archive: purchase


My wife and I were walking through Sam’s Club, and we came across an AWESOME salesman. How do I know that he was awesome? Because he was annoying and pushy as heck!

In all seriousness though, I think we can analyze his approach and tactics to improve our ability to influence others and make ourselves more persuasive.

Let’s start from the top…

  1. “How are you doing today, folks?” – You have to get people’s attention. It seems like the part of sales that most people dread: You just plain have to get people’s attention. I’ve seen so many “sales people” who seem like they’re afraid to stand out or get your attention. Plain and simple: if you don’t get my attention, I don’t buy from you.
  2. “Would you like to try a sample?” – You have to be proud of and/or stand behind what you’re selling (or at least give that appearance). I’m actually on the fence about free samples because I’ve seen them misused quite frequently (for example: the farmer offering free samples of blueberries in front of his  stand at the farmer’s market…everyone knows what a blueberry tastes like, and your blueberry isn’t going to draw hordes of customers away from your competitors). What I like about his free sample approach is that he waited for the “That IS good” that follows tasting the free sample, and then he promptly presented the bag “Yeah, and can you believe that it’s frozen?”
  3. “Just heat it up and you’re ready to eat!” – Explain how your product/service is beneficial to your customer and/or makes their life easier. I know, I know, this is the usual salesman stuff, but he wasn’t just saying this as an ‘end all’ statement to close the sale; he was using this to lay the groundwork:
  4. “Ma’am, how would you prepare this for dinner?” – Get your customer to start dreaming of using your product. Oh man…we’re working with a master here… By asking this question, he’s putting you on the spot to start visualizing, start daydreaming, and start responding and taking an active role in the sales pitch. “I’d probably put it in stir fry” my wife said, and I could instantly taste it. Audience participation is a powerful thing.
  5. “Are you ready to pick up a bag?” – Give a ‘call to action’ statement. This part of the pitch is so often overlooked, but it is what actually puts the pressure on and closes the sale! You cannot leave off the call to action statement!!!
  6. “We’re only here for a limited time! – Give a sense of urgency. This deflects the ‘I’ll just pick it up next time’ response and activates the natural human response to act on something when we only have a small window of opportunity.
  7. “Most people are picking up at least two bags!” – Use the crowd mentality to gain credibility and make the customer feel justified. He peer pressured us…with what was most likely a slight un-truth. Well, if everyone else is getting a couple bags, I suppose I’m justified to get two bags too! People draw credibility from what the crowd is doing, and he knew this and played it well. Of course, you can do this differently (through statistics, etc), but playing the numbers is a pretty effective approach/tactic.

We only ended up getting one bag (I have willpower like an ox!), but I felt that his sales approach and style was worth some analysis.

Some frozen Asian food company got their money’s worth out of that sales guy!

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I wish…

Our wants are insatiable, but we live in a world with scarcity.

This is the basis behind every economic text ever produced, and it’s a very true statement.

So, what are we to do? …we are to wish, of course!

This is where I have to again step in for Amazon.com for the inclusion of a wishlist on their site  (I realize that they’re not the only company to have done this, but theirs is a great example).

From their website, I can easily add items which I want, but can’t yet afford, to my wishlist. By adding things to my wishlist, what would be fleeting remains concrete and stored – I may have forgotten about a book that I wanted to read, but it would still be sitting there on my wishlist, waiting for me to make my move.

I can also share my wishlist with friends, who will then most likely use Amazon to purchase the items (this is because, again, the wishlist is incorporated into Amazon’s site). On top of that, I recently received an e-mail from Amazon with a ‘reminder’ of the items on my wishlist – clever on their part: innocently pushing me to make my purchase.

Double thumbs up, Amazon! Even if you don’t make a purchase today, you’re working hard to secure one in the future!

Cookie Monster

So it is that time of year again…

My wife’s birthday is fast approaching at the end of the month, and I’m left to follow the trail of breadcrumbs that she has left behind her in order to figure out what she’d like for her birthday.

It’s times like these when I’d love to have some assistance, and this got me thinking:

I get weekly e-mails from Amazon.com telling me what they think I’d be interested in based on my recent searches and purchases. I can remember the days when we all used to be paranoid about this kind of thing and don our tin foil hats screaming that the internet has invaded our privacy and we’re all going to end up being slaves to robots by the year 2010, but I think, while that mentality is still out there, it has, for the most part, subsided.

That being said, I think Amazon should just bite the bullet and take it one step further. I know that Amazon knows that I’m married; and Amazon probably knows who my wife is. My account uses her debit card for purchases and, if they wanted to put in even less effort into their search, than they could just go to my Facebook page and see who it says I’m married to. On top of that, and by the same logic, Amazon knows my wife’s birthday.

Therefore, why doesn’t Amazon just send me a “Hey! Your wife’s birthday is coming up, and here’s what she might enjoy!” e-mail?