6 Real World Jedi Mind Tricks Salesmen Are Using On You

We've all been there: You go in for a new cell phone battery, then one of the salesmen walks up, and next thing you know you're walking out of there with every iWhatever they had in stock. Once the new gadget smell and irresponsibility high wear off, you're left wondering: How the hell did they do that?

#6. They Give You Free Coffee

Every single car dealership on Earth has the same setup: Shitty, week-old coffee served out of thimble-size Styrofoam cups. You take it, because it's free coffee and you're going to pre-emptively bleed these sons of bitches for every free thing you can get before they go to town on your wallet -- as you know they invariably will.

But why?

It's actually the coffee's fault. Well, some of it at least: Consumption of caffeine makes people much easier to persuade in general. In a double-blind study, participants who took caffeine pills were far more easily convinced about the benefits of euthanasia than those who had taken placebos. Apparently, this is possible because most people don't actually listen to everything anybody else is saying. The addition of caffeine gives them that little mental boost to be more attentive and therefore more persuadable. So in a way, all those counterculture hippies were right: Starbucks is turning us all into "easily pliable sheep, man."


#5. Cursing

Whether it's George Costanza impressing some Texas businessmen or just an American used-car salesman telling you, "This is a damn fine car! Hey, I wouldn't bullshit a bullshitter! Am I right?" cursing has its place in the business world. You're damn' right it does.

"Balls. Shit-cock. Fuck-spindle. Sign these goddamn papers. Any questions?"

But why?

You'd think that most people, if polled, would probably say that salespeople should avoid using any sort of profanity around customers. A lot of people are uncomfortable with swear words, and even those who aren't could easily find it unprofessional. It turns out, though, that's totally fucking inaccurate. By adding the phrase "dammit" to the beginning or end of a statement, researchers found that people are more inclined to agree with the speaker's opinion when the curse is used. This may be because cursing implies more passion about the subject at hand.

You really know he doesn't care where Scarlett is going to go, or what she is going to do.

But it may be precisely because you don't expect the salesperson to curse in front of you that it's so effective. So when they use profanity in a positive manner (i.e., they aren't telling you to "fuck off into a dickbasket" but are just using it to emphasize how great something is), you pay more attention to the whole argument and are more likely to think the opinion expressed was genuine. While it might seem unprofessional, a salesman using a small curse ("This is a damn good car/television/casket") is more likely to make a sale, since you probably think he's being honest about his feelings instead of just trying to trick you into the more expensive brand.

#4. Talking Fast

While those Vince Offer and Billy Mays-esque infomercials may seem ridiculous with their fast-talking hosts, they really do convince people to shell out their hard-earned money for a $99 pot-that-is-also-a-strainer. We've got the eight Salad Guns, four Juice Apes and industrial-sized crate of ShamWows to prove it.

"It has the word 'sham' right in its name! How can I go wrong?"

But why?

Even though the slimy fast-talking salesperson a pop culture stereotype, salespeople who speak faster are still perceived to be more intelligent and certain of what they are saying, and therefore have more trusted opinions than salespeople who speak at a "normal" conversational speed.

There is an upper limit, though; the fastest "normal" rate of speech is about 194 words a minute. If you get much higher than that you start sounding like a speed freak instead of just someone who really knows what he's talking about. So be wary if a salesperson starts upping the tempo a bit right as you try to walk away -- it doesn't mean he suddenly stopped being a douche who's trying to force something you don't need on you; it just means he may have also read this article.

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