Figuring Out Your Type, and Using it Against You
If you sit down at Best Buy and watch one of the stereo salespeople for the day, two things will happen: One, you'll see him become a dozen different people over the course of his shift, altering his language, posture and approach for every customer in order to close the sale. And two, you'll probably be arrested for stalking. The latter is a matter for the courts to decide, but the former is a tried-and-true sales technique called the Chosen Representation System.
"Who do I need to be to get you into this car?"
People are different: Right-brained vs. left-brained, creative vs. logical, touchy-feely vs. withdrawn, boisterous vs. shy. And not surprisingly, all these different types of people want different things when they're making purchases. The things that are important to you when buying a product (color, texture, sound clarity, etc.) are called your Chosen Representational System. The best salespeople recognize your CRS very quickly and adjust their selling style accordingly. If you're kind of a big guy in a Tapout shirt, they can guess that volume is probably most important to you, and they're going to crank that baby up to 11. If you're a well-dressed female, they assume you'll be more swayed by aesthetics, and they'll likely show you their low-profile, sleek systems.
Pro Tip: Faking a seizure is enough to drive away all but the most dedicated salespeople.
That's all somewhat common sense, but there are ways they tailor their pitch to you before even asking any questions: For example, changing one word when stating an opinion goes a long way toward convincing the person you are talking to that your way of thinking is correct. In general, women are swayed by "I feel" and men more by "I think." So if you're talking to a woman, then you "feel this is the best portable smoothie maker ever made." If you're talking to a male customer, you "think this smoothie maker will goddamn dominate every other one on the market."
It gets even crazier from there: Another effective tool is asking you to recall something from the past. Depending on whether you look up or down, left or right, salespeople can often infer your CRS, no matter what your subsequent answer is. That's right: Your very body language is betraying you to the salesbastards. You cannot even trust yourself against them.
The secrets don't stop here, learn more in the brand new Cracked.com book.
Be sure to learn more tricks of the trade in 5 Ways Stores Use Science to Trick You Into Buying Crap and 5 Cheap Magic Tricks Behind Every Psychic.
And stop by Linkstorm to see how the Internet tricked you into liking cats.
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