reservations they have decided they want the deal. For the
persuader this makes them outrageously dangerous.
Cheap at Half The Price
A huge amount of buying decisions are not made at the
time of one-on-one persuasion. The cheap car is a prime
example. Maybe you had a cheery non-threatening test
drive; you said that you love the car but needed to “think it
over”. You toddle off with the brochures, price lists, and a
vague valuation on your trade-in. The ‘salesperson’ (I put the
title in quotes because they probably couldn’t sell their way
out of a paper bag) has lost control of you and the process
and now can only wait for the capricious tide of luck to
wash you back in. At home you peruse the brochures, check
the finances, and compare the competing vehicles’ specifica-
tions. From a subject’s point of view, this is the right thing
to do to avoid becoming the skilful persuader’s plaything.
Finally, after much thought, you make the decision to buy.
You can afford it, they have plenty of the colours you want,
and because of the economic climate they are desperate
to sell. The mantra you chant to yourself is, “It’s a buyer’s
market.” The problem for the persuader, strangely enough,
is that the subject, at this juncture, is starting to hold all
the cards or, which is worse, they believe they hold all the
The truth is that most decisions are made away from the
hot fires of the persuasion process. The decision to marry,
to go to war, or to buy fish and chips is all made elsewhere.
Now we have our decision that we would be prepared to
own this car or whatever, this is the time to drive a bargain.
If our acting skills are up to it, we can seem unconvinced
and disinterested, driving the other party to offer us ever
more tempting delicacies of discounts, extras, and freebies
to draw us into the deal. The dilemma for the persuader is
that they don’t know what cards the subject holds. There-
fore we must, at a simple level, learn bargaining skills, and
at a higher level, negotiating would be handy.
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