Reverse psychology really works on me. The more you try to sell me something, the less I want it. I know that some people really like aggressive salespeople and like to be hounded and convinced why they should buy things, but not me. If you want to get me to buy something you should probably leave me little clues about why it’s awesome and let me think I came to that conclusion on my own.
Here’s an example of what doesn’t work:
This guy I’ve never met called me and left a voicemail for me at work. He didn’t expressly say why he was calling but just that he worked for this investment firm and wanted to talk to me and buy me coffee. I never called the guy back (Weird, right? Given my tendency to accept free drinks from strange men), but he kept calling my work phone until one day he caught me in my office. It’s a quiet office and not the kind of place where people take calls other than business calls, so it’s kind of weird that he’s calling all the time. I tried to express as much and told him I’d call him back when I wasn’t at work. But of course I didn’t, and of course he called me at work again and again.
He finally got me on the phone and I was frank with him. I told him I knew what this was about (he was being all coy) and that I, though appreciative of his effort, simply wasn’t interested in his services. Well my friends, take note, because those are the key words that up a coffee offer into a full blown lunch offer in a situation like this. The problem is, as much as I love food, I was still disinterested-going-on-really-annoyed with this guy and his insistence that he knows what to do with my money. Here’s the deal, guy, when I’m ready to start doing things with my money other than paying debts and buying cheese, I will either seek out opportunities myself or fall prey to much subtler manipulation.
Like Ikea. There’s a brilliant sales plan. You can’t just go because you need a coffee table and you’re going to buy a coffee table. All the coffee tables are in rooms of furniture that looks better than anything you own. All the rooms are cleaner and better designed than your hodgepodge of hand-me-downs and dumpster-finds, and you honestly feel bad about bringing one of these nice coffee tables into your home, like adopting a child without also adopting its siblings. And there’s so much stuff and people there that it kind of says to you, “Go on consumer, we don’t need you. This furniture is getting all the attention it needs without your business.” And they make the price of that stuff just inexpensive enough that it is still impractical but you start to think about how much food you would have to not buy so that you could get everything. Oh Ikea.